So David Emerson, the Liberal defector. Anagrams are funny, but now I'm ready to be serious.
For one, it's kinda ironic how the Grits criticized the Tories: "Hey, you can't do that! You told us it wasn't fair when we did it!"
Still, bad behaviour isn't justified by group acceptance of it.
Find the absolute here: elected politicians should remain with the party they were elected for. The only exception is if a massive policy difference emerges, and all attempts at finding common ground fail.
This is presuming, of course, that parties have policies. The Liberals don't. The Tories barely do. The NDP do, but they're so destructive and leaflaky (I like to make up words when I can't think of any appropriate real ones; this one's a mix of Leaf - 'cause I hate the TML - and flaky) that they don't count. I supported, for example, Bev Desjarlais sitting and then running as an Independent after she broke ranks with the NDP on their support for "same-sex marriage." I also would have supported her if she had joined the Tories at that point.
So for a Liberal to leave his party to accept a cabinet post for reason of urban representation, I'm just not getting it.
Andrew Coyne put my thoughts in words:
This is the most insidious part of this whole affair: the notion that every part of the country must be represented, in decimal-point proportion to its population, in the cabinet. That is supposed to be the job of Parliament.Harper has signaled that his cabinet was fashioned in the image of the concepts of multi-culturalism or affirmative action; for Conservatives to support the concept of group rights over individual rights is as close to blasphemy as one can get in politics. I like Vic Toews immensely; he's earned my respect in a lot of the things he's stood for over the years. So to think he was selected for cabinet to meet a Manitoba quota is insulting. A Prime Minister should select his chief people based primarily on their abilities and skills.
To expend so much time, energy, and political goodwill on building this cabinet was a waste. Now Canadians are thinking, "Those politicians, despite what we had hoped for, are still all the same." We've blown our chance to show that we were going to do things differently, and have only made things harder down the road.
Some have commented that by being so devious early on, by the time the next election rolls around, Canadians will have forgotten about it. Sadly, this is probably true. And that was the tactic that irked me the most about the Chrétien and Martin Liberals.
I had hoped for a clean start out of the gate for my Tory horse, but it has stumbled, and now it has to chase the losers ahead of it.