A young member of parliament in Quebec has confounded her constituents by refusing to appear in public. Some even wonder if she's real.
According to The Star, twenty-seven-year-old Ruth Ellen Brosseau was elected MP for Berthier-Maskinongé, an area northeast of Montreal, on Monday. She was part of a controversial slate of New Democratic Party MP-elects, including several college students and one who's just nineteen. But Brosseau may be the weirdest of all, as she's been completely MIA since the election, making no appearances and giving no interviews. All her constituents have seen is her photo on a campaign handout. Asks one, "is she a real person?"
Perhaps Brosseau is in hiding because she's not qualified for her job. Apparently she can't speak French, the first language of 98% of her constituents. Also, she may not really have wanted the job — during the campaign, she reportedly took off on a trip to Vegas. The NDP says she will take office, but that she "simply didn't expect to be elected and has been overwhelmed." They also say she's taking French classes.
Brosseau's not doing a good job of representing a slate already under fire for including too many young and inexperienced MPs. And the cynic in me can't help but wonder if she'll come in for even more flak as a conventionally attractive blond woman. But ultimately, this really isn't about gender or age — after all, 27 is plenty old enough to know what being an MP entails. The real question is why a major political party would field a candidate who neither expected nor wanted to win.