Crawl Across the Ocean

Monday, February 06, 2006

Liberal, Tory, same old, uh, People?

Well, if Harper wanted to send a clear signal that a Conservative government would run just like a Liberal one (and that all the self-righteous people who proclaimed the Conservatives would be 'different' were either liars or suckers) I can't think of a better way to do it.

Not only do we have a Liberal crossing the floor to sit in cabinet, we have an unelected cabinet minister appointed from Harper's staff to run Public Works (and I know how we all hate sole-source contracts in Public Works!).

You know what I think would have been funny? If, on the night of the election, after Emerson was elected, he had gone up to the stage to give his 'I won, yay for me' speech, and had his staffers bring down the curtain to reveal a big Conservative banner. He could have announced the switch right there. After all, nothing has changed since then. That would have shown some real guts, especially the part where he explained right to his supporters faces how he played them for fools. And the looks on their faces as they realized that all their hard work to elect a Liberal candidate had backfired would have made for great TV.

Anyway, I find it amusing that a riding in which the Conservatives got less than 19% of the vote, a riding which hasn't elected a Conservative since 1958, is now represented by a Conservative cabinet minister. Go Democracy Go!

One final thought, having far-right social conservative Jim Flaherty as finance minister doesn't reassure me one bit about the Conservatives intentions, nor does having Bev 'funded by industry lobbyists' Oda as Minister of 'Heritage' or Vic Toews in charge of Justice.

Update: Ahab's Whale digs up what must be just one of many now hilarious (for cynics) Emerson quotes,
"I'm going to be Stephen Harper's worst enemy. We're going to stir the pot and you better believe we are going to make a heck of a lot of noise."

Hey with enemies like that, who needs friends?


  • I don't object to floor crossings in principle, but Vancouver Liberals put a lot into Emerson in the election. Also, there's no (at least alleged) ideological or tactical dispute at stake here like there was with Parish and Stronach. Emerson's dispute with the Libs is that they lost the election.

    Also, I don't have a big problem with parties not having totally separate campaign and government operations. But I do seem to recall the press swooning just a week or so ago about how professional Harper was not to bring any of his campaign insiders into the actual business of government. The more things change.

    By Blogger Laura, at 12:18 PM  

  • I want to know when Emerson decided to move and when the Conservatives knew. Where talks in the works before Jan 23?

    By Blogger Koby, at 8:34 PM  

  • Laura, I can grudgingly accept floor crossings in certain circumstances (I mocked Stronach for her crossing at the time), but two weeks after being elected?

    You might as well have the ballot rewrite itself as you're marking your X.

    Koby - the situation certainly begs the question, doesn't it. Where's Grewal with his tape recorder when you need him? His old riding is practically next door after all.

    By Blogger Declan, at 10:36 PM  

  • Harper hubris, or Does Harper have a tin ear?

    The conventional wisdom now seems to be that Stephen Harper is a political genius, of the same ilk as Napoleon, or Churchill, or – pick your favourite. But what if Harper’s cabinet-making is not a politically astute move by at all, but simply a sign that he has a political tin ear?

    After all, sometimes the past is predicator of the future: in 2004 he misread the electorate with some of his comments about the Liberals – especially Martin – and his premature triumph speeches about the West taking over. And in Parliament he has sounded a bit screechy and overly self-righteous. Then there are those stories about him being a one-man-band, who does not need a mentor because, one observer says he said, he never met anyone as smart as he is ....

    So, perhaps this was just Harper being Harper, and marching to his own discordant band?

    If so, wait until the second Act: gonna be a lot of fun for Libs and NDP, and a lot of buyer’s remorse by many voters in Ontario ....

    And meanwhile, the Bloc will crouch in the wings, nursing its wounds, and waiting for the right time to take Harper down – when he is under a cloud of intolerance or stupidity, but before he cements himself into Quebec as Mulroney Junior. Best get rid of him soon, before he becomes a real threat to the Bloc ...

    So wait for the right moment, and the ganging up by the three parties who each have good reasons for taking him out of his new digs at Sussex, and who – between them – hold the balance of power.

    After all, Harper arranged a mob-lynching of Martin with all three parties deciding to put in the knife on that particular Ides of May. Having shown the way, I wonder if Harper fears that this time the other three parties will cooperate to bring him down?

    Better than even chance, I think; and probably before summer ends, too.....

    Maybe Harper should let those renovations take place at Sussex Drive before he moves in: might save him having to move twice, eh?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:02 PM  

  • Well, technically speaking, Emerson has not crossed the floor. He was in government before the election and he remains in government after the election. He does not have to move his office in Parliament. It's a win-win for Emerson - for now.

    But I feel for the voters of Vancouver-Kingsway. They got ripped big time. So a guy uses money from one party to win an election only to jump ship a mere two weeks after the election. In the retail world that is called bait and switch.

    By Blogger Mousky, at 9:45 AM  

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