My question of the day. What is the difference between political campaign platforms and an outdoor toilet? The quick answer is, "The outdoor toilet smells better." If you don't believe that, just ask the majority of the electorate of the Vancouver Kingsway riding in British Columbia.
You will recall that Stephen Harper and his team told us they were going to bring back credibility, and instill a strong sense of integrity with respect to the workings of government. In order to accomplish this feat it would be necessary to lead by example. In other words, be one step above the sleazy aura left on the horizon by a former regime.
The good people of Vancouver Kingsway clearly spoke on election day. Their candidate of choice would represent the Liberal party. Afterall, since 1958 the riding has been represented by anything but the Conservative party. Other than short stints by the NDP, this riding has always had a Liberal as a sitting member in the House Of Commons.
David Emerson presents a strong and valid resume' of his successes within the private sector, and as well, during his tenure during non elected positions within the framework of the government of the province of British Columbia under the present Campbell Liberal government.
True, Paul Martin recognized Mr. Emerson's potential and capabilities and encouraged him to run as a Liberal, which he did, and got elected in 2004, and was there to heed the call again for the Liberals in the 2006 election, and emerged the victor. This riding was considered a safe riding for the Liberals based on it's past status. Prior to the last election, Mr. Emerson did his share of mud slinging in the direction of Mr. Harper. His plan was to become the public enemy of the Conservatives and Mr. Harper. Two weeks subsequent to the federal election, Mr. Harper added Mr. Emerson's name of those to be sworn in, not only as a member of parliament, but as a member of the inner cabinet as Trade Minister. Canadians have been told that the Mr. Harper and the Conservatives wooed Mr. Emerson into the party, and he made the decision to walk across the floor and thumb his nose at those who had elected him as a Liberal.
Democracy is about the decisions of the majority, not satisfying the personal whims and desires of an individual. Mr. Harper and Mr. Emerson's decision does not reflect that. In my view it is reflective of nothing short of a modern day Benedict Arnold.
Mr Emerson is now upset that his kids are taking heat at school regarding his decision. I can't believe that he as a parent, would not have thought of that prior to making his move. Afterall, is it not incumbent upon those of us who are parents to set good examples for our children?
The Liberal riding association in Vancouver Kingsway are demanding Mr. Emerson repay the campaign money that he used to get elected as a Liberal. I am of the opinion they are making a fair request. I am also of the opinion that Mr. Harper should ask Mr. Emerson to step down, resign his office as member of parliament, and force a by-election in the riding. I will suggest to you that Mr. Harper will not ask Mr. Emerson to do this. He won't do this as he knows very well that his newest trade minister would very quickly become trading material himself. That unfortunately, is the consequence when a party substitutes personal agenda for democracy.
The Conservative caucus is divided on these events. A few short monts ago, more than forty Conservative members in the House voted in favor of legislation prohibiting floor walking by members. The people of Canada deserve better. This is rude. This is ugly, and it serves to thwart the very fundamentals of our constitution.