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.
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.