Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Voyage Home

It's certainly not as jaw dropping as Belinda or David, but it appears Harper has poached a Liberal MP.

UPDATE: Giant Political Mouse has all the olden goldies from "the best of Wajid Khan".


  • As a short-term tactic, it would give the government an easier time in negotiating with the NDP to save themselves, since the need for Turner or Arthur is removed.

    As a PR move, it's nothing the government hasn't taken from the Emerson fiasco.

    Long-term (ie, whenever the next election is), Mississauga-Streetsville is a slightly better prospect then Vancouver-Kingsway, but I wouldn't bet on the Tories keeping it (unless Khan has a massive personal constituency).

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 8:12 p.m.  

  • Best headline in a good while, Dan.

    By Blogger Tom, at 8:13 p.m.  

  • This will end the search for wajid. But will this final frontier be his undiscovered country?

    By Blogger A BCer in Toronto, at 8:14 p.m.  

  • Who made first contact, and what prompted this insurrection? He's our nemesis now, it seems.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 8:16 p.m.  

  • Will this be Harper's Genesis project?

    By Blogger Stephen Taylor, at 8:28 p.m.  

  • If so Stephen, you'd better hope Harper didn't take short cuts and use proto-matter.

    By Blogger A BCer in Toronto, at 8:36 p.m.  

  • Gurmant Grewal was apparently hiding in Khan's office closet when negotiations took place, and reportedly will be releasing the tape to the media tomorrow, as soon as the tape splices dry.

    By Blogger The Anonymous Green, at 9:06 p.m.  

  • Should have been expelled from the party when he took the job from Harper months ago.

    No great loss. One more anti-gay bigot for the Cons, one less for the Liberals. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 10:26 p.m.  

  • This riding is a slam dunk for the Liberals.

    A good riding for Dion and his election readiness director, Gerard, to run and elect a woman (NATIONALITY does not matter; ignore suggestions from Vijay (who turned off his comments) that a Muslim is needed to beat a Muslim).

    Martha, or my personal fav, Mandy Maghera (a fellow Mississauga resident).


    By Blogger Peter, at 10:47 p.m.  

  • If he runs in Mississauga-Streetsville, he is toast. True he won't lose as badly as Emerson or as a matter fact even Fortier if he runs in Montreal as promised. That being said this is not a safe Liberal riding, rather it is a Blue Liberal/Red Tory riding that I could seeing going PC in the next provincial election. The only reason Harper cannot win there is the central regions of the 905 belt have little tolerance for the hard right. I believe both Mulroney and Harris won this riding, however Mulroney was more centrist than Harper and Harris ran at a time when government cutbacks were more popular than they are now and he steered clear of social conservatism.

    On the other hand even a Red Tory couldn't win in Vancouver-Kingsway. In fact even if the Liberal Party had a Blue Liberal leader we would probably lose that one to the NDP.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 11:30 p.m.  

  • It is interesting to look through hansard and see what Mr. Khan has to say about the Conservatives.

    I did just that here

    By Blogger Giant Political Mouse, at 3:55 a.m.  

  • KHAAAAAANNN!!!!!!!!!

    (Clutch your fists and scream it through your teeth - ya know ya wanna!)

    By Blogger Left Right and Center, at 5:58 a.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Peter, at 8:18 a.m.  

  • Miles,

    I hate to disagree with you on the prognosis of the riding going blue next provincial election. The Lisgar Go station and Delaney's positive and informative relationship with his constituents should keep the riding red.

    Federally, a Liberal shoo in if a capable, hardworking candidate is picked - Martha or Mandy fit the bill. Picking a Muslim (solely because they are Muslim; Vijay suggest's a Muslim councillor from Markham (?)) to go against Khan is ridiculous since only 5% of the riding is Muslim. See

    In 2004, Wajid Khan beat the Conservative with a clear majority - 50.6% - 31.7% - even though he was a parachute candidate (for being a loyal Martinite) living in Toronto.

    In 2006, Wajid Khan beat Gill (PC; provincial minister under Harris/Eves, supposedly area resident) by a 46.0% - 34.8% margin.

    In 2007, the riding is solid Liberal unless a shlep/idiot is our candidate.

    By Blogger Peter, at 8:28 a.m.  

  • I dunnno. Khan's not my favourite MP, that's for sure. But, I've never had any problem with floor-crossing (I prefer sitting Independent, however) and it's always best to have the widest array of perspective and experience in our government - he'll be a good back-bencher, I figure. (I'd be unimpressed if he was getting anything but back-bench)

    BTW, I just began watching Star Trek Next Generation, I'm almost up to Best Of Both Worlds. This is hands down the best tv series I've ever seen. I love it even more than The Prisoner now.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 8:38 a.m.  

