Sunday, February 12, 2006


CD in Play: Pelican, The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw.

Gambling, Sports and the Great One

As you may already know, I don't give a damn about a professional sports. The NHL strike caused me no discomfort at all. Odd though, I really hoping Wayne Gretzky was not involved. I know, I know... how could his wife bet $500,000 without him knowing about it or approving it? I don't know, but just something really bugs me about it. Gretzky always seemed like a decent guy, above this kind of crap.
It doesn't really matter to me, but I do find it odd that it actually bugs me like this. As for the Great One going to Turin, no sweat off my brow or the nations. I ran into the football fan from my other "Randomness" post at the same coffee shop again. He was no ranting on about the whole sting operation coming to light as a way of keeping Gretzky from going to Turin and hampering Team Canada. Hmmm... (roll eyes, ready Scottish brouge, sip coffee)

David Emerson and Harper's Convenient Lapse of Ethics

Remember Harper's victory speech? Remember Harper's rhetoric over the past few years leading up to his long sought after victory? Remember the Who's classic song "Won't Get Fooled Again"? If you don't they had the classic line that goes like this: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. I have been saying it all the while, that Harper would prove to be just like everyone else who takes the reigns - nothing ever changes.
If you have been living in a cave for the past while, David Emerson had been in Paul Martin's cabinet as the Minister of Industry. He was scathing in his criticisms of Stephen Harper, but Harper offers him a cabinet position and - oh, well, Harper isn't the same man he was years ago. Considering just how vehement Emerson was in his campaign, one has to wonder about this abrupt about-face.
Harper's cabinet choices have been criticised by people right across the country, including the Anglo and Francophone media in Quebec who are disappointed by Harper's pandering. Five cabinet positions went to Quebec, a disproportionate amount with one of those appaointments being filled by an unelected official. For a man set on changing the way Ottawa does business, he certainly seems set to go about with business as usual.
Consider this, 80% of Emerson's constituents voted again the Conservative party in favour of the Liberals by a narrow margin over the NDP. Those numbers express the preferences of the riding. Most people went into this election knowing that Harper had more than a good chance of taking a minority - Paul Martin's inept and often comic campaigning was almost a stamp of guarantee. The writing was on the wall, the i's just needed to be dotted, the t's crossed and the sentence punctuated. So really, if Emerson's constituency had wanted to have a voice in government - a shot at a cabinet post - wouldn't they have sent Emerson packing on election day in favour of the pre-existing Conservative candidate?
A Canadian Press story on Yahoo quotes Emerson from an interview on Friday as saying, ""No, I'm not going to quit... we've got at least three, perhaps more, members of Parliament who have crossed the floor or opted to sit as an independent," he said. "Frankly, my circumstances are not any different than those. As, and when, Parliament changes the rules to apply to all members of Parliament, I will abide by those rules." But, Mr. Emerson, you're circumstances are eminently different than those independent MPs you mentioned. You see, they are independent, they have less power (although it is granted that independents have more power to broker with in a minority situation) and less voice than you would have had had you remained a Liberal. They are independent, and the way I see it is that you crossed the floor for a good job and a better pay cheque. You crossed the for you, not for the good of your constituents.
But let this be a lesson to people about the dangers of strategic voting. I have read a number of stories where people from Emerson's riding had considered voting NDP, but decided to vote Liberal in order to keep the Conservatives out of office.
This also has to stick in the craw of anyone who had come into this new Conservative Party from the Reform/Alliance Party. Anyone who went Reform because they were sick of the corruption within the Conservative party has to be wondering what it was all for. Harper's cabinet appointments flies in the face of his personal promises for ethical reform and betrays some of the very principles that gave birth to the Reform Party in the first place.
The Reform was born out of frustration felt by people, mainly Westerners, who were tired of the cronyism in pork barrel policies of Brian Mulroney's Conservatives. A big part of the Reform's campaign in 1993 was to "Clean the Plaque out of Ottawa" - they handed out dental floss with that very slogan on it. A friend of mine commented to me that he would be very interested to see if this causes another split. If this new Conservative government fails to be any different than the party it sought to replace - which seem sto be the case - will old time Reformers split off and try again? Or have they become complacent> Have the become forgetful of what it was they set out to try and do in the first place? Will they stand for their principles or settle for any old conservative-ish port in a storm?

In Adendum - For anyone considering Harper as being justified vis-a-vis a tit-for-tat for brison, Stronach or Grewal, consider well what you are suggesting. That sort of pettiness, is that really something we want to see in a national leader? Should we not expect better behaviour from or leaders? If not, then maybe you need to consider what your real objections to past PMs such as Briam Mulroney or Jean Chretien really were. Both men were very similar to my mind- similar policies, similar avarice, similar penchants for payback. Both men could be exceedingly spiteful. (Mulroney had Clyde Wells, Chretien had Martin) If Harper, as some people have stated, is just getting payback then how different could anyone expect him to be from the others who have preceeded him?


Blogger Geosomin said...

What really galls me about all this is that people I know are saying - "Well they're politicians, they do that". and letting it go.
There's people in other countries bruning embassies over cartoons and we can't even get political pressure to get the PM to defend his action and his "switcher" MP. It's fine to call a woman a whore when she does it to them, but for the new government it's just "for the best of the riding" (what crap). Don't even get me started on how his campaign manager is an unelected MP. How the hell can you have an unelected MP?
Sigh. Think I'll form my own country and eat strudel all day.

14 February, 2006 09:45  
Blogger Magnus said...

Oh there is pressure - three days of protests outside of Emerson's office. People in his riding are hoppin' mad, but Canadians don't have the ability to recall their MP's for gross violations such as this. Emerson has maintained he won't step down. One can only hope that Harper will have the guts to impliment the Reform Party's long sought after Recall Legislation.
Emerson is elected btw - it was Fortier in Quebec who is the unelected one. He will be appointed to the Senate so he can take up his position as Minister for POublic Works - a position the handles a lot of spending. I have heard it said that Fortier is a Mulroney crony, but I have seen nothing in the reports to back this up. Still, it is a very Mulroney sort of move.

14 February, 2006 13:04  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home