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Garth Turner Stands Up and Pays a Price
10/02/2006

Yesterday, several bloggers, including Kevin Brennan, made comments about how the David Emerson defection story just keeps getting bigger. I went to bed thinking that today would be a turning point... if Harper can get this story to sleep he might be okay, but if it keeps growing he may end up in serious trouble.

Given what I just read on Garth Turner's blog, I have to think this is going to keep getting bigger.

Turner, a Mulroney-era MP and Campbell cabinet minister who was elected for a new round in Ottawa on January 23, was one of two MPs who got media attention yesterday for criticizing Stephen Harper's acceptance of a floor-crosser into cabinet. That was yesterday's news.

Behind closed doors, Turner was called onto the carpet by Conservative Party officials yesterday -- all the way up to the Prime Minister himself -- and stood his ground on this issue. He tells all on his blog.

The short story is that he is standing by his principles, and by what he feels he promised voters during his 8 months of door-to-door campaigning. He will pay the price:

This one MP came face-to-face with the party machine in a series of unhappy meetings including one tonight with the prime minister. I think it is now safe to say my career options within the Conservative caucus are seriously limited. If you would like a course on how not to be popular in Ottawa, then take a seat.

Turner writes with passion and at length about his commitment to what he believes is right. He's not backing down at all.

A few nights ago, I made some pledges here. I pledged to remember that my job is not to serve the party or the prime minister, but rather the people who sent me here. I pledged to work to enhance the position of MP, because when that happens, the voters win. I pledged to share my MPís power with you every way I could, and to speak up for middle class Canadians.

That voice may be a little fainter now, coming from that forgotten basement washroom office, but, dammit, it wonít quit.

I simply have to admire him for this, whatever I thought of him before. I admit that I am not as upset about this issue as he is, but I have seen it as a contradiction of the principles Tories were standing for just a few weeks ago. That was hurting more than the actions themselves. Well, there seems to be no contradiction in Garth Turner.

UPDATE: If you're wondering what I really think about these issues, go read Kevin Brennan's post, "Emerson and Fortier: My Actual Opinion". I agree with every word.


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