When news of David Emerson’s defection broke out I’m sure everyone was somewhat surprised. Another man has reached out for power, is that so shocking? Of course the problem lies in the fact that he betrayed his constituents after a recent federal election. It doesn’t take much more than a moment before the word “fraud” comes to mind. So what are the consequences? Emerson, according to the Globe and Mail, has “accept[ed]… a three-tier portfolio including International Trade, responsibility for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Pacific Gateway economic initiative;” Emerson is now being criticized by both Liberal and Conservative MPs over his decision to change parties; and the Conservative backbenchers appear to have just had the wool pulled from their eyes.

What I find difficult to understand is why would Emerson make such a move? I’m sure he expected that many in his riding would not be forgiving when he was presented with the idea to change parties. What made the man believe it was worthwhile to go through with the decision to join the Conservatives? I’m sure the backlash was easy to foresee. In addition, even if the portfolio promised to Emerson was his sole motivation, the government is still a minority one. Another election could theoretically happen at any time. Unfortunately, the answer to my question will have to wait, since it’s all speculation until the dust settles.

As I have already mentioned aloud several times, I find it funny how people can support a party, then seem shocked and surprised when the party pays its dues to the insiders after victory. The fact that some Conservative MPs do not seem to know much more than the general public regarding insider movements of their party is somewhat more worthy of concern rather than the question of a recall mechanism. So here’s another question: Did the Conservative backbenchers catch wind of the Emerson plan beforehand? Or were they really just as clueless as the general public?

Perhaps the question that most interests me at this point is how will the Conservative backbenchers respond to these recent decisions by the party leadership? Many quotes of anonymous Conservative MPs suggest that they received the news just like anyone else. To their misfortune they are members of the “club,” so even if it is reasonable to be unaware of the latest developments within the party, they will still look like dopes.


3 responses to “Insiders?

  1. According to the Toronto Star and the Canadian Press, Emerson did not expect the high leveled intensity of the public backlash to his decision to change parties. He also complained that his children have been receiving some of the backlash to his decision. I find it unfortunate how people can vent their frustrations upon children who are not involved in the matter. It is cowardly to choose to attack the vulnerable and innocent. But if some effort was made to keep the fact that he had children in the area a secret, then perhaps this wouldn’t be much of an issue.

  2. Here’s my take on why Harper wants Emerson – please bear with my wild imagination, but since you’re reading my blog I suppose it’s too late for you.

    I think Harper intends to follow up on wooing China considering his offer to Emerson. As mentioned above, Emerson accepted the portfolio for International Trade, the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the “Pacific Gateway” initiative, so I can only guess he’s useful or even irreplaceable for the time being.

    I recall that when Canada was considering signing on to NAFTA, it was argued that NAFTA was the only solution to save the Canadian economy and that it was absolutely necessary. However, opponents to NAFTA argued that we would be signing into an agreement with a country that was no better than a massive, rusting hulk that could fall apart at any time. Considering the massive debts that the Bush administration has incurred in recent years, those old arguments sound damn convincing.

    Now, written into history, it is well known that Canada chose further integration with the United States. Further, that the relationship set out in NAFTA has been far from a happy one seeing as how the softwood lumber issue has yet to be resolved. Former Prime Minister Martin mentioned a few times his desire to revise the NAFTA. So what forces would be required to make that happen?

    Well, China is beginning to open up to Canada, making the Pacific a real thrilling prospect. In the Trudeau years, Canada looked to European markets in order to maintain some distance with our Southern neighbours, but that didn’t turn out so well simply because of the circumstances of the times. Further, the U.S. markets are becoming more and more dependent upon Canadian exports, such as oil, fresh water, and basic commodities.  Here we have a market over the pacific that looks bright, giving Canada more negotiating muscle in order to force a revision of NAFTA with friendlier terms. If not a revision of NAFTA, then the new “muscle” can be put to work concluding the softwood lumber issue.

    Considering the above, if Harper can conclude the softwood lumber matter, further improve the relations of China in a tangible manner, and force open negotiations for a revision of NAFTA in the long-term future, he would look as if he were a God. However, all of this work began ages ago with the Liberal party and Emerson’s defection reads more and more like a terrible copy of Macbeth.

  3. Yes, I understand that my little hallucination above doesn’t make much sense. For that, I’m not really sorry, but I’ll say I’m sorry anyway. Maybe someday in the future I’ll polish the whole mess and put some order on the flurry of ideas that seem to run every which way – maybe. Oh, if you can glean some sort of wisdom from the above comment, I would really appreciate it if you passed it along to me.

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