  • GPM

    Why not post Belinda's comments about the Liberal's before she crossed as well?

    I believe she used the words corrupt,incompetent more than once.

    Why not post Brison's comments about the Liberals before he crossed?

    Its a fact of life that politicians criticise their opposition and praise their own party.DUH!

    By Blogger paulsstuff, at 10:12 a.m.  

  • I just find it interesting that people can either say something they don't mean o so completly change thier minds. Politicians like to complain about cynisism but acts like that just make people think that all politicans are bad. That's not fair.

    By Blogger Giant Political Mouse, at 1:10 p.m.  

  • Surely, we all agree that Harper did break a promise by appointing Fortier to the Senate. He said he had no choice because it isn't fair to have such a big city with no cabinet member.

    Given the above, why won't he give Khan a cabinet position considering the exact same: it isn't fair to have such a big city with no cabinet member?

    I think if Montreal deserves a voice at the cabinet table, so does Toronto. And if Toronto does not, then Fortier should give up his Senate and cabinet post.

    By Blogger ktr, at 1:28 p.m.  

  • ktr,

    Dont quit your day job. That comment is foolish on so many levels.

    Khan is an independantly minded businessman and probably didnt feel comfortable in the big gov liberals.

    If he were put directly into cabinet you would then scream that he was bribed with perks and a limo.

    And trying to somehow link this up with Fortier is ridiculous at best.

    By Blogger renegadejet, at 1:51 p.m.  

  • The David Emerson fiasco was beyond contempt for the electorate, and it shows that the Harpercons have no decency at all.

    With Khan, I suppose you can perhaps accept that he had his reasons for becoming a turncoat. But politicians that do not know their own mind and do these things basically cheat the electorate, and that is reason enough to defeat MOST of these types.

    Sometimes turncoats do have strong personal followings, as was the case with Edmonton Liberal MP from Millwoods David Kilgour, before he switched parties, not once but twice.

    So while the electorate may overlook Khan, there is utterly NO FORGIVENESS for Emerson.

    Most Canadians want his sorry ass out of Parliament.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 4:21 p.m.  

  • The big cities both chose not to have a representative at Harper's table. Not surprising. Decent people wouldn't touch Harper with a 3-metre pole.

    To leave them out if they'd elected Conservatives would be insulting, but to force Fortier and Emerson on them was even worse.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 4:58 p.m.  

  • renegade,
    when you say big gov liberals, i assume you were refering to the recent increase in cabinet size from 27-32 by the conservatives. If we just give Harper one more year, maybe we can make it to 40 or 50.
    but you have gotten me off track. If bad optics and a broken promise was excusable to appoint Fortier to cabinet to represent Montreal, why is bad optics and breaking another promise not excusable to appoint Khan to cabinet to represent Toronto? There is a clear link.

    By Blogger ktr, at 5:39 p.m.  

  • Okay guys, I get your perspective - your team is valiant, and the other team that you don't play for is hypocritical and ignoble, and a menace to Canada.


    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 5:56 p.m.  

  • Stephen Harper, noted for his reputation of reaching out and consulting with individuals, accepts an offer from a Liberal backbencher to consult on Middle East and Afghani issues.

    Mr Khan's qualifications? He is a Pakistani Muslim who was in the military prior to his immigration to Canada in 1974.

    This was when Ali Bhutto was Prime Minister of Pakistan and Indira Ghandi was Prime Minister of India. And what was happening in Afghanistan? This was the period leading up to the Soviet invasion in 1979.

    So, in the press conference today, Harper acknowledges that his consultant, Mr. Khan has yet to travel to Afghanistan (ever?)- but he provides detailed reports about the Middle East.

    Give me a break. This is simply the story of an insignificant member of parliament enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. Used by Harper for political gain. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    He adds nothing of value to the Conservative gov't - just another vote in times of need.

    If you were serious about Middle East/Far East issues is this the person you would consult on Gov't policy? Someone who hasn't lived there for over 30 yrs?

    He was duped, as a result of his own naivety.

    By Blogger The Anonymous Green, at 7:36 p.m.  

  • Fortier thinks Khan must quit and run in byelection?

    Members of Parliament who bolt from their parties and cross the floor of the House of Commons should have to quit and face their voters in a byelection, says new Public Works Minister Michael Fortier.

    By Blogger ktr, at 7:52 p.m.  

