Friday, February 10, 2006

Party On, Garth

It's one thing for Tory MPs to be upset about the David Emerson appointment and say so publicly. It's quite another to claim martyrdom for one's principles:

Speaking of offices, after today I’m expecting the Whip will be assigning me a renovated washroom somewhere in a forgotten corner of a vermin-infested dank basement in Ottawa. That should go well with my seat in the House of Commons that will be visible only during lunar eclipses.

Uh-huh. That kind of a day. This one MP came face-to-face with the party machine in a series of unhappy meetings including one tonight with the prime minister. I think it is now safe to say my career options within the Conservative caucus are seriously limited. If you would like a course on how not to be popular in Ottawa, then take a seat.


Did I know the potential consequences of speaking my mind, or sticking with the principles that brought me to this cold hill? Yeah, I did. I have been an MP before, and a leadership candidate and a cabinet minister. I have the hide to prove it. I know the PMO has a song sheet it wants all caucus members to sing from, and I know what happens when an individual chooses to go his or her own way. I was just hoping this time I would not be asked to choose – between party and principle.

Seriously limited career options indeed. Does Garth Turner believe that his brief tenure in Kim Campbell's cabinet entitles him to a seat in Cabinet? Does he believe that the public will care about his exile to the backbenches and basement office?

I sincerely hope that, along with the Emerson appointment, Turner's public whining is a one-off. The last thing the government needs is a publicity hog willing to play into the media's hands, a Carolyn Parrish with a beard.

Source: The Turner Report


Danté said...

Doesn't Carolyn Parrish already have a beard?

Canadi-anna said...

Turner could have stuck to his principles without stabbing Harper in the back.

Q. What do you think of Emerson crossing to the floor to sit in Cabinet?

What Garth Could Have Said:
People are aware that I believe an MP should go back to the people should he decide to switch parties.
In Canadian history, this has not been the established practise, and while I personally would prefer that Mr. Emerson went back to the people, our system elects a person, not a party.
Mr Emerson is the MP for Vancouver Kingsway regardless of what party affiliation he holds. He is under no obligation to resign his seat and I doubt the Prime Minister is going to change over a hundred years of precident.
Mr. Harper did not support anti-floor-crossing legislation when his party was the victim of it last year, nor did he demand a by-election. He has been consistent in his views and I respect that.

eugene plawiuk said...

So I guess representing your constiuents interests is secondary to the party affiliation, to caucus solidarity, etc. Gee I thought youse guys supported Free Votes...that would mean Free Thought Free Expression...or was that just the old Reform Alliance....oh yeah they also ran on the platform of the constiuents come first. It seems to me you can't have it both ways. Emerson betrayed his constiuents, Turner is speaking for his.
All of a sudden all you Tories are smitten with Stalinism...Follow the Great Leader or else.

Shabbadoo said...

Nice cut and paste their Eugene.

Canadi-anna: Well said. If Turner wants to stand by his principles on this issue, he can do so in caucus, meanwhile publicly supporting the party as the best option for getting the conservative campaign planks accomplished. Publicly venting his frustration for this one issue weakens the CPC's ability to achieve its overall goals.

Canadi-anna said...

Eugene -- do you just type, then cut and paste as you flit from blog to blog?

No one has suggested that Garth blindly agree with Harper, or even that he should not have voiced his opinion.
But through his statements and now his blog post, Turner has shown disrespect for both his party leader and his party.It's not disagreeing with Harper or Emerson that makes Garths public gnashing of teeth unsightly.

Loyalist said...

Apparently Garth has realized that not everyone has as high an opinion of Garth's talents as Garth does.

Sir Menzies Campbell for Leader said...

What do all these party toadies and power faghags hope to get by inserting their probosces between Stephen Harper's cheeks? If Harper appointed Anne McLellan or Sheila Copps, this lot would be hurrahing and spouting the same nonsense as Peter Mackay did about the b***s****er from Vancouver-Kingsway: He(Emerson)became disillusioned with the Liberals. Riiiight, disillusioned, less than a fortnight after the b***s****er swore he would be Stephen Harper's worst nightmare. Still, it worked out OK. Emerson is a nightmare for Harper