Monday, February 06, 2006

Breathtaking hypocrisy

This is exactly why people are so cynical about politics.

If it was wrong for Belinda Stronach to cross the floor to become a Liberal cabinet minister, then it's wrong for David Emerson to cross the floor to become a Conservative cabinet minister. Stephen Harper can't have it both ways.

Allowing Emerson to jump ship and sit as a Conservative flies in the face of Harper's own policies. Exactly one month after Stronach's defection, the Tories tabled a private member's bill that would force a by-election within 35 days if an MP switched parties. The MP would also have to sit as an Independent until the by-election.

Emerson should resign and run in a by-election. But he won't. And Harper won't make him. Because this is how politics works -- say one thing and do another.

If Belinda Stronach was a traitor who "prostituted" herself for a cabinet post, then so is David Emerson. No, Emerson is worse. He's a fraud.

It's hard to believe Emerson is the same guy who campaigned so passionately against a Harper government. Emerson was quoted as saying the Conservative party is made up of "angry" and "heartless" people who are hostile to Liberal social programs and immigrants. On election night, Emerson vowed to be "Stephen Harper’s worst enemy." Now they’re best friends.

Emerson's defection just two weeks after the election is a slap in the face to everyone in Vancouver Kingsway who voted for him.

And while we're on the topic of hypocrites, here's what Harper said when Stronach defected to the Liberals last year:

"We don't go out of our way to romance MPs to get them to cross the floor. Liberals will do anything to win. We are trying to create a principled party where people act in a principled way, and obviously we're fairly cautious about encouraging party jumping, because that's the kind of thing that generates cynicism."

So much for principles, ethics and integrity.

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