  • I am waiting for more comment from Rajotte and Epp, but until they say otherwise, here is their opinion on floor crossing:
    "My view, my personal view, is that an MP has to consult his constituents before he makes a move to another party," said Rajotte.
    Epp said he also still supports the idea of forcing MPs to fight byelections before switching parties.

    By Blogger ktr, at 7:56 p.m.  

  • Peter - I know Mississauga has gone Progressive Conservative in the past so since John Tory is more of an old PC type as opposed to a Reformer like Harper, that is why I think he can win the riding. I believe Ernie Eves got around 40% in 2003, which was a bad election for the Ontario PCs. There are lots of people I know who use to vote Progressive Conservative but now vote Liberal since they find Harper too right wing.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 9:30 p.m.  

  • Once again JBG highlights why he's one of the best bloggers up here with the "yawn" comment.

    By Blogger RGM, at 10:30 p.m.  

  • "Most Canadians want his sorry ass out of Parliament"

    Not according to the latest decima poll.

    By Blogger paulsstuff, at 10:58 p.m.  

  • paulsstuff said...
    ""Most Canadians want his sorry ass out of Parliament""

    "Not according to the latest decima poll."

    Decima lacks credibility because its bought and paid for by the "neocons" that run the Oil Patch in Calgary for the Houston Oil Barons.

    Nobody believes anything these spin doctors have to say about anything.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 1:09 a.m.  

  • giant political mouse - did you notice that all of your quotes took place under PMPM's reign? Think that might have made a difference?

    Just askin'

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:08 a.m.  

  • "Decima lacks credibility because its bought and paid for by the "neocons" that run the Oil Patch in Calgary for the Houston Oil Barons."

    Funny,CTV,CBC,The Toronto Star among others referred to Decima polls when the Liberal's had the big post convention bounce.

    Most of the polls by all the different polling firms put them in a virtual dead heat.That would seem to mean the majority of Canadaians who want Harper's "sorry ass out" feel the same way about keeping Dion's 'Sorry ass out",no?

    By Blogger paulsstuff, at 9:47 a.m.  

  • Harper didn't poach anything. He took the bait and a pawn that Dion brilliantly used to control election timing.

    Pay closer attention Calgary.

    Harper was just outfoxed and that hasn't been done by a Liberal in over a year. Brilliant move by Dion.

    By Blogger s.b., at 11:14 a.m.  

  • Another brilliant move by Dion is to be on national television making contradictory remarks that make him look stupid. Speaking bad English and reading from papers rather than addressing the camera also help in this "lower their expectations, then slam them" strategy. I expect keeping the Liberal party broke is another "strategy".

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:14 p.m.  

  • S.B. must have had a lemonade stand as a child.

    If Dion didn't want to bring down the gov't on a confidence vote in the near future, he could simply have a member stay home with the "flu", or travel abroad.

    The logical extension of his "brilliant move" is to have another 25 or so Liberals do the same thing - thereby guaranteeing no election date until the party is good and ready.

    It would be Fall of '09.

    By Blogger The Anonymous Green, at 12:39 p.m.  

  • Dion has to say that Khan is a loyal Liberal until he announces otherwise, or Dion would have to kick him out of caucus.

    Dion orchestrated this move and its timing brilliantly.

    Harper was going to back us into a wall on the budget, now he can't and the NDP take the blame.

    Harper has never faced a unified Liberal PArty with all its minds and resources behind one leader and he's about to find out how difficult that can be.

    The Liberal Party is back and Harper isn't going to outfox us any time soon. We now have until at least the fall if not longer to prepare for a federal election, which we will win.

    By Blogger s.b., at 12:43 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Peter, at 1:39 p.m.  

  • S.B.,

    Even if you have the inside scoop on Dion's glee and Harper's pain (with Khan's move), MSM is not reporting it as such. So I must ask a Cherniakian: "Who is your source?"

    Before my last paragraph, I must qualify that even on this particular blog, I have revealed my true colours - I am a firm believer in Dion's goal to increase the number of female MPs.

    S.B., you should be commended for being a woman on Liblogs. There is a need for many more. However, there is no way that Dion is going to parachute you into any riding.


    By Blogger Peter, at 1:41 p.m.  

  • peter wrote this...

    "However, there is no way that Dion is going to parachute you into any riding."

    I do not thing that parachuting candidates is Dion's style or requirement. What he has been doing, and will continue to do, is to reactivate the Party.

    I agree with s.b. that once the Liberals are united behind a leader whose purpose is to win government, they can become an unstoppable political force.

