Monday, February 06, 2006

David Emerson must resign and be elected as a Conservative

Note: If you or your riding association are taking action or contemplating taking action, whether as suggested below or otherwise, please contact me at Confidentiality will be assured.

Last fall, the United States witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, withdrawing before her confirmation hearings even began. Not because of opposition from Democrats, but opposition from Republicans, especially Republican commentators and bloggers. While these conservatives were generally supportive of President Bush, and were loath to embarrass him, they could not stand by while he appointed an individual who, while a competent White House legal counsel, was not a top candidate for the top court. They did not view their actions as disloyal, but the highest form of loyalty: loyalty to the principles of merit, integrity and conservatism.

I support Stephen Harper. I do not want to embarrass him. But it is because I am a loyal Conservative that I cannot remain silent while he commits the moral and political error of accepting an individual elected by voters less than a month ago as a Paul Martin Liberal – and a Paul Martin cabinet minister, no less – into the Conservative caucus and promptly appointing him to cabinet.

The fury and cynicism of Conservatives and many Canadians were well founded when Belinda Stronach crossed the floor last May in exchange for a cabinet seat, to assist the Martin government facing a close budget vote. As has been confirmed in February’s Toronto Life profile, former Ontario premier David Peterson, acting on Stronach’s behalf, demanded a cabinet post as the price of her entering the Liberal caucus.

Emerson’s crossing the floor in defiance of his constituents, and Harper’s placing him in cabinet, is fundamentally the same. People who looked with hope to a party with at least half its roots in the Reform Party’s democratic traditions, have just been given an excuse to retreat to what has become the universal justification of the disaffected and disinterested: “all politicians are the same.”

More ominously, this act not only puts a stain on the new government, it taints the entire Conservative party. The Harper government will live for only a time – and I hope it is a long time – but political parties and their deeds endure. In the past two elections, the federal Liberal ad campaign featured dark references to the regimes of Brian Mulroney and Mike Harris. Fair or not, those ads and references resonated with some. How will Emerson’s defection and Harper’s anointing of him resonate with voters?

Conservatives who disagree with this act are not helpless. The party and its candidates rely on us to maintain their riding associations, raise and donate money, and identify and get out the vote during elections. If the Harper government bans all corporate and union donations as promised in the Conservative platform, the amount that individual candidates will have available will depend entirely on donations from individuals.

Below is a quick list of suggested actions loyal Conservatives can take to show their disapproval and dissent:

1. Do not make further donations to the party. Write the Conservative Canada Fund and advise why.

2. If you receive a fundraising letter, return it with a letter indicating why as above, or simply mark it “Return to Sender – ELECT EMERSON.”

3. Contact your Conservative MP or candidate and advise them that you will not be assisting them in preparing for an election until this matter is resolved in a principled manner. The mailing address for all MPs is (postage is not required):

Member’s Name, MP,
House of Commons,
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

4. If you are on a riding executive, ask your executive to pass a resolution expressing its opposition about the appointment, and asking the Prime Minister to require Mr. Emerson to seek the support of his constituents as a Conservative. Issue a press release to your local media about your riding’s resolution.


Blogger LaQuebecoise said...

David Emerson is a sleaze. An ambitious sleaze. He got elected under the Liberal banner and then turned around and stuck it to the people who elected him in one fell swoop. His total lack of ethics and integrity and blatant disregard for democracy taint the whole Conservative government. So much for a new uncorrupt government.

2:39 p.m.  
Blogger Karen Ho said...

Uh, yeah, I'm going to have to agree with you. And throw the title of second-sleaziest to Captain Harper. I distinctly remember him talking about the need for switching MPs to re-run under the new banner to provide accountability to constituents...

But hell, now that he's in gov't, i suppose accountability is "sooooooo 2005."

The sad thing is that Emerson and Harper will never do the right thing and attempt to re-elect Emerson because both men know he could never win that seat as a Conservative.

2:43 p.m.  
Blogger Reg said...

Karen Ho - can you provide a link to where he said that? As recently as the CBC town hall he did prior to the election, Harper stated while it is frustrating, forcing re-election limits an MP's freedom to represent his/her constituents.

2:48 p.m.  
Blogger Wonder Woman said...

whether he said it or not, it is still the right thing to do.

2:53 p.m.  
Blogger Denise B said...

Yeah, I would say that the bigger issue here is that Emerson was literally elected just days ago and in a riding where the Conservatives didn't even come in second but third.

There hasn't even been a single day in session yet, so Emerson can't possibly claim he had some sort of disagreement with the Liberals on public policy or an issue relating to his riding.

The only answer to this is pure and simple opportunism at the expense of accountability to his constituents and I think the fact Harper would allow Emerson to do this is indicative of the hypocrisy of the Conservative Party.

3:17 p.m.  
Blogger Lex Luthor said...

I'm waiting for all the Conservative MP's that had no problem name calling Belinda for crossing the floor for a cabinet position to start name calling Emerson for doing the exact same thing.

But, of course, they will say nothing which only will show Canadians that nothing has changed in Ottawa except the color of the ties in the governing party.

3:17 p.m.  
Blogger Jack's Newswatch said...

I repeat (as I did on your Blogging Tories entry)...

You're wrong.

But I understand the anger...this wasn't widely publicized.

Take care...


3:28 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

Check our this website:

3:29 p.m.  
Blogger Gary McHale said...

New Blog to Remove Emerson

3:30 p.m.  
Blogger Les Mackenzie said...

As stated to a commenter on my blog...

Liberals (yes Liberals) voted this guy in as a Liberal based on Liberal values.

He beat the Conservative Candidate Kanman Wong by 11,365 votes. Even after the NDP almost split the riding down the middle. This is a stolen seat - and as far as I’m concerned it should be returned to the people of Vancouver Kingsway.

