By Kent Larsen
LDS Members in Canada's Parliament Reduced By 1
EDMONTON, ALBERTA -- The two known LDS MPs (members of parliament) have been
reduced to 1 in yesterday's national elections in Canada. While incumbent N.
Grant Hill was re-elected with 70% of the vote in the MacLeod riding
(election district), controversial LDS MP Jack Ramsay was resoundingly
defeated in his bid to retain his seat representing the Crowfoot riding,
even after he won an appeal of a rape conviction earlier this year.
The results leave Canadian Mormons represented in Parliament at about the
same level that they make up Canada's population. With 1 LDS MP out of 301
MPs, Mormons make up about 1/3 of 1% of parliament, while LDS Church
membership accounts for 1/2 of 1% of the population.
Ramsay's loss was expected. It came along with significantly higher turnout
than in the previous, 1997, election, which Ramsay won with 71% of the vote,
the highest percentage win in the nation. But in spite of a more fractious
race, his successor, representing the same party that kicked Ramsay out
following his conviction, won with a similar percentage of the vote.
Ramsay's difficulties started last year when a Native American woman filed
charges alleging Ramsay tried to rape her 30 years earlier, when she was 14
and he was a 33-year-old RCMP official in northern Saskatchewan. Ramsay was
convicted last May of the offense, after he admitted to making sexual
advances, but not admitting to the rape. It is not known if Ramsay was an
LDS Church member at the time of the alleged offense.
Last month, however, an appeals court threw out the conviction, ruling that
the trial judge had erred in his instructions to the jury. He had hoped that
a win in yesterday's election would get him re-instated into the Canadian
Reform Conservative Alliance party that expelled him last May.
The other LDS MP is N. Grant Hill, a medical doctor who first was elected to
Canada's parliament in 1993 following more than 20 years of practicing as a
family physician. Hill is a resident of Okotoks, a small town south of
Calgary, Alberta. Both the MacLeod riding and the Crowfoot riding are
located in southern Alberta province, in the area settled by Mormon pioneers
in the 1890s and early 1900s.
Ramsay doggedly canvasses his riding
Edmonton Canada Journal 19Nov00 T2
By Graham Thomson: Journal Staff Writer
But Alliance officials fear he'll split the vote in former stronghold