Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Garth to party on with the Liberals?

I'm at Pearson Airport in the swanky new Pier F of Terminal One, on my way to sunny Florida via less than sunny Chicago for a work trip, and couldn't leave the country without commenting on this surprising, and no doubt valid rumour: Garth Turner joining the Liberal caucus.

Surprising, to say the least. I figured he may go Green or, given his independant nature, continue sitting as an independant and announce under what banner he'll seek re-election, a la Keith Martin. If he is joining our caucus though, I'd wager his what's best for the G-Man nature won out over his independant nature.

I've made clear my feelings on floorcrossing in the past, so while I'd rather he follow the Keith Martin route I'm glad to have another tick in the Liberal column and it's undoutebly a PR boost for Stephane Dion after a rough ride the past little bit. And it's not like he's crossing for a cushy shadow cabinet job...they don't come with raises and limos. I'll look forward to the press conference with Garth and Stephane sure to come this afternoon, or rather I look forward to reading all about it from sunny Florida.

After the inititial PR boost though I'm unsure how this will play out for us longer term. Garth is a maverick, and being somewhat of a maverick myself I like that. I have to say I like it better though when he's mavericking it up over in Harperland. How long before he turns his Garthness on us?

Still, I'm willing to let bygones be bygones and see how this goes.

Welcome aboard Garth. Party on!

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Anonymous said...

I have notice in Question Period, when Turner asks a question, especially of Flaherty, the neo-cons are extremely nice to him with their responses and I have to wonder why.

Jason Hickman said...

Couple of thoughts ...

1. So are the Libs in favour of income-splitting now?

2. More seriously, I'm trying to wrap my head around how long Chretien would've let someone like Garth (like Garth of the past "raisin' hell" few months, anyway) hang around caucus? I'm guessing about 2 minutes, tops. Dion's life could be getting more interesting ...

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see Garth's position on childcare.He's been totally against the Liberal plan since day one.

Anonymous said...

Garth Turners like an std. By the time you realize you have it its too late.

kenlister1 said...

Garth Turner offered a byelection in Halton! Surely Harper will take up the offer Turner just made live at his press conference on CTV newsnet. Garth Turner will run in a byelection provided Harper also calls one for the other floor crossers at the same time: Mississauga Streetsville, Vancouver Kingsway, and one for Fortier who says he is waiting for a Montreal seat to run in. What an exciting set of byelections this will be...provided that Harper shows some courage and calls the byelections which seems like an ethical decision on behalf of Canadian voters. I am glad Turner had the guts to offer to run in the byelection, and surely Harper will take him up on his offer...right????

Jason Hickman said...

KTR, you've gotta be kidding.

Unlike Khan, Fortier or Emmerson (or Stronach or Brison, for that matter), Garth made a hell of a lot of noise about how awful it was to join somebody else's team without getting elected to that team first.

I've said it before, but if Garth wants to live down to the standards set by others, that's his choice. But don't pretend he's living up to the standards he was happy to set himself.

"I'll live by my convictions if - and only if - others do it too" isn't exactly a profile in courage.

Enjoy having him around your side of the ice, Jeff.

Ti-Guy said...

"I'll live by my convictions if - and only if - others do it too" isn't exactly a profile in courage.

Well, he was a Conservative, after all.

Jeff said...


So are the Libs in favour of income-splitting now?

LOL. I have no idea...what income splitting really is. I have so little income I generally don't need to worry about splitting it, just stretching it.

Raises an interesting question though, given that Wajid Khan voted against the Afghanistan extension, iirc...

Anyway, point I should have made in the post. Garth didn't actually cross the floor, he was kicked out of the Con caucus.

Still, that distinction made, I'd still rather he sit as an independent until the next vote and seek the Liberal nomination in Halton. He could still vote with us under that scenario, and it fulfills all the ethical requirements. The only reason I can see for not going that route is wanting to get the assured nomination as a sitting Liberal MP and avoid a nomination contest.

Jason Hickman said...

Touche & excellent point re: Khan (assuming he did in fact vote against the govt in Afghan; if not, I'm sure he voted against the govt other times before crossing).

The distinction, I suppose, is that Garth made a big holy deal about wanting to be independent so he could push his own causes - income-splitting was one, but he also loved the GST cut, and thought that the Tories' cancellation of the Dryden daycare plan was a-ok.

Now all of a sudden, he's hanging with a bunch of people who really don't seem to agree with him on much of anything, save maybe for the environment.

I think your idea would have been the smarter one for all concerned. But it may not have had as much "oomph" at the press conference.

kenlister1 said...

jason hickman,
you seem to be suggesting turner is a hypocrite on the issue of floor crossing. i will agree with you if you agree that preston and guergis et al on c-251 are hypocrites.
See, the gist of my problem is the Liberals have never said they were against floor crossing or more ethical than the tories, etc.
so when the Tories did say that, and when example after example shows they are just like us, it is pleasantly reassuring.

Jason Hickman said...


Not quite.

I was pointing to Garth as a specific example - someone who took a strong stance against changing horses mid-stream, and who attempted to shame those who didn't live up to his standard.

Now he's saying, in effect, I'll live up to what I preached if, and only if, others do, too. Not quite good enough.

I'm also wondering how Garth, who protrayed himself as Mr. Policy on all sorts of issues, will fit in with a bunch who are 180 degress opposite on some of his personal crusades. We'll see.

Also, it's worth noting that Harper pointedly refused to support the principle of no floor-crossing when asked the question during his "town hall" with Mansbridge during the last campaign.

As for the Libs ... they seem to be a bit over the map, much like Conservatives. Some of the more principled types either approve it all of the time (or at least accept it as a reality of our system, as I personally do), and some think it should never happen. But some of the less principled types on both sides only seem to complain when their own ox is getting gored.