February 10, 2006

Harper: Emerson & Others Crossing the Bar & What You Should Know

New posts today will be below this.

I have bumped up Anonalogue's "What Harper Said" about politicians crossing the floor of the House of Commons because I have listened to enough media (faux) outrage over Minister Emerson's defection to the Conservative Party. There is much more to this story below ("Liberals say Emerson blocked deal with U.S. that Conservatives can now take credit for") but, before getting to that, consider:

These politians changed parties: They ran for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, later defected to the Liberals and did not return their campaign funds, to my knowledge.

Belinda Stronach: There is scuttlebutt that, since her father ran for the Liberals and apparently was a Liberal supporter, Belinda probably was too but became a Conservative to become a political leader there so nothing would radically change the status quo, as set up by Liberal honchos over the years, a status quo which benefitted her circle including Frank Stronach who returned from his own tax haven to help her in the latest campaign. When she lost the CPC leadership race, she stuck around the Conservatives long enough to learn and assess as much as she was capable of--girlfriend of Deputy Leader MacKay too--then bought negotiated a cabinet position when the Paul Martin Liberals needed her most to save their Liberal government with one vote. Stronach has never impressed me as having an astute political mind, but she could be useful--used by others?--since she travels in wealthy business circles. I have not heard her voice any political principles that did't sound as though someone had coached her for her speech and told her not to deviate, not to try to reason it out in public. Possibly wise advice. (All in my opinion, of course.)

Scott Brison: Another Conservative leadership hopeful who developed principles over the scary right wing Conservatives in order to get a Cabinet position, principally. I suspect Scott Brison's politics are really Liberal but he wanted leadership so ran for the CPC. Then he left for the Liberals when he couldn't win. Did he think conservatives would score and quarter gays or was it to his advantage to blacken the more right wing conservatives when he needed to prove his Liberal bona fides? Even many Liberals voted against gay marriage and in 1998 or 1999. Paul Martin, along with the rest voted to retain traditional marriage. However, it was politically convenient when crossing the floor to discover how scary the people he wanted to lead actually were -- not very astute if he missed that for so long. Scott was a useful catch for the Liberals because, while he was positioned as a new Min. of PWGSC, itself the subject of investigation in several areas, he responded in the House for ex-PM Martin. Brison did not answer questions there in any meaningful sense. Brison was a flak catcher for Martin and he had the nerve to write that he answered 1000 questions in the House during his flak catching tenure. ("Accountability means being in the House", A14, National Post, Feb. 10, 06.) Check my Hansard posts which high-light his non-answers and boilerplate rah rah rah for Martin and his team. That was NOT accountability; that was flak catching non-answering!

Keith Martin: Conservative to Liberal -- from BC, called Paul Martin an idiot in the last election over his notwithstanding clause remark ... or over something outrageous.

Progressive or Red Tory=Liberal: PC Leaders who became Liberal--card carrying or not--who did not receive excessive negative media coverage on crossing the bar, nor did they have to repay the political party they left

Jean Charest:
leader of the Progressive Conservative Party after the split in the PC party and the emergence of a new party, Reform, led by Preston Manning and the precursor to the Canadian Alliance. Charest, from Quebec, was a PC (Red Tory) who was convinced to become the leader of the provincial Liberal party in Quebec by Liberal PM, Jean Chretien. There is little difference between the Red Tories and Liberal parties, in my estimation. The main idea is they resent any Western power and they are so socially liberal that they do not want any Blue Tory influence. Yet large swathes of Canada have faith-based views or simply conservative views about traditional marriage and the negative influence of: too low a legal age for sex (particularly the exploitation by adults), sex clubs and the concomitant entry of hookers-sex trade workers though they are termed exotic dancers (Remember Min. Judy Sgro? Think of human smuggling of women for prostitution), swinging, lap dancing, nudity in public and a few similar ideas on what they don't want Canada to become in an effort to keep life in Canada healthy for raising children and protecting what should be a social positive. They tend to support traditional marriage for the long-term good of society. Decent people may disagree on whether cohabiting gays who wish to regularize that situation may add to or detract from that societal good. Any party should be prepared to listen to and treat with respect traditional views, as well as the more liberal views, until and if those views are subjected to a truly free vote on the subject. The problem with Red Tories and Liberals is that they do NOT trust free votes for then, they would not control the outcome. All of the above led to Stephen Harper and uniting conservatives. May he succeed in gaining more freedom for all of us, our views, our votes and our Parliament.

