Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Turner Turfed

In a move everyone has seen as inevitable for months, maverick MP Garth Turner has finally been suspended from the Tory caucus.

I know Turner is a bit of a cult hero to many bloggers but I personally never cared much for the man. His criticisms of Harper's Cabinet selection rang a bit hollow given that they came after he had been left out of Cabinet himself. And while I certainly didn't object to him going to every conceivable news source in the country to voice his opinion, I know that if I were a Conservative, that would piss me off to no end. As for Garth's constant musings and speculation about upcoming announcements, I think Scott Brison has learned the hard way why it's not wise for people in government to do this.

And finally, there was this John Ibbitson article a few months back which really annoyed me:


For Mr. Turner, however, the little guy is the bleeding upper middle class.

Halton, on the edge of Greater Toronto, is full of them: Mr. Turner chronicled their plight in his speech.

He recalled talking to a man whose house "was worth maybe half a million - modest for his neighbourhood. He told me it felt like his life was being squeezed now from all sides. Property taxes, income taxes, GST...'All I've got is this' He kicked the bricks at his front door."

Then there was the woman who decided to stay at home and raise her kids. Her husband makes six figures, but "our friends who have two incomes make a lot less, and always have more money to throw around. The system is killing my family."

I wouldn't consider myself a communist but it rubs me the wrong way when someone considers families making six figures the "little guys".

So, yeah, there's no major point to all of this except to say that I never really cared much for Garth Turner and the Tories are probably better off without him.

26 Comments:

  • Turner is not in the government.

    By Blogger Peter Loewen, at 4:10 PM  

  • There is only one proper response to strife within the Conservative caucus.


    Popcorn.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 4:17 PM  

  • Turner needed one more year to vest/collect his lucrative MP and Cabinet minister's pension, since he had accumulated only 5 years under Mulroney and Campbell.

    By Blogger godot10, at 4:42 PM  

  • I've always laughed at the notion of Garth Turner and his so called "campaign and support for middle class Canadians". Halton is far from middle class. A simple glance over the details of the riding from Stats Can:

    Average Family Income = 103,617
    Average Household Income = 99,868
    Unemployment Level = 3.5%

    All of those are significantly better than the national averages. It's has one of the top ten highest average incomes as a political riding in Ontario, probably 5th but I can't be certain. (I've gone through some ridings in Ontario and found 4 that are higher than Halton.) I'm not sure about Canada either I don't know of a listing where it ranks the ridings in order of average income.

    By Blogger Bailey, at 4:51 PM  

  • You can't say the man isn't interesting.

    He gave some heads up in the last few days about the Clean Air Act and how the process would unfold tomorrow.

    Could be worth going to his site to check it out.

    Regarding the Clean Air Act., it will be fascinating to see if the CPC read the Auditor Generals report released in September.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 5:04 PM  

  • you must be happy today CG, Inkless blasted Iggy in his blog... well done I might add.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 5:21 PM  

  • Turner has some good ideas on financial issues -- income splitting is a great idea; cutting the GST is not. I think the Libs should be championing income splitting.

    Don't judge him based upon who he is representing, but on how he is representing them. And he is doing a great job representing the interests of his constituents. They are far above middle class -- although it does seem that he doesn't realize this -- but they are exactly the people that he is supposed to represent.

    By Blogger Franco, at 5:30 PM  

  • Turner should have ran as an Independant.
    He can then freely blog away like the rest of us.

    By Blogger WestmountLiberal, at 5:48 PM  

  • I never cared for him after he started to say Canadians living abroad are not real Canadians - and somehow it was only directed at one group of ex-pats and not others (for example American Canadians).

    By Blogger mezba, at 5:52 PM  

  • joe calgary; Wells has definitely had some good stuff on Iggy lately...

    down & out; Turner is definitely interesting. And I can see why a lot of people like him - he certainly has some admirable qualities. Personally, he's always just rubbed me the wrong way.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:08 PM  

  • I know people don't like him but I know very little about him; the part I knew was that he wasn't a party pack runner and was outspoken - and I liked all of that.

    But man, those are some pretty damning quotes. I get what people are talking about now.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:15 PM  

  • I don't mind him that much, obviously I don't agree with him on all issues but he's been my favorite Conservative MP this parliment, however he doesn't have much compition given how awful the others are. Not that I want him to switch the the Liberals mind you, though I don't think him switching to the Greens would be a huge strech of the imagination.

    By Blogger A View From The Left, at 6:42 PM  

  • Hmm. Olaf at Prairie Wranglers makes a good point, though - have his actions made him worthy of being kicked out?

    I say, No. If Rob Anders is in, then Garth Turner is in. I'll take Turner over Anders any day, 100 days in a row.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:42 PM  

  • Uh, that link seems to not work -

    http://prairiewrangler.blogspot.com/


    Garth Turner with the Greens????

    I like it!!

    In fact, I'm going to go email him so this very second.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:44 PM  

  • There are no end of wingnuts in the CPC.

    What about Maurice Vellacott who embarrassed the government by attacking the reputation of the Supreme Court.

    And Myron Thompson. Need I say more?

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 6:53 PM  

  • I hate to defend either Anders or Myron, but neither breached (by deed or "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" blog posts) the confidentiality of caucus.

    Garth pulled that all the time. Remember when Harper called him on the carpet before the House sat? Hell, Turner blogged about it before the meeting with Harper was reported (gee, who mentioned that meeting, anyway?)

