Saturday, February 11, 2006

New Numbers

For anyone longing for the days of daily poll numbers, CTV released a new poll on their newscast tonight. (Haven't found the online link for it yet)

The highlights:

(Among Liberal voters) Who did you vote for?
23% Emerson
62% Liberals
10% both

(Among Liberal voters) Would you vote for Emerson if he'd run as a Tory?
11% yes
76% no

Should there be a bi-election?
61% yes
23% no


So, to all the usual suspects in the comments section - start spinning...GO!

62 Comments:

  • Please juxtapose the results from this poll to the ones from K Martin, S Brison, B Stronach.

    If you havent got those results kindly fuck off.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 AM  

  • Not that I'm defending that trio (none of whom I've ever really defended or condoned their floor crossing), but we've seen all of their ridings re-elect them.

    I'd be absolutely SHOCKED to see Vancouver Kingsway re-elect Emerson.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:09 AM  

  • Ahh, mr disgruntled anonymous, none of those three switched parties right after advertising themselves as part of one party. One of them crossed to sit as an independent and then won his riding after winning the nomination in his new party. One of them crossed and sat in the backbenches, with just a PS job later before joining cabinet. One of those three did accept a cabinet post upon defecting, however there were some, prehaps flimsy, but still, some principles attached. You can say power did influence Belinda, and her vote was coveted. Does not D. Emerson come with a vote, one which may be the difference in a key HoC vote? Did not DEmerson recuse himself from working on the Softwood lumber file while as a Liberal minister, then proceed to be trumpeted as the point man for the Tories upon his sudden conversion? Has he not stated that, as has the PM, that he crossed to be a member of cabinet, possibly accepting a reward for crossing the floor? Who has given the biggest slap to their constituents - someone who, after months of working within the party to address policy concerns and who did not want to cause an election by joining forces with the separatists, then made her move? What was the defining moment between David Emerson's "I'm going to be Stephen Harper's worst nightmare" on election night, to his actually succeeding just two weeks later?
    And why are Tory anonymous types such poor losers?

    By Anonymous moquitlam, at 2:21 AM  

  • Check the sample size. For many of these questions they were reporting only 62 people responded. This was more like a focus group. I would also like to see the wording and order of questions. I don't trust Mustel. I now this was not popular but this poll was much like the one reported in Quebec a week ago.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:43 AM  

  • Just in response to your first commentator, Keith Martin did sit as an independent and seek re-election before sitting as a Liberal.

    By Anonymous Braeden Caley, at 3:48 AM  

  • The Conservatives would never win Vancouver-Kingsway. Emerson might be eyeing Vancouver-Quadra for next time, but Liberal Stephen Owen is pretty untouchable.

    By Anonymous Delia, at 4:21 AM  

  • Did we REALLY need a poll to tell us this? Oh boy, those numbers sure are shocking!!! (*yawn*)

    By Anonymous Meany, at 4:24 AM  

  • as arousing as a bi-election sounds, i think a by-election would best get to the root of the matter

    By Blogger angela, at 5:14 AM  

  • Calgary,

    First, a poll done days after Belinda's defection would likely show the same thing.

    The real story here is easily identifiable double standard.

    There are real reasons (based on actually getting a job done) for Emerson staying on as a cabinet min. under the Harper government.

    With Belinda, the only reason was her vote. To keep a flailing gov't in power for a few more months.

    And the press hailed it as a strategic Martin victory.

    But a defection FROM the Libs is being villified as pure evil, even when bona fides reasons exist.

    And spare me with the "Harper brought this on himself" arguement. He specifically vowed not to do away with it.

    Further, why would this type of activity be included in the conduct he was to "clean up" if no-one and thier dog thought it was verboten before this week.

    When it benefitted Martin, the press made a point of saying how this, while painful to the losing party, is completely kosher.

    Now the crosser is an absolute villian (as opposed to Belinda who's being touted as the next potential Liberal leader) and the practice of floor crossing is suddenly something that is in need of abolishing as soon as possible.

    Guess I'd be a "usual suspect".

    I also guess being right won't alter the label, huh.

    Oh, and Harper's beef was the Libs putting thier party ahead of governing (recall that stealing taxpers money to put in Liberal coffers thing).

    Isn't keeping a Lib cabmin, who is the best qualified/in the know/positioned to continue with the work, rather than putting in a less qualified, but party member,

    putting good government ahead of the party?

    By Anonymous biff, at 6:42 AM  

  • Wow, good work team. My favourite excuse was the non-excuse. "Kindly fuck off" is certainly a tempting argument, but I myself prefer the Rubber-and-Glue reasoning.

    Look, I can't believe you can continue to defend Emerson's actions when even he himself has stopped trying. The guy hasn't done a lick of media in days and is nowhere to be seen. The end is clearly near, so you may as well start prepping for a whole new line you'll have to tow.

