Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Garth Turner Goes To Liberals


You know, I've been a fan of Garth Turner's for some time because he's a relatively straight-forward, candid guy, but this latest move troubles me.

I've sung the praises of Turner's blog, but I've also been very clear on this issue: I am wholeheartedly opposed to floor crossing in the House of Commons.

Garth may have taken the long route, going from Conservative to Independent to Liberal, but the ideology and principle are the same: if you were elected as part of one party, you shouldn't go to another between elections.

Turner was kicked out of the Conservative caucus because of his outspoken nature. He didn't choose to leave, he was booted out. Good for him, then, for sitting as an Independent. But he should have stayed there until the next election (which he admits is meant to be sooner rather than later, according to Conservative strategists).

So why join the Liberals now? It doesn't reek of the opportunism of other floor crossings, but still...

You lost some of my respect, Garth. Why couldn't you have just waited a few more months? What's the rush?


Michelle said...

As per CP : MP Garth Turner, a self-described "pain" (...),

Don't you get it Phil, Garth hasn't betrayed anyone. He's not a turncoat. He's part of PMSH's plan to discredit M. Dion and the Liberal party ..

Brilliant strategist that PMSH.

PS said...

Yeah, I was a little worried about Garth's impact on the Liberals myself, when I saw the highlights of the press conference. Especially when he emphasized that Dion wasn't going to muzzle him like Harper tried to.

It'll be interesting to follow his blog over the next while - how will he react the first time an issue doesn't go his way?

And, like I've said, this doesn't make anyone involved look good or particularly principled. Had he waited until an election was called to announce he'd be running as a Liberal, THEN it would have been momentum for the Libs and a jab at Harper.

It remains to be seen if the Halton voters are more committed to Garth or the Conservatives - this is a better-than-average income riding, remember.

Besides I don't consider Turner a turncoat; he was kicked out of the Conservative caucus - he didn't cross the floor from one party to the other in return for favours.

In a way, he hasn't negated the vote of his constituents, either (unlike other floor-crossers). Since his options were to sit as an Independent and do nothing, or join the Libs and inflence their policies, well, at least his voice is being heard now.