Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Who's holding Halton hostage?

In the world according to Garth, when Emerson switched parties, it was wrong -- no, not just wrong -- but "unprincipled" and "unethical". Everyone involved was deemed unscrupulous and Emerson was being "disloyal" to his constituents. But that was then and it was someone else . . . how different things appear when the shoe is on the other foot.

Garth doesn't believe loyalty is an issue in his act of opportunism, because he's doing this for his constituents. He knows that a lot of them don't understand that right now, but he thought about it long and hard for them. He feels assured that although they elected Garth the Conservative, and put up with Garth the Independent, that surely they will embrace GARTH the LIBERAL.

An Independent's voice is often unheard. Now, as a Liberal, Garth will have status again -- and that should make his constituents happy. He can be a lone voice of reason within the Liberal Party, the same way he was a lone voice of reason in the Conservative Party. The team doesn't matter -- just as long Garth is there to show it the one true way.

His cynical offer to run in a by-election is typical bravado. With full confidence that Harper is not going to suddenly change his stand on party swapping, the hollow gesture cost Turner nothing and gives the odour of sincerity to this latest stink. Garth pretends he received no inducement for turning in his Independent tag, and yet in one fell-swoop he has gone from impotent and unelectable outsider, to a member of the 'party-in-waiting'.

My position on floor-crossing hasn't changed -- but his has. He can pretend that his grand challenge to Harper to hold a by-election means something, but it only means that Garth is a savvy enough politician to know a good sound-bite.

Garth says:
If I resign immediately, the prime minister can leave my voters held hostage for up to six months without a by-election and without an MP, which could well mean they’re not represented at all until after the next election. Excuse me if I do not trust Stephen Harper, but I don’t.
Apparently Garth didn't trust his constituents enough to remain an Independent for the duration of this parliament, and join the Liberals when the next general election is called. Maybe he didn't trust the Liberals enough to believe that they'd keep that seat open for him to run when election time comes.

He calls Harper untrustworthy, and accuses him of potentially holding Halton voters 'hostage' had he resigned his seat altogether to force a by-election. He writes this without any hint of irony. The voters of Halton elected Garth Turner. As a Conservative or an Independent, Garth could live up to, and speak up for, the principles that got him elected, but whether it's income splitting, the military or child care -- Garth Turner has just signed over his principles to a Liberal Party that shares none of his ideals or political values. Who's holding Halton hostage?

That's okay, I guess. What difference does it make if the party doesn't reflect his beliefs --- Garth can make it over in his image and ruminate about it on his blog. So what if the Liberals are notoriously more rigid in their demand for caucus secrecy, and caucus solidarity than the Conservatives --- Garth has an unshakable record on those fronts. And if it doesn't work out, that's okay. Someone else will be to blame.

Poor Stephane Dion. Stephen Harper's gotta be smirking.

canadianna

9 comments:

NB Tory Lady said...

Excellent post Canadi-Anna...thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dianne said...

Right on! I could have possibly accepted he becoming Green, but no way Red. It makes no sense what he has done. I guess he is just in it for the money after all.

jeff davidson said...

just a gentle reminder that turner didn't cross the floor. he was booted from harper's caucus and joined the liberals as an independent.

does this not seem different to you?

as to dianne's comments, turner was always a red tory. this isn't surprising given harper's harder tilt to the right.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Glad to see you back though I did get a snicker everytime I surfed in and read the line "whatever would we do without Daddy's money?" I'm going to miss that if your not going to post at least once or twice a week.

Canadi-anna said...

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff -- Your visceral hatred of conservatives might cloud your understanding of the issues, but it's a shame it's also done a number on your reading comprehension.

Call it what you like - Garth no longer sits as an Independent and therefore has 'crossed the floor' to sit with the Liberals rather than all by himself in the rafters. Do you dispute this?

You'll note that I used the term 'party swapping' as well. The implication of both terms is understood by those who recognize that it isn't 'the boot' that precipitated his move, but the 'bottom line'.

Suggesting that Harper has moved to the right is so downright ignorant as to be funny. If anything, the Conservatives have moved leftward enough to aggravate us 'homophobic, misogynistic, climate change denying, fear-mongering reactionaries'. But don't let reality stand in the way of an opportunity to mischaracterize Harper.

Thanks Kateland. It's good to be back.

Matt said...

Great article Canadi-Anna

WestmountLiberal said...

So why isn't Harper calling by-elections for Turner, Khan, Emerson and Fortier?
Halton will be hostage no more.

Canadi-anna said...

westmountliberal --
A by-election is unnecessary when the same person is representing the constituency. Floor-crossing has happened since the inception of party politics and no PM has taken the huge step of forcing a by-election.

In our system of government we elect a person, not a party. Garth is the one who doesn't accept this reality -- not me, not Stephen Harper.

The onus is not on Harper to do something to remedy the situation. The point here is that Garth, having grandstanded about party-swapping MPs stands now, issuing a challenge he knows will not be met, in order to give credibility to the very thing he has criticized so severely in others.

Halton and the others will be free to keep or release come the next election. That's always been my position. It's Garth who has changed his tune now that he's the one dancing.

RepoCreepo said...

More evidence that Garth wont be singing from the lib hymn book as even HE admits in his Sept 27, 2006 posting that Dion didnt get the job done with kyoto...

http://repocreepo.blogspot.com/2007/02/garth-turner-critical-of-liberal.html