    By Blogger Candace, at 7:36 PM  

  • Hmm. If Turner sat as a Green MP, that would give Elizabeth May the right to be in the next election debates and that would help split the left vote between three parties. This could be part of a deliberate strategy. We'll see what Turner does.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 9:04 PM  

  • Anyone who has ever watched Garth in action understands that Garth's main concern......is Garth.

    As I've said before.....Garth Turner is a male version of Sheila Copps.

    It's ALL about GARTH.....HAS ALWAYS been about GARTH....and WILL ALWAYS be about GARTH. HE's his own biggest fan.

    Good riddance.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 9:34 PM  

  • Going Green... that would be a great idea... definitely a big move that would shake up our political system.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 10:01 PM  

  • Peter Loewen is right, CG. Turner is no more a member of the government than independent MP AndrĂ© Arthur. They are both free to submit Private Members Bills, as well, they can ask questions to members of cabinet. The only status that Garth lost was in caucus. I guess he can look on the bright side, he no longer has to attend those long boring caucus meetings in centre block.

    By Blogger scott, at 10:56 PM  

  • So there are 10 CPC caucus members from Ontario.

    They voted to boot him out.

    Based on recent polls, all would lose their seats.

    There seems to be a silver lining here for Mr. Turner.

    Who believes this was a spontanious vote in caucus?

    And who thinks that it may have been orchestrated by expereinced politicians?

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:25 PM  

  • So there are 10 CPC caucus members from Ontario.

    o rly?

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 12:12 AM  

  • You're right. I apologize for that.

    It's 40 in the Ontario CPC caucus.

    Still the drop in the polls means that such stellar candidates like Tony Clement would probably lose in
    an election called today.

    Mr Harper doesn't have much room for error.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:08 AM  

  • Ontario MPs would lose their seats? You must be reading different polls than I, as yesterday's Globe breakdown showed support flat in Ontario.

    If you look at the numbers that they gave us, the drop in support is essentially in Quebec. Also, in "the West", but they didn't say where. CPC would actually like to lose about 10 points in Alberta and spread it around a bit. Then maybe they'd only rack up 20 or 30 point wins, instead of 50+% margins.

    I like the Tequila Sheila analogies, very apt.

    It is nice to know that people don't care about people making 6 figures. That's your basic urban professional, and it is a very hard slog to survive on that in the city. $250k buys you an 800 square foot 2 bedroom condo in Toronto, 500-600 buys you a rough semi in a good neighbourhood. Making mortgage on that takes a big bite out of your income, as do the lovely income taxes taht these people are paying at the top rate for much of their income.

    If you don't think that this is middle class, then you have no exposure to the private sector or life in the big city. It's hard to live on anything short of a few mil, especially in Toronto. Private school is 25-40k per kid, plus camp, sports, piano lessons, clothes... Then there's golf memberships, ski club memberships (only good hills in Toronto are private), ski chalet, cottage, boat... Life is expensive. Y'all might have more political success if you saw the challenges, rather than snarking about people making more than the bare minimum and trying to tax away any differential.

    By Blogger Hey, at 12:11 PM  

  • How many ways can you say "BS"?

    It is nice to know that people don't care about people making 6 figures. That's your basic urban professional, and it is a very hard slog to survive on that in the city. $250k buys you an 800 square foot 2 bedroom condo in Toronto, 500-600 buys you a rough semi in a good neighbourhood. Making mortgage on that takes a big bite out of your income, as do the lovely income taxes taht these people are paying at the top rate for much of their income.

    $500-600k in the GTA will buy a pretty nice house, though maybe not in Forest Hill or Rosedale. Hell, here's one going for $529,900 with six bedrooms. Here's another in the Annex.

    If you move out to Markham or North York or Scarborough or Missassauga, you'll get a lot more value for your money. So, unless you're living downtown, upper middle-class people in the GTA are not *that* hard-up for finding largish houses. Yet I still don't see the Annex going Tory anytime soon.

    If you don't think that this is middle class, then you have no exposure to the private sector or life in the big city. It's hard to live on anything short of a few mil, especially in Toronto. Private school is 25-40k per kid, plus camp, sports, piano lessons, clothes...

    Funny, my family members living at Eglinton and Bathurst and at Bathurst and Dupont seem to get by, and they are by no means rich. Why in God's name would you even try to suggest that middle class people are spending 25-40k per kid on private school?

    Then there's golf memberships, ski club memberships (only good hills in Toronto are private), ski chalet, cottage, boat... Life is expensive. Y'all might have more political success if you saw the challenges, rather than snarking about people making more than the bare minimum and trying to tax away any differential.

    More than the bare minimum? They could save tens of thousands by sending their kids to, gasp, public schools instead of UCC and Havergal, but I suppose that would mean their kids would have to socialize with the great unwashed. I see no reason whatsoever why we should care that the wealthy (and that IS who you are talking about) might have trouble making the payments on their boats, chalets, and cottages. Maybe they just shouldn't have overextended themselves and should learn a bit of, oh, personal responsibility?

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 12:37 PM  

  • I didn't like Garth very much and some here have already pointed out the reasons why. (thanks for reminding me about that Mezba)

    I've read his blog and even when I agreed with him (Emerson) I felt that he was grandstanding too much about it. When I disagreed with him he was simply annoying to me.

    While I disagree with Myron or Anders at least they keep their mouths shut after they have been scolded. Garth couldn't do that, that's why he got the boot and the others didn't.

    Oh well, Harper has spent a lot of political capital getting rid of Turner, hope that it was well spent.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 3:31 PM  

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