    As for polls, Decima and so on, everyone knows that there is actually only a single poll that counts, as John Diefenbaker was fond of pointing out, and that is the one on Election Day.

    I also think that the spin doctors at the Conservative Headquarters got this all wrong, just like they did with the screwy ads that attacked Jean Chretien's facial handicap. Canadians do not respond well to this sort of negative personal hate based advertising.

    I also think that you are missing a critical item, and that is if Dion can cement a working relationship with Ed Stelmach in Edmonton. If these two leaders can bridge decades of dysfunctional political sniping and put together practical deals that work for both Canada and Alberta, then it will be "good by charlie" in the next election.

    And I can certainly see that possibility with nuclear power becoming a highly desirable component in the Energy Province.

    Dion and Stelmach are just the men to put this together. Canada's traditional oil patch such as Imperial Oil will join, and the odd man out will be the Enrons and the Houston Oil Barons.

    I also think that Dion and Stelmach will be able to work on the Athabasca River basin with Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which can make a lot of money for those two provinces as well as fixing up the results of the Klein rape of Alberta's forests.

    Finally, as part of that new deal, I think Alberta could very easily join Saskatchewan and Manitoba in a new Power Grid program linking with BC that would return to more traditional "regulation" of a critical industry that has been completely messed up for ideological reasons.

    Stelmach and Dion will certainly be talking turkey with some American states like Washington, Oregon and California, as well as New York and the others like New England states of Maine, Connecticut, Massichusetts, and even those like Minnisota, Michigan, and Illinois.

    Its time to get serious with the Americans in that if they wish us to work with them, they are going to have to work with us.

    There needs to be an all out assault on NAFTA, and either FIX IT, or ABANDON IT, particularly over environmental standards and labour standards.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 3:17 p.m.  

  • paulsstuff said "Most of the polls by all the different polling firms put them in a virtual dead heat.That would seem to mean the majority of Canadaians who want Harper's "sorry ass out" feel the same way about keeping Dion's 'Sorry ass out",no?"

    "People can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that" Homer Simpson

    By Blogger ktr, at 3:29 a.m.  

  • The key is that we needed time. Dion needs time to forge relationships with lots of Canadians even Liberals. Quebec first because of their imminent election and then yes hopefully Alberta would be great. With a new Premier and leader anything is possible.

    No crystal ball or inside information needed here. Getting someone to stay home sick doesn't cut it. We can now actively criticize and oppose the budget, which is actually the primary job of the loyal opposition, while not risking an election call.

    This is very very important. As I have said, opposing the budget is the most important thing an official opposition does. We needed to be able to do that as a Party. We needed to be able to do that without bringing down the governement because we needed more time.

    Now we don't have to cut any deals with the Conservatives the NDP does or the BLOQ and we can focus on opposition building the PArty, forming relationships, getting used to our new leader and our new jobs, building an election machine and dealing with a Quebec election in February.

    I would say that Kahn's floor crossing was a God Send but it was precipitated by Dion and hence has to be one of the most brilliant and understated political moves, I've seen in a long time.

    By Blogger s.b., at 10:55 a.m.  

  • Oh I forgot, I would like to assure all bloggers and in fact all Canadians, much to their relief I'm sure, that I am not now, nor have any intention to seek elected office at any time. I don't even want a job. I like to cook really. I want to learn French and cook. That's it.

    By Blogger s.b., at 10:57 a.m.  

  • Well,looks like Cherniak's little hissy fit is over.Now he's gone back to his Harper lied about talking to Dion on the nation motion.Problem is Cherniak won't post the link showing Dion was the one who misled the media.Here's my post to Jason.See if he puts it up.

    Jason.i would be happy to post the article where Dion stated during a radio interview Harper called him and wanted his advice.

    I've tried posting this several times on your blog but for some reason you won't allow your readers to see it.

    So once again,allow the post or stop with this blatant lie.

    Sorry,i know it's off topic,but,here it is:

    Thursday, 23 November 2006
    NATIONAL NEWSWATCH - During an interview Thursday afternoon with New Brunswick talk radio show host Tom Young, Liberal Leadership candidate Stephane Dion took partial credit for Prime Minister Harper's stand asking the House of Commons to declare that Quebec is a nation — "within a united Canada." ....

    Describing himself as a "trouble fixer," Dion told host Tom Young that the prime minister called him for advice on how to solve the Quebec Nation issue. Dion indicated he advised the PM on how to fix the problem. He also indicated that he will be supporting the government motion because it's very close to the solution he freely gave the prime minister.


    All future references to Dion will include "Trouble Fixer." On a side note, and in addition to the above account of Dion's interview. Dion said Harper sought his advice on the situation because he was the "Unity Minister" in a former Liberal government

    And after Harper stated on his year ened interview he never spoke with Dion.Dion said this:

    "Meanwhile, Dion seemed to downplay the apparent discrepancy over his involvement on Wednesday, though he did accuse Harper of "playing games."

    "He did not phone me personally, and nobody pretended that," said Dion, who was in Winnipeg to express his support for the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly on marketing wheat and barley in the wake of Ottawa's decision to fire the agency's president a day earlier."

    And sb,what happens if the bloc and ndp oppose the budget?And i am not involved in poilitics and have no planws on running.LOL

    By Blogger paulsstuff, at 12:32 p.m.  

  • If the BLOQ and the NDP oppose the budget then the government will fall, but both of them won't for obvious reasons.

    1) the NDP are way down in the polls and would lose seats. their best plan now is to cut a deal with HArper but its bad in the long run because we and the greens can use that against them in the next election but they have no choice.

    2) the BLOQ have to fight an election in Quebec in Feb. Yes the PQ and the BLOQ are a seperate Party, but in reality there are only so many seperatist resources in Quebec. The BLOQ will try to get as much for Quebec out of the budget as possible and prop up the governement so they can use their resources on a provincial election.

    The BlOQ could play hardball with the conservatives and bring them down but then they have to fight the Liberals in Quebec provincially and the Conservatives
    federally. The Conservatives stand to win by this formula because they would be the only PArty in Quebec not fighting two elections at once and this is probably what would have happened.

    However, now that the NDP hold the balance of power they will prop up the government because they don't want an election now either certainly not Jack Layton who would probably lose his job at this point in time afterward.

    Yes Harper and Charest are buddies but the Conservatives would still have won by holding those two elections at the same time because its the Liberal machine that would have to fight the seperatists provincially and Charest could have taken the high road.

    Now this scenario wont happen.

    By Blogger s.b., at 2:49 p.m.  

  • sb,i respect your opinion.although i disagree.Layton won't support the budget because it will go against everything NDP.And Duceppe will be screaming the fiscal imbalance has not been corrected properly.

    Harper is a smart strategist,if its in his interest for the government to fall it will,just as Martin and Chretien both called for unneccesay elections because the timing favored them.I know it sucks,but that's politics.

    By Blogger paulsstuff, at 4:12 p.m.  

  • Yes HArper is a VERY good strategist and he would have brought down his own government onthe budget. Exactly. Now he can't. He will give Quebec a great deal of transfer benefits to help Charest and the BLOQ will probably support him, however, this is good and bad for them in Quebec, Charest gets to say he go this from Harper not the PQ.

    Sorry to tel you this Layton went against everything the NDP stands for the last time he brought down the Liberals aka universal early childhood learning, aboriginal rights, Kyoto. He's toast. He has to support Harper because his Party and he are in trouble. He lost Hargrove too and doesn't have union funding anymore under the accountablity act. They are SOL right now big time.

    No Harper can't let his governement fall on the budget anymore. (He was going to) It would have to be so bad as to lose him the election. That's not what he was planning.

    This government is here until at least the fall.

    By Blogger s.b., at 4:44 p.m.  

  • Yes HArper is a VERY good strategist and he would have brought down his own government onthe budget. Exactly. Now he can't.

    Sure he can. All he needs to do is produce a budget that none of the opposition parties support.

    And to repeat what was pointed out to you above, Dion was perfectly capable of letting the gov't survive while Kahn was still a Liberal. All he would have to do was arrange for one or two of his members to miss the vote. Losing Kahn gives him no strategic advantage whatsoever in making sure that the gov't doesn't fall (and if/when the time comes that Dion does want it to fall, he's lost a huge amount of leverage).

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 5:04 p.m.  

  • giant political mouse - did you notice that all of your quotes took place under PMPM's reign? Think that might have made a difference?

    Given that Khan was only an MP during that time that is all I can work with.

    By Blogger Giant Political Mouse, at 11:11 p.m.  

  • No having people be sick one day isn't the same thing it takes weeks to oppose the budget months even. NO.

    Yes HArper could produce a budget that all other parties oppose but as I said that would probably lose him an election and tied in the polls why would he take that risk?

    This also won't happen.

    By Blogger s.b., at 11:45 a.m.  

  • By Blogger raybanoutlet001, at 1:19 a.m.  

  • By Blogger raybanoutlet001, at 9:26 p.m.  

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