    By Blogger Denise B, at 10:05 AM  

  • Hey CalgaryGrit,

    Why not do a poll of MP's and ask about floor crossings. I would bet $100(I'm sure Janet could place the bet) that the majority of MP's would still support floor crossings. Being an MP is a career job. If you can cross and get a better offer with more profile, who wouldn't want to cross. Emerson wants to get the best for his riding and his province. I'm sure Belinda crossed because she needed a minsterial position to boost her profile and of course use this as a stepping stone to running for leadership. We may think she isn't too bright but in the end it has worked for her. She is cunning.

    By Blogger Fighting for Democracy, at 10:07 AM  

  • National Post story:

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a8cbd028-f9af-4fd6-ad0b-4316fe3950b1


    Tempest in a tea pot.

    By Anonymous rhuppertz, at 10:44 AM  

  • Biff, you poor, misguided thing. In your flurry to justify the unjustifiable, you have taken leave of rationality and your senses.

    Buh-linda crossed to a party that received about 689 fewer votes than she did.

    Emerson crossed to a party that received 11365 fewer votes, 24.56% less support.

    Hmmm, I wonder which would more be considered a crime against democracy.

    'Nuf said.

    By Anonymous Geoff H, at 10:51 AM  

  • Geoff,

    uhhhhh, not sure how that's relevant.

    Belinda crossing a "Martin coup"

    Emerson crossing an affront democracy.

    All else being equal (and they're not- Emerson was picked because of his value to actually governing, Belinda was picked in spite of it, for her vote, to save their skin.)

    Before last week floor crossing was a fact of political life something to even be envied. Harper does it and its a whole other story.

    Funny how there wasn't a peep when Harper confirmed his position (not banning floor crossing) before the election.

    Care to actually address the arguments instead of condescending name calling?

    By Anonymous biff, at 11:03 AM  

  • Emerson - competent minister
    Stronach - competent daddy's little w***e

    Need we say more CG?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 AM  

  • How dare Harper appoint the most qualified individual regardless of party affiliation.

    He should be more like the libs, rewarding party people in return for little or no value.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 AM  

  • Listen
    I am moer shocked at Harper accepting Emerson than I at Emerson for switching sides. Harper has been trying to paint himself as Mr. Accountablility and Mr. Clean for all thses years than on his first day he gives Emerson and Fortier cabinet seats. If you knew Harper in 1988, he was totally opposite, now it seems he doesn't care. Plus we hear that Fortier's senate riding is not even in Montreal. As another commentator wrote yesterday that the Senator from Montreal's most Liberal reading should resign and challenge Mr. Fortier to an election, thus totally screwing up Harper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 AM  

  • What nonsense.

    Belinda quit because she was pushed out -- she couldn't get along with Harper, she had disagreements over policy.

    The Tories didn't need David Emerson in cabinet. He is just John Reynolds' trophy because he was feeling so hurt by the disasterous BC campaign, and he wanted to stick it to the Liberals who could carry David Emerson on their banner -- the suckers who thought that David actually liked them! David Emerson was using them -- the only thing he cares about is power.

    David Emerson has given no moral or political reason for the move other than the naked pursuit of power.

    This fact alone is what makes this so unprecedented in its audacity.

    David Emerson, until this week, was a great man. Now he is nothing better than a man who leaves his wife and kids the moment something better comes along.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:33 AM  

  • Oh man, all this belly-aching from the opposition is getting so tiresome. Scott Brison self-righteously penning a column in the Post. Belinda calling into CFRB token-liberal fart-catcher John Moore to distinguish her simian ass-first presentation from Emerson's.

    Both Brison and Stronach are shamelessly ambitious and each seriously miscalculated where those long-term ambitions could be best cultivated. Each abandoned what they believed to be the hard road for the easy road. In Stronach's case it was a double-miscalculation or perhaps just callous misrepresentation with repect to her laughable "concern" that the CPC was in bed the separatists when, ironically, it is the liberals who empowered the separatists. What's more, the extra rope she presented to the liberals as a lifeline argueably was simply employed as a hangman's noose instead.

    I'm not going to defend Emerson. I will simply say the shoe is now on the other foot. Floor crossings suck when one of yours does it. The winners will justify it. The losers will pout. Get used to it. Been there done that. Wipe your tears. Get it out of your system. Move on.

    By Anonymous Dr. Strangelove, at 11:54 AM  

  • No need for you all to be so nasty to each other.

    Emerson is a good man, and hr would have ben a great asset to Harper's government.

    These are the realities, however.

    1) This was set up very badly;
    2) Big"c"s and small "C"s are upset.
    3) Emerson would never win VanKingsway as a Conservative.
    4) He has said that he only wanted to put another 2 years into his job (making running again moot.
    5)It is foolish to restrict the rights of MPs. The voters will ALWAYS sort it out wisely (yes, even Brison and Belinda).
    6) Conservatives will also regret Harper's treatment of Garth Turner.
    7) Harper will get a lot done in the next few months to put this mostly behind him.
    8) Emerson will be gone, and the NDP will win the Fall By-election.

    By Blogger David M. McClory, at 12:30 PM  

  • Please juxtapose the results from this poll to the ones from K Martin, S Brison, B Stronach.

