Is there a third Liberal camp?
There's always talk in the Liberal camps about Chretienites versus Martinites, but is there another camp led by Pickering-Scarborough East MP, Dan McTeague? In the last little while, Mr. McTeague has garnered quite a bit of exposure for an MP who has been a backbencher for quite some time.
Or, did Mr. McTeague just get more exposure or become more prominent because of the minority government?
The reason I ask (and why I've thought about it):
- He seemed to be the de facto leader of the anti-same sex marriage crowd in the Liberal Party caucus. In the hours and minutes leading up to the vote on C-38, it was Mr. McTeague defending the anti-SSM Liberals for not defeating the budget and thereby allowing C-38 to pass. At least, that was the appearance on CPAC.
- He has openly called for hip-hop artist 50 Cent to be prohibited from performing in Toronto apparently not in line with official Liberal caucus wishes. I say "not in line" because there's no push from cabinet to ban 50 Cent. There has, as far as I'm aware, been no rebuke from within the Liberal Party for this public stand.
- According to How'd They Vote, Dan McTeague holds the record for the most dissentions - 25 - in the 38th Parliament (tied with fellow Liberal MPs, Alan Tonks and Paul Steckle), meaning he has voted 25 times against the Liberal Party line of thinking.
- He was the one to report that Canadians had been kidnapped in Iraq, presumably in his role as "Parliamentary Secretary for Canadians Abroad", but Canadians being kidnapped in Iraq is significant news - especially when there is no Canadian embassy, so there are negotiations required with the U.K. and the U.S.
Now, does Mr. McTeague wield significant clout within caucus? In the first three points, it seems that he doesn't flow with "general" Liberal strategy and frequently strays off message, but in the last, owning the issue of Canadians kidnapped in Iraq where no official Canadian embassy exists is a significant project.
Personally, I suspect he's garnering more exposure for himself because of the minority parliament situation - he can pretty much do what he wants and the top brass can do little to stop him, but I'm just curious to see what others think. If there is no "sub-camp", is McTeague a Martinite or a Chretienite? Or, none of the above?
I would also suspect that he's been largely the same personality for the years he's been an elected Liberal MP (since October 1993), so wouldn't he have been turfed before this? Or, is he valued because he's a proven commodity as a Liberal candidate.