Is this partisan? No - it’s the right thing to do. Partisan strategy be damned.

3:46 p.m.  
Blogger fsp4u1312 said...

As a loyal Conservative member,today's two surprises by the new PM does not sit well with me.

During this past campaign, I have been telling my friends that the CPC will do things differently from the Libs: cleaner, more ethical, etc.

Was I lying to them? Or was I lying to myself too?

4:04 p.m.  
Blogger Johnny Pockets said...

Like fsp4u1312, I have been staunchly defending the Tories, firmly of the belief that their behaviour in office would be different than the Libs. Today I appear foolish. I don't like to be made to appear foolish.

As a card-carrying Conservative, a volunteer for my local candidate in the last election, and as a Canadian interested in ethics in politics, I will be doing my part to register my displeasure with this decision.

4:26 p.m.  
Blogger fsp4u1312 said...


Just read your open letter.

I agree with your comments: Today I appear foolish. I don't like to be made to appear foolish.

In addition to an open letter, what else can we do?

4:31 p.m.  
Blogger Moosesboy said...

Who's whoring whom now?

Nice work, which one of the 10 commandments was dented with this whopper? Maybe Stockwell can tell us if fibbing is still a sin.

6:05 p.m.  
Blogger Fighting for Democracy said...

But the fact is, "our" vision of democractic reform is alittle different that the Conservative party's vision. We are disappointed because "we" wanted people to sit as an independent or run in a by-election. This was not Stephen Harper vision as he stated during his interview with the CBC during the election. He isn't being a hyprocrite and he managed to grab an excellent MP from another party.

It is part of business, as we all know companies steal employees from other companies all the time. Time to grow up people.
I was bought, took a much better offer from a competitor. It happens all the time. Everyone knows someone who moved to another job for a better offer.

6:20 p.m.  
Blogger kubzie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:28 p.m.  
Blogger Brian Lemon said...

When Belinda crossed the floor I was estatic.
We got rid of a kid who was born on third base and bragged about hitting a triple. A person who, if she was not daughter of a billionaire, wouldn't have won an executive position on a riding association.
I teased my Liberal friends that they were so desperate that they would take someone like her and put her in the cabinet.
Emerson is a quantum leap in individuals. There is no correlation. Canada is better with him in the cabinet. The reason he was a Liberal was because Martin begged him to run and promised him a cabinet job.
I wonder why any Liberal caucus member would choose to remain with this party that lied abotu Dingwall, and then withheld the results of his settlement arbitration until after the election.
Stephen Harper did not lie - he never once said that it was wrong for a person to cross the floor. I think he felt his caucus was added by subtraction when Belinda left.

7:02 p.m.  
Blogger LaQuebecoise said...

"The reason he was a Liberal was because Martin begged him to run and promised him a cabinet job.
". As I said earlier, David Emerson has neither ethics nor integrity.

I think his total disregard for the will of the people who just elected him is a perfect illustration of why so many Canadians are becoming apathetic about voting. What difference does it make? It doesn't matter what party or candidate you vote for: once they're in office, they follow their own agenda and personal ambitions and the h*ll with the voters!

Some democracy! Maybe one day, in some distant future, we'll have transparency and accountability in governement, but obviously, it won't be under this conservative government.

Canada loses once again.

7:28 p.m.  
Blogger Proud K-W Conservative said...

DONE DEAL...forget about it...maybe Mr. Emerson can close the softwood file...he couldn't do it as a Liberal representing Canada, maybe he can as a Conservative with better Canadian Federal Government support!!! If not he will look like a blot on Mr. Harper's ledger...Mr. Fortier is an inspired pick...I see a battle over an elected Senate coing up...a well played gambit Mr. Harper...Kudos!!! Let's see how the MSM plays it...should be fun...

12:06 a.m.  
Blogger Proud K-W Conservative said...

WAKE UP...the sky has not fallen!!! The honeymoon is far from us why these choices were necessary Mr. Harper...don't worry about the 'faint of heart'...Mr. McGuinty laid some whoppers on us that cost a pile of money and some of these same people may go running back to him...Do it right Mr. Harper and the future is bright for all Canadians...

12:13 a.m.  
Blogger fsp4u1312 said...

Did I just hear from John Moore (CFRB) playing a sound byte from Michel Fortier that he didn;t bother to run an election because he was busy with 5 young kids and all that jazz??

This really baffles me!

If you don't bother to run an election, forget being an MP!

This is Canada - not some banana republic!!

4:18 p.m.  
Blogger kubzie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:31 p.m.  
Blogger Will said...

David Emerson has disenfranchised the people of Vancouver Kingsway, misled his electorate, and should be recalled. His contituency address is
2148 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC
V5N 2T5
Go there on Wednesday February 8th at 4pm to join others in demanding his resignation, or just leave him a message: 604) 775-6263"

9:03 p.m.  
Blogger kubzie said...

I can't believe that Harper and Emerson were in cahoots just days after the
election that saw Emerson elected as a Liberal. What does this say about
Harper, a man who claimed his previous defecter Stronach should be held
accountable to her constituents and forced to re-run before switching? Oh,
how quickly the times change, eh, Mr. Harper? It's only your first day on
the job and already you're demonstrating that transparency and
accountability aren't your top priorities anymore. Oh how the morally-mighty
crumble. my beloved media...and Conservatives....where is the colourful discriptive words you used in the last such incident? Oh the doublestandard....SHAME ALL OVER

9:48 p.m.  
Blogger dragev said...

"Harper, a man who claimed his previous defecter Stronach should be held accountable to her constituents and forced to re-run before switching"

Emotional, groundless reactions like the above example don't help anyone in this debate. Check out CBC's "Your Turn" with Stephen Harper to find out what he actually said.

11:33 a.m.  

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