    Every minute you refuse to respond to this request, I will bite the head of a kitten.

    By Anonymous Angry Conservative Goon, at 12:41 PM  

  • There’s the Ipsos one on about Feb 6th or so, and one mentioned in the Sun chain today. The latter said respondents were disappointed with the crossing mess, but a majority still supported Harper & Co. Ipsos (Bricker) noted the support level was considerably higher than the Tory vote share (something like 54% to 39%, if I recall). Or maybe I'm getting them mixed up.

    By Anonymous Erik Sorenson, at 12:53 PM  

  • Please, oh please Calgary Grit, save us from the drone of the CBC's Olympic coverage. How about replacing Libel, Mansbridge and co. company with a younger more vibrant team that actually refrain from the editorializing and constant chatter?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:01 PM  

  • CG said "I'd be absolutely SHOCKED to see Vancouver Kingsway re-elect Emerson."

    I wouldn't. Not that I think he's going to run anyway - this seemed to me to be a swan song decision. Nevertheless, voters are sheep, and they tend to vote as sheep. Right now, the sheep are being told to baahhh. And so they are. Soon they'll go to sleep.

    You can bet Emerson will make himself just as visible, and therefore just as popular as a Conservative as he was as a Liberal.

    I hope you're right, though. I hope, he runs, I hope they rise up with outrage, and I hope they leave his electoral future a funeral pyre. It may be unfortunate that that lesson would be applied to a Tory when the Liberals have benefitted from voter indifference, but it's a lesson that needs to be sent. Anyone thinking of crossing the floor should be able to point to at least one instance where it destroyed their chances in the subsequent election.

    If only Belinda's voters had been so sensible.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 1:28 PM  

  • Shouldn't that be "bi-erection"? Emerson obviously swings both ways.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:37 PM  

  • Let's cut the crap that Harper chose Emerson or Fortier because they were the most qualified for the job. They were chosen the same way as Liberal Cabinet posts are assigned: for where they lived (or because they were running in tight ridings and want an advantage next time). Harper admits as much. If Harper wanted the best people he could find for Cabinet posts, half his Cabinet would be from Alberta. Period.

    Also, Erik, that poll was published on the 6th (i.e. it was done before the Cabinet was appointed). Let's wait for the next poll before we start drawing conclusions.

    By Anonymous Nicholas, at 2:42 PM  

  • Erik,
    It is too soon to jump to any conclusions. The Iposos poll was released Feb. 6 which means that the polling was done before a lot of the latest shenanigans have come to light (i.e., Turner, Fortier, Emerson etc.) I believe that a poll in the Sun newspapers had similar findings. Under the circumstances, I wouldn't really be surprised by those numbers considering that most people are apolitical and there is a lot of "pomp and circumstance" surrounding the formation of a new government and Cabinet. I think that you would agree though that as a Conservative supporter you must of wished that things would be better for your side at this stage of the game.

    By Blogger JD, at 2:50 PM  

  • jd; that was the timing of the first poll that I mentioned. Today's (sorry, not Sun) National Post article doesn't give the date(s) when the second poll I mentioned, was taken:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060211/wl_canada_nm/canada_politics_col;_ylt=AkrPkuXhSh30L1K.t5NwUtlp9L4F;_ylu=X3oDMTBjMHVqMTQ4BHNlYwN5bnN1YmNhdA--

    Regardless, I still think the majority of Canadians aren't tuned in so much as we are.

    By Anonymous erik Sorenson, at 2:59 PM  

  • Biff, stating that you are poor/misguided is not condescending name calling, it's a statement of fact.

    We live in a world of party politics. What Belinda did was inappropriate, but the fact that she only just lost to an out-of-riding Liberal and subsequently won by a greater margin clearly shows that her actions were reflective of the intent of Newmarket-Aurora voters.

    Emerson has crossed to a party that placed a distant third. It is the worst display of unprincipled behaviour in recent memory and COMPLETELY incongruent with the will of Vancouver-Kingsway voters.

    None of your 'arguments' come within a light-year of being able to justify this abhorrent behaviour and if you think they do, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of representative democracy.

    By Anonymous Geoff H, at 3:21 PM  

  • Crossing-the-floor” rules sorta like the Designated Hitter in basesball. Most people have a strong opinion and will never change. Nevertheless, they all enjoy the game. And, once someone becomes a manager, they make the most of the rules to win the game.
    Let’s face it, no one loses money, no one is physiclaly injured and the people get a chance to speak at most 4 years later. Most floor crossers get re-elected and legislation to prevent it can’t get traction.
    Time to move on.
    I'm not a fan of floor crossing. I'd rather see it balanced by recall legislation than outlawing it. MPs need to be able to make decisions and the onus should be on the electorate to reject the decisions.
    Automatic by-elections are too costly if not wanted

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:38 PM  

  • The dippers were right on the money when they planked automatic by-elections to settle floor crossings. How can defection be justifed in a democracy? I am wondering though why the other parties did not support that in their democratic reform planks. Anyone have comments on why and whether the Libs/CPC have strategic reasons for not supporting it? (other than the obvious recent acquisition for Harper)

    K-Dough's Canada

    By Blogger K-Dough, at 3:47 PM  

  • Geoff,

    I love it when people are both condescending and ignorant at the same time.

    Care to adress his point: the double standard. AT THE TIME BELINDA CROSSED, Martin was hailed as a brilliant tactician, and Harper was shamed, as compared to the outrage/calls for resignation/investigations/demands for law changes going on now?

    Particularily given Emerson's qualifications and Belinda's lack of.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:56 PM  

  • Erik,
    I totally agree with you that a majority of Canadians aren't tuned into things like we are. We as members of "the blogosphere" are a small minority (to say the least). I'm always skeptical of polls. I'm sure that you are aware of (as I am) the limits of polls. I do think though that Harper's moves have allowed the Liberals to focus on him somewhat as opposed to playing the "blame game" with each other. In that respect, it may just be possible that the Emerson fiasco (and other faux pas)have helped the Liberals to focus together and "heal" to a certain extent which in the long run may be more important than any one or two personnel events. No matter what side of the fence you are on, a healthy democracy needs a good opposition. We wouldn't want to have a government situation like a country such as Mexico where the PRI (until recently) basically won no matter what. I do think however that we can do a lot better than Harper. IMHO a vibrant country such as Canada deserves an inspirational leader.

    By Blogger JD, at 4:04 PM  

  • "1. I love it when people are both condescending and ignorant at the same time.

    2. Care to adress his point: the double standard. AT THE TIME BELINDA CROSSED, Martin was hailed as a brilliant tactician, and Harper was shamed, as compared to the outrage/calls for resignation/investigations/demands for law changes going on now?

    3. Particularily given Emerson's qualifications and Belinda's lack of."

    1. I'm sorry if what I feel is a factual comment, such as someone's fundamental misunderstanding of representative democracy, comes across to you as either ignorant or condescending. With respect to the former, I'm not quite sure how my comments can be described as lacking in knowledge.

    2. I dispute the suggestion there was any double standard applied to the two crossings but if there has been, it is justified as you'll see from my comments below. The press, and especially Angry Conservative Bloggers (TM), were vociferous in their comments about both Buh-linda and the morally vacuous Team Martin. If there is more condemnation about Emerson, it is with just cause for the following reasons;
    a) As I have made clear, Emerson's actions were completely inconsistent with the will of the voters in Vancouver-Kingsway whereas Belinda's were not inconsistent with N-A.
    b) Belinda was clearly a fish-out-of-water in the Conservative Party; witness her being booed at the convention when speaking on SSM, and being told by Harper that she would not be appearing in any Conservative election advertising. However, there was never any indication that Emerson was unhappy as a Liberal and more aligned with the Tories, but much evidence to the contrary (please see Emerson's election night comments for details, or his appearance in BC Liberal election ads).
    They both appeared opportunistic, but Emerson clearly jettisoned his principles to prevent going one day without car and driver, while Stronach probably never had any (and if she did, most weren't inconsistent with the Liberal platform).

    3. Not sure if you're trying to say the ends justify the means, because they don't. Surely installing Belinda in cabinet is more of an offence than David; however, as the electoral results prove, Emerson's crossing is considerably more of a slap in the face to V-K voters than Belinda's crossing was.

    What you people with vacillating moral standards don't understand is that yes, there SHOULD be a double standard here. People expect this of Team Martin, but not of Harper who campaigned on a platform of accountability and should therefore be held to a higher standard. Just because Harper didn't explicitly state he was against floor-crossing does not get him off the hook. Look up the definition of accountability, and try to reconcile that with enticing a person to sit in Vancouver-Kingsway for a party that did NOT receive 82% of the vote.

    By Anonymous Geoff H, at 4:36 PM  

  • Geoff H,

    I agree. The suggestion that Harper's actions re: Fortier and Emerson are consistent with the Conservative platform are so ludicrous that they should not even be dignified with a response.

    People wonder why a double standard is applied when someone completely goes back on their word during the campaign. But to quote John Reynolds, as I think CG pointed out, "Campaigns are campaigns..."

    Newsflash folks, the Martin clan didn't campaign on accountability and cleaning up Ottawa.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:49 PM  

  • I don't suppose that ACTUAL FACTS would make much difference but for those who think Harper is going back on his promise here is a verbatum compy of his interview with Mansbridge.

    "The National
    Your Turn with the party leaders
    Stephen Harper, Conservative Party
    Jan. 19, 2006
    Peter Mansbridge: Next question is coming from a city you’re very familiar with, from Calgary.

    Colleen Belisle: Hello, my name is Colleen Belisle and I have a question for Stephen Harper regarding the accountability issue. In the past 18 months, I have noticed a number of MPs crossing the floor after the election. This makes me wonder why I should, as a voter, go and vote when my MP can change parties after the election. Mr. Harper, are there any policies that you plan to enforce after the election regarding this issue? Thank you.