Joe Clark, ex-Progressive Conservative leader, had a fit of pique that the West might gain some power after many left to form a Western-based political party, Reform. His pique overcame his good judgement at a Conservative Party of Canada under Stephen Harper. Joe Clark would not merge, so he told his followers to vote Liberal in the 2004 election, an action which amounts to crossing the floor in the House and joining the Liberals. He has since been quiet and has been rewarded with some position in the US (a university? think tank? lecturing? Washington? I forget.)

There have been other floor crossers not unduly punished in the media, so why persecute the latest one? It is a fear of loss of power where it has been centered since Canada formed, the Centre and the elites.

My point is simply that it is time for CBC Pravda to grow up and hope that a bunch of us don't agitate and petition for its well-deserved demise for its partisanship and efforts to get Mr. Emerson out of the Ministry.

CBC has been agitating for action and actively telling people where to go to sign a petition to remove Emerson, all under the guise of reporting the news. That is the job of citizenry moved to action, not the taxpayer-funded partisans at CBC. My disgust for this gang grows.

This bears repeating:

What Harper said Anonalogue, Feb. 7, 06

[....] Here's what Harper actually said during the election when asked point blank, edited only for length:

Colleen Belisle: Hello, my name is Colleen Belisle and I have a question for Stephen Harper regarding the accountability issue. In the past 18 months, I have noticed a number of MPs crossing the floor after the election. This makes me wonder why I should, as a voter, go and vote when my MP can change parties after the election. Mr. Harper, are there any policies that you plan to enforce after the election regarding this issue? Thank you.

Stephen Harper: My short answer is no.
(notice how Stephen Harper is a straight shooter - Anon.) And I understand the voters' frustration. You can imagine I feel that frustration as much as anyone. I was the victim of a number of the particular incidents that the voter is referring to, that Colleen's referring to, but the difficulty, Peter – I know that many members of Parliament have put forward various proposals that would restrict the right of MPs to cross the floor, force elections, or whatever. I haven't seen one yet that convinces me that it would create anything other than a situation where party leaders have even more power over the individual members of Parliament...But that all said, I haven't seen one yet that I'm convinced creates a bigger problem than it's actually trying to fix.Peter Mansbridge: Do you think [. . . . check the site -- much info here ]

For what it's worth here's a list of Senators who have run for MP after resigning as a Senator:"Very few Canadian Senators have ever resigned their seat to run for a position in the Canadian House of Commons, but six have done so successfully:

Name Party Senate Commons
Joseph Edouard Cauchon Con 1867 1872
Peter Mitchell Lib-Con 1867 1872
Archibald Woodbury McLelan Lib-Con 1869 1881
John Carling Liberal-Conservative 1891 1892
William Templeman Liberal 1897 1906
Robert René de Cotret PC 1979 1984 [. . . . ]

There is more. Anonalogue seems to have an inside track in that he knows history .......

Liberals say Emerson blocked deal with U.S. that Conservatives can now take credit for James Travers, Toronto Star, Ottawa (Feb 9, 2006),

Except that there is another angle to this story -- the Liberals didn't want to announce a deal with the US because Paul Martin wanted to "bash Bush" as part of his election strategy. Announcing a deal would have spoiled that strategy and, not expecting to lose, Paul Martin would have announced "his" deal post election--positively Machiavellian on Martin's part except ..... the Conservatives won.

[Travers:] Here's the plot of a real-life political thriller: David Emerson defected to the Conservatives this week carrying a multi-billion dollar softwood lumber deal that Liberals, for political reasons, didn't finalize before the federal election. [. . . . ]

Search: an agreement Liberals say he blocked , higher stumpage fees , a less-than-perfect agreement

There is more to the plot. h/t newsbeat1, Small Dead Animals where you may read the whole thing as reported by Kate.

RCMP probing Polish immigration scam-- "There were no background checks required," said one Toronto-area Pole, who knew others who said they paid for visas. "Even the worst criminal can buy a visa for Canada." Tom Godfrey, Feb. 7, 06

Search: Etobicoke , embassy support workers

Update UNB conference: and correction re date of speech: Stephen Lewis, special envoy to the UN for HIV/AIDS in Africa spoke Feb. 2, apparently. I have some information on the content of his speech in my hands -- info later.


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