Thursday, October 19, 2006

Garth Turner Suspended from Tory Caucus, The Day After

Well, I slept on it, and, no sir, I still don't like it.

John Ibbitson in today's Globe & Mail shakes his head as much as I do over it - his take is from the point of view of a lack in strategic foresight in the decision to drop Garth Turner from caucus [Globe & Mail, MP's expulsion dark news for Harper, via Google]:

Regardless of the reason, the expulsion says nothing good about the party or the Prime Minister. Mr. Turner is a rare phenomenon: a conservative politician popular among middle-class suburban voters outside Toronto, that most precious of political constituencies, and one generally hostile to Harper Conservatives. They liked Mr. Turner's passion for lowering taxes and streamlining government, but equally his commitment to the environment and his socially progressive views. Mr. Turner was a Tory metrosexual, and the party needs all of them it can get.

I still don't know what to think, honestly.

As I've said previously, Garth Turner was a credit to the Conservative Party, and I don't think the party's fortunes are going to improve with his removal.

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11 comments:

Zorpheous said...

Mr. Turner earned some points in my books when he called BS on the Merson crossing, and rightly so. Some of Garth's views I do not agree with, but I will say this, he is honest (or more honest than most MPs and politicals) which makes him very dangerous to a party that wants to anything but open, accountable and transparant.

By Kicking Garth out, Harper has clearly shown that he is just a sleezy as the Martin/Cretien Liberals were.

I apprieciate Garth's positive stances on the environment, but that really isn't supriseing given the area he lives in, Halton. There are only two places/areas in Ontario that are of greater beauty, the Bruce and North Shore to Great Northern Sweet Water

Shannon said...

I, in fact, read Garth's blog to get insight on what did go on in caucus. Through him I have gleaned all kinds of insights as to who he does and does not like; vrious topics that were discussed; what he opined was going to be in the upcoming budget (against the law to leask this, in fact criminal as you noticed by the Income Trust leaks) . He has made sexist remarks about the appearance of female members; he disparaged and called greedy and worse presenters from various groups to the finance committee. I know that caucus meetings are racaus and anything goes in discussions. That is the way it should be. Every single MP is fighting for their constitutents and every single MP may have pet projects and ideas they want to put forward.
Turner is not unique in that. But, the arguments for programs and policy REMAIN within caucus. Support is lobbied within caucus and even through talking to other party MPs to get support. Garth, instead, had some pet ideas and he took them first to the public and on his blog and is out promoting them independantly.
He has disparaged other MPs and the Finance MInister publically for not going along with HIS pet project.
Can you imagine if 308 MPs were all out there doing the same thing? We would not have any semblance of order; no coherance in public policy; and instead a bunch of MPs on their own bully pulpit.
Garth likes being an individualist. But, remember, there is no "I" in TEAM.

Aaron Unruh said...

There are progressive Ontario conservatives in the CPC caucus. Nicholson and van Loan come to mind. The difference is that they are team players. You have to admit that Garth has continually provoked the party since Harper declined to add him to the cabinet. Robert Fife wrote yesterday that Garth was