    Stephen Harper: My short answer is no. And I understand the voters’ frustration. You can imagine I feel that frustration as much as anyone. I was the victim of a number of the particular incidents that the voter is referring to, that Colleen’s referring to, but the difficulty, Peter – I know that many members of Parliament have put forward various proposals that would restrict the right of MPs to cross the floor, force elections, or whatever. I haven’t seen one yet that convinces me that it would create anything other than a situation where party leaders have even more power over the individual members of Parliament. And, as you know, I’ve said that, of course, I’ve said that for a long time that I think our members of Parliament need more authority, need to be able to represent their constituents’ views, and they may make very bad decisions in crossing from a good party to a bad party or, more particularly, a winning party to a losing party. But that all said, I haven’t seen one yet that I’m convinced creates a bigger problem than it’s actually trying to fix.

    Peter Mansbridge: Do you think voters are as uncomfortable as Ms. Belisle points out when these kinds of things happen? Because if they are, one assumes that they are looking for direction from their political leaders to prevent this from happening. As you pointed out, some parties, the NDP has said it would force an immediate election. Do you think something has to be done?

    Stephen Harper: Let me give a concrete example of an alternative situation. The Conservative Party of Canada, the new Conservative Party was created because people left actually no less than three separate old caucuses, two old parties, and joined with a new party, and I think there is widespread consensus among not just members of the old parties, but members of the public as well that this was a good thing to create a stronger opposition, to end the fragmentation of the conservative movement in the country.

    Now, you know, this kind of law could have forced us into a situation where we were having 75 byelections. So, you know, that’s a problem with any of these proposals. We understand, I understand why people want them, and, believe me, there’s a couple of cases that have happened where I’d love to have a law like this, but there’s also a lot of downsides when you think it through. As I say, in a practical matter, I could see how party leaders could really abuse that particular provision to make it even more difficult for members who may disagree legitimately with their party to operate within the party."

    At least if your going to put words in Harpers mouth put the RIGHT words there.

    Horny Toad
    Horny toad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:51 PM  

  • Geoff,

    So Harper should not only keep his numerous specific promises, he must also keep ones that have been created after the fact, and in which he explicitly said he would not make (a response that was met with absolute silence by the pundits at the time.)

    Promises premised on something that didn't exists until he took office (that floor crossing is unethical rather than part of parliamentary convention).

    To use a hockey analogy I heard on another thread, hip checking isn't illegal. Getting hit by one doesn't feel good, but it's part of the game.

    I'm glad you agree that the referees will call it a penalty if done by the CPC, but will recognize it as "part of the game" if done by the Libs.

    Moving the goalposts and applying double standards. That's our Liberal media.

    By Anonymous biff, at 5:52 PM  

  • John, David Peterson should be disbarred for the role he played in the Stronach crossing, Reynolds on MPs crossing the floor. "I always said if you change parties you should have a by-election and let the people decide. It would have been the honourable thing to do, and I hope tomorrow he enjoys sitting in the back rows." - John Reynolds. Quoted on Sunday Report, CBC-TV, January 27, 2002

    People seem to be focusing on just motives to separate Stronach for Emerson. This is a hard thing to do. What is important is that there is simply no evidence to suggest that Emerson would ever get in as a Conservative. At least, Stronach, and Brison can argue that there personal makeup had something to do with them being elected. After all, among other things they both won their seats after crossing. Kingsway area has not voted in a Conservative since 1958. Harper was not even born yet. The Conservatives finished a distant third with only 18% of the vote.

    Timing is also an issue. As Conservative Kingsway candidate Wong said, there were plans to step aside if Emerson crossed before the election. This raises the possibility that the Conservatives and Emerson decided that Emerson had to run as Liberal if he was to have any hope of running. At the very least, the mere possibility that he was coming over, especially in the likelihood of a Conservative victory, would have affected the behavior of both Emerson and the Conservatives in the later half of the campaign. If the two parties had any discussions during the election itself, this could potentially take down the new government.

    By Anonymous koby, at 6:21 PM  

  • It has become clear that since Harper has said he's not strictly against people crossing the floor, some of you can still justify that his actions of the past week are congruent with the Conservative platform.

    This position simply will not wash with most of the people on a blog called CalgaryGrit, or with reality for that matter.

    Biff et al, if you cannot accept that what Harper did this week was COMPLETELY inconsistent with what he campaigned on, then I would suggest heading over to one of the Angry Conservative Bloggers (TM) where they will be more receptive to your unjustified justifications (actually, most of them haven't sold their souls and are as mortified by what's happened as me and many others like Coyne, Garth Turner, etc).

    By Anonymous Geoff H, at 6:32 PM  

  • The Conservative spinners have got a long way to go before they get a strike.

    To the comment over the small sample size:
    Small sample size increases the margin of error, but the margins quoted in the poll are huge. Even with a prior belief that Emerson was as popular now as amongst the voting day electorate, those polls provide pretty compelling evidence that he isn't that popular now.

    Why bother trying to defend the guy. He doesn't need defending. I think he went into politics to be a minister, and doesn't care enough about the job to sit in opposition. He'll play minister as long as Harper can hold on and then leave politics.

    That really is all there is to it. And is why I can't get all that worked up about his move either way. I am happy that it is causing Harper problems, but I am more concerned about the Conservative platform than about Emerson.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 PM  

  • How’s this for a spin attempt:

    23% of Liberals voters said they voted for Emerson, and a further 10% for both Emerson and the (Martin?) Liberals. Half of that 10% plus 23% equals 28%. Emerson (or the Liberals) won 43.5% in the election, so 28% of that 43.5% is 12.2%. Adding 12.2% to the 34.4% that the Alliance / PCs got in 2000, which is the first election before Emerson showed up in 04, and you get 46.6%. Even if you take none of the 10% who said they voted for both Emerson and the Liberal party and just take the 23% of Liberal voters who said Emerson only, it adds up to 44.4%, almost certain victory.

    Also, I note that the NDP vote jumped from less than 16% in 2000 when Emerson wasn’t running to more than 37% in 2004, when Emerson was. This suggests that the hard core NDP base is relatively small, and that the NDP’s numbers against Emerson have been elevated by center-leftists who saw Emerson as a rightie, but Emerson was still able to win.

    I would also note that under a Vancouver-wide PR scenario, the Conservatives would be entitled to a seat.

    For all those demanding a by-election, I trust that you will be just as shrill when Canada gets its first Green MP, since that is most likely to happen by a sitting MP switch.

    I would also note that Emerson obviously would have voted with the Tories on a lot of issues anyway if there were no Liberal party discipline, so all those who believe that more representative democracy calls for party banner partisanship must also be calling for fewer free votes in the House if their argument is to be consistent.

    - Brian Dell

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 PM  

  • The Libs attacking Harper is like the mass murderer chastising the crown attorney who convicted him, for the grave injustice of the Crown's overdue library account.

    Actually that's not even a good analogy, at least there would have been a recognition that keeping books overdue is against the rules.

    Accepting a floor crosser - after a century of widspread practice, a well recognized political convention

    After the Libs used it with no qualms (nor any qualms from the media) just this past term, and repeatedly in the past

    It's suddenly a grave injustice. An obvious grave injustice at that.

    You guys are right, this is practically the same as widespread corruption designed to divert taxpayer money into Liberal coffers.

    And WE'VE sold our soul?

    By Anonymous biff, at 10:43 PM  

  • What Biff and other Conservative posters need to realize is that saying what Emerson did is acceptable doesn't make it so. His actions are an affront to democracy, and Harper's constitute hypocrisy of the highest order.

    Further, the notion that NDP support has gone down since Emerson appeared on the scene hurts your justification exercise, not helps. It shows when he doesn't run as a Liberal, the many thousands of Liberal votes will certainly not fall with the Conservatives. The ONLY thing this point evidences is that the NDP might be more likely to win than the Liberals. There is still about a ZERO percent chance the Conservatives would be successful in this riding.

    If you all insist on sticking your heads in the sand on this blog, how about you take a look at what some of your compatriots, like this one http://www.daifallah.com/blog.htm, or this one http://www.andrewcoyne.com, or this one http://www.garth.ca/weblog/, are saying.

    By Anonymous Geoff H, at 11:00 PM  

  • “…ONLY thing this point evidences is that the NDP might be more likely to win than the Liberals”

    Yes, and that furthers the argument that the Liberals would have no chance in this riding if Emerson ran as a Conservative. The NDP would easily run up the middle. I am not claiming that Conservative voters were wronged and have now been righted. What I am challenging is the claim that Liberal voters have had their democratic will sabotaged.

    It is only the NDP that can reasonably claim that Emerson’s not running as a Tory cost them their party the seat. I would, however, point out that if the NDP do wish to take up the gauntlet here, that ought to be the last time we ever hear any complaints from them about our current FPTP system, since only under this system would the Conservatives have been shut out in Vancouver proper in the first place.

    - Brian Dell

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:13 PM  

  • I really don't understand why a person supposedly as smart as Emerson agreed to wreck his reputation. I guess he's not as smart as we thought that he was. Furthermore, I don't believe for a minute that this decision was made in one day. Something here is very strange and I have no doubt that there is more to the story. I think that both the NDP and Liberal grassroot supporters will eventually make things so miserable for Emerson that he will pack it in to spend more time with his family. Actually, I think that it would be better for Harper if Emerson resigned since you know that the Liberals will not let this issue rest. Emerson could turn out to be like a piniata. I'm really looking forward to hearing what Martin has to say when he returns to the country. Apparently Benedict Emerson didn't even have the class to tell Martin of his move.

    By Blogger JD, at 11:36 PM  

  • For Pete's sake. We have a minority Parliament already. If all the whiners have their way, it will be illegal for a minority government ever to seek stability by seeking to invite MPs from an opposition party to join the Cabinet (otherwise known as a coalition government). This is common practice in many parliamentary democracies and I see no reason why we should outlaw it in Canada.

    Emerson did the right thing.

    Get over it already.

    By Anonymous Two Cents, at 11:37 PM  

  • "Also, I note that the NDP vote jumped from less than 16% in 2000 when Emerson wasn’t running to more than 37% in 2004, when Emerson was. This suggests that the hard core NDP base is relatively small, and that the NDP’s numbers against Emerson have been elevated by center-leftists who saw Emerson as a rightie, but Emerson was still able to win."

    This suggests you did not take into account Provincial political situation in BC in 2000. Provincial NDP government was immensenly unpopular and was crushed in the 2001 provincial election. The NDP was down accross the board in 2000.

    Another factor to consider is that for years the protest vote in BC parked itself with the Alliance/Reform party. That is no longer so. The protest voters are now slowly moving back to the NDP. The NDP was the traditional protest party of choice in BC, but everything changed with Meech and advent of Reform. The NDP took BC in 1988 with 19 seats and 38% of the popular vote. In 1993 they got a mere 15% of the vote and only 2 seats.

    Yet another factor to consider is that the Conservative fortunes in the lowermainland are getting worse and not better.

    By Anonymous koby, at 11:41 PM  

  • "It is only the NDP that can reasonably claim that Emerson’s not running as a Tory cost them their party the seat."

    What a ludicrous statement. Conventional political wisdom is that a candidate sways the vote from what a party might otherwise receive a MAXIMUM of 5-8%. To state that it's not reasonable for the Liberals to claim they could win the seat, were Emerson to run as a Tory, is a completely untenable proposition.

    Regardless, your whole point about who has the legitimate claim to the seat is completely immaterial with respect to the issue at hand, which is the morality (immorality!) of Emerson and the hypocrisy of Harper.

    By Anonymous geoff h, at 11:47 PM  

  • two cents said...

    "Emerson did the right thing."

    Oh, really? The right thing is to cross to a party that 82% of the people in your riding DID NOT VOTE FOR?

    It would be preposterous to claim that he would win in a by-election. But this is still the "right thing." Ipso facto, the "right thing" is to overrule the democratic will of the people.

    Yikes, I hope none of you Justifiers are ever in a position to make decisions for this country. It will be worse than Team Martin/Harpocrite rule.

    By Anonymous geoff h, at 11:53 PM  

  • "your whole point about who has the legitimate claim to the seat is completely immaterial"

    On the contrary, the entire complaint against Harper is that the ends do not justify the means. The "end", which is to have someone in cabinet who has connections that can be brought to bear on the Vancouver Olympics and softwood lumber files, plus speak to the impact of policies on urban Vancouver and the corporate sector generally, is generally accepted as laudable. Correct me if that is in fact what you are taking issue with.

    Harper's offence here is substance over form. Hence the superficial criticism. This is not to say that the ends always justify the means. Were Harper's actions clearly unconstitutional then he could not very well appeal to the better government argument. But that is not the case here.

    A minority of voters in Vancouver-Kingsway voted Liberal. Among those that did, some voted for Emerson and some voted for Martin. Those that voted for Emerson still have Emerson. Those that voted for Martin were shafted by Martin calling it quits while the votes were still being counted. So who are the injured parties that remain? Those that voted for some sort of Liberal philosophy that means something other than Emersonism and Martinism. Does anyone know what that is, such that it can be distinguished from conservatism and socialism? I have no idea what this big-L liberalism is besides staying in power, which arguably Emerson is still satisfying anway! Even if you could identify it, there would be no way of holding Emerson to this nebulous philosophy during free votes, so you would have to ban them too. Indeed, it was because it give party leaders too much power over their caucuses that Harper declined to come out against floor crossing during the campaign.

    Now compare the size of this residual aggrieved constituency with the number of Vancouverites interested in having one of their several MPs representing the Cons and the number of Canadians interested in having cabinet ministers with thick resumes.

    You nonetheless propose for these few aggrieved individuals the remedy of a by-election, a by-election in which the Liberals would almost certainly finish third (you should remind our currently elected independent MP in the House that no individual can pull more than 8% of the vote on his own steam)!

    As noted earlier, I trust you will scream bloody murder should a sitting MP ever join the Greens, since whatever national interest there is for having Green representation in the House, that is completely trumped by the fact that that representation would have to be inflicted on the poor citizens of some specific riding were the Greens did not win a plurality.

    - Brian Dell

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:56 AM  

  • It should be noted that Brison and Stronach didn't merely hold on to their seats after becoming Liberals, they both increased their support substantially.

    In Brison's case he never ran as a Conservative. He ran as a Progressive Conservative and many of his voters wanted no more part of the CPC than he did.

    In Stronach's case, she won narrowly as a Con in a riding that would have gone Liberal under any other candidate.

    Both were clearly in touch with what their constituents wanted.

    Emerson just as clearly is not. Or more accurately, he doesn't care.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 9:07 AM  

  • "On the contrary, the entire complaint against Harper is that the ends do not justify the means."

    No, that is not correct. My main complaint about Harper is that he's the biggest hypocrite in recent memory. This is infinitely worse than even Martin's reneging on the democratic deficit.

    "The 'end', which is to have someone in cabinet who has connections that can be brought to bear on the Vancouver Olympics and softwood lumber files, plus speak to the impact of policies on urban Vancouver and the corporate sector generally, is generally accepted as laudable. Correct me if that is in fact what you are taking issue with."

    The above mentioned 'ends' cannot possibly overcome the fact that 82% of people in V-K did not vote for the Conservative Party. End of story. Further, the 'ends' as claimed by both you and other Conservative spinmeisters, are completely contrived. I do not believe for a minute that Emerson is necessary for the Olympics or for softwood. Further, dictatorially installing a Conservative in an urban riding will in no way push the Tories toward a more urban friendly agenda than they might have otherwise. What, they need Emerson to tell them what it’s like riding the Skytrain or the subway? Give me a break. Now the corporate Canada nonsense, as Chantal Hebert suggests, is the real crux of this matter.

    The vast majority of readers on a blog named CalgaryGRIT do not accept any of the arguments you put forward. Do you think you are going to convince me that this is either morally or democratically acceptable? Not in this lifetime. As a Liberal, I know unprincipled behaviour when I see it! And Harper's hypocritical first week, and Emerson's disgusting actions, have epitomized the unprincipled.

    By Anonymous geoff h, at 10:29 AM  

  • " As a Liberal, I know unprincipled behaviour when I see it! "

    And well you should, given your years of exposure in the mirror. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:26 AM  

  • geoff h said "This is infinitely worse than even Martin's reneging on the democratic deficit."

    This is a STAGE SIX Hyperbole Alert! Please remain calm. Qualified emergency professionals are moving to contain this breach of normal intelligent discourse.

    Hysteria levels - dropping.
    Anxiety-inducement levels - dropping.
    Spittle-spewing - dropping.

    Crisis over.

    To avoid future Hyperbole Alerts, please develop perspective. Comparisons between a single event and a pattern of incompetent disregard for the entirety of one's platform does not constitute an infinity of anything.

    Carry on.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 3:49 PM  

  • There are repeated demands that CG
    "juxtapose the results from this poll to the ones from" Martin, Brison, and Stronach (a ridiculous demand - go get enough credibility to have your own blog where even your philosophical opponents gather for the chance to agree or disagree with you).

    Personally, I am surprised the number of formerly Liberal voters who voted for Emerson, not the party. And, as has already been spun, this could even be an indication that in a bi-election he could carry the riding.

    It matters not. Part of good government is being seen to be governing well. This was badly handled, from Harper being the one to approach Emerson, to Emerson not even having the class to inform his own children, to the notion that somehow having turncoat MPs in metro areas would improve Tory chances, to the way it was spun.

    Bad handling of any event equates too quickly in the public mind to bad government. You can only have so many of those incidents where the voters think you're so bad, they have to "throw the rascals out". Just ask Mulroney, who is surely still wondering what happened to the otherwise proud legacy he created. It weren't all Kimmie, Brian.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 4:00 PM  

  • So just to sum up:

    Turcoats TO the Liberals: fine

    Turcoats FROM the Liberals: an affront to democracy

    Got it.

    By Anonymous biff, at 5:41 PM  

  • With a name like Biff, I can see how you could want to oversimplify things so much.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 9:40 PM  

  • Why does everyone assume that individuals who now object to Emersons crossing the floor did not object when Stronoch, Brison, etc. did it. I did not like it when either of them did it. However there was no Blogs at that time so I had less oportunity to do so publicly but did so among my circle of aquaintance.

    By Anonymous NormE, at 2:17 PM  

  • "Why does everyone assume that individuals who now object to Emersons crossing the floor did not object when Stronoch, Brison, etc. did it. I did not like it when either of them did it. However there was no Blogs at that time so I had less oportunity to do so publicly but did so among my circle of aquaintance."

    Actually, there were MANY blogs at that time, and all of the Liberal blogs thought Belinda's floor-crossing was just great. It's currently a matter of public record that many of Belinda's most vocal Liberal supporters are among Emerson's harshest critics.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Liberal.

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 7:01 PM  

  • Overheard Conversation.

    "Do you know Ian Waddell?"

    "Isn't he the NDP candidate in Vancouver-Kingsway?"

    "Yeah, that Ian Waddell. The one who was in the Glen Clark NDP Cabinet that accepted floor-crosser Gordon Wilson into its ranks as a Cabinet Minister."

    "Did he call Gordon Wilson a hypocrite and insist that he resign and run in a by-election?"

    "Why no, of course not, he welcomed Wilson into the Cabinet as one of them."

    "Just wondering...."

    By Anonymous Two Cents, at 11:13 PM  

  • I noticed on one of the recall sites alot of "Kingsway voters" complaining about democracy being ripped out of their hands. Did Emerson have to face a nomination ballot, or was he parachuted in? I have a feeling this question may expose some hypocritical thinking on the part of those "voters"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:08 AM  

  • bi-election? Is that some kind of Grit Freudian slip? Not that there is anything wrong with that!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 AM  

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