Much more to say later (need to work) on today's shocking news former Liberal David Emerson has gone turncoat and joined Stephan Harper's cabinet, but here's what I was able to easily find in about five minutes on how Conservatives feel about such activities. There's a lot more. Will they be as indignant about Emerson's warm, comfy fur?Monte Solberg's blog, May 17, 2005 (on Belinda's crossing)
…Shakespeare so wants to be alive so that he can write about this. Its the story of a woman who cares so much about Canada that she is willing to sacrifice all kinds of personal relationships and her principles just so she can get to Cabinet…
...They care about her insights on skills training. Sure it will help to have her vote on the budget, but really it's her ideas they want. I bet those senior bureaucrats are salivating at the idea of doing a little "blue skying" with B. on the foreign credentials thing….
...Good luck girl with those Liberals. If you can't trust them, who can you trust?
CBC Video: Harper on Belinda's defection
CBC News story, Harper blames MP's defection on 'ambition', May 17, 2005
"There's no grand principle involved in this decision, just ambition," Harper said.…
...But he said it is Stronach who will now have problems – when she faces the voters in her riding of Newmarket-Aurora.
"This will ultimately negatively affect Belinda Stronach's chances of being re-elected," he said.
New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord: This is just another action, another moment, that breeds cynicism of electors."
Ontario Conservative Leader John Tory: "I can confirm for you that I will no longer be campaigning for Miss Stronach."
Ontario Conservative Bob Runciman: "She sort of defined herself as something of a dipstick, an attractive one, but still a dipstick, with what she's done here today. She is, at the end of the day, going to paint herself as something of a joke."
Small Dead Animals, May 17, 2005, Stronach Splits
Belinda Stronach has crossed the floor to the Liberals, with a new cabinet post her bonus.
Well, we always knew she was a Liberal - they were just hagging over the price.
I wonder if she realizes how many new Western separatists she just created today with her comments about Conservatives not understanding the "complexity" of the country? That the party must "grow in Quebec" before it's a national party? I wonder if she understands that her defection speech will be interpreted as another slap by a self-serving and politically ambitious Ontario power broker at western aspirations to finally have an equal voice in Canada?
Probably not. The woman is that stupid.
CanWest News, December 17, 2005, Peter McKay Forges on
..."You know, crossing the floor, leaving the party at a critical juncture, I could never do that. I could never live with myself," he (McKay) says. "It's just not in my nature to bail."
..."I think I'll go home and walk my dog," he said at the time. "At least dogs are loyal."
House of Commons debates, on Bill C-251, a private members bill dealing with floor crossing, November 21, 2005
Mr. Ken Epp (Edmonton—Sherwood Park, CPC): …When a member who is elected as a Liberal decides that the Liberal ways just do not cut it and decides to, say, join the Conservative Party, this bill would prevent that member from doing that…
...I think one of the things that got me elected in 1993 was the stand of our party and me personally, that a member of Parliament has as a first obligation to represent the constituents who elected him or her.…
...It is important for us to remember, whether we are Conservatives, Liberals or NDP, that our strength and our legitimization comes from the support of our constituents, which is why I propose that the bill would be improved if there were a clause in it that said that a member who leaves a party may sit as an independent and perhaps not trigger a byelection as long as he or she remains independent and does not align with another party, which would be opposite I believe the element of saying to the people that this person was elected under this banner and if he or she changes the banner then the constituents have the final say on it...
(Later, when a Liberal MP is trying to speak to the bill he gets interrupted by hecklers)
Mr. Charlie Angus: What does it cost to buy people to get them to cross the floor?
Mr. David Christopherson: What did Belinda cost?
Mr. Charlie Angus: And was given a big payoff.
Mr. Pat Martin: She took your spot in cabinet.
Mr. David Christopherson: That was going to be your spot.
Mr. Dave Batters: She only crossed to become a cabinet minister.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today in support of a bill that I believe would restore some accountability around this place.…
...When members of the House crosses the floor, I believe they break a contract, not with their political party but with their constituents. When a member of Parliament is elected to this place, he or she is elected with a party label, having made a commitment to serve with party's label attached to his or her name. Members of the public make their voting decision based on that commitment. Therefore, a contract is formed between the constituent and the member of Parliament.
As was the case for the member for Newmarket—Aurora, when a member crosses the floor, in particular to receive an inducement and be placed into cabnibet and be given a promotion and a raise, that is an example of a broken contract with the constituents with whom that person was elected to represent. For example, in this case, the constituency elected a Conservative and it got a Liberal. That contract was broken with the constituents in Newmarket—Aurora. I want to take this logic further.
I have a private member's bill of my own before the House which would further tighten the bond between the constituents and the member of Parliament. It would allow constituents to fire a member of Parliament if that member of Parliament broke his or her word, lied, cheated or stole. It would be conducted through a petition system and would require that 50% of eligible voters sign the petition, in exchange for which the member of Parliament would have to resign his or her seat and the riding would reopen for a byelection. It would be a very difficult process. We have 87,000 eligible voters in my constituency. That would mean one would need roughly 44,000 signatures on that petition, meaning the individual would have to have engaged in a massive violation of trust. But still, that resource should be there. Why? Because everyone else in the country has to be accountable for the job they do for their employer.
All my constituents go to work in the morning and if they lie, cheat or steal, they are fired. For elected officials, it is four years. In what other field could an employee lie, cheat or steal and then be fired only four or five years later? Why should we in the House of Commons, the House of the common people, live above the basic norms and rules that other employees live up to in their work? We should not. We should live by the same guidelines as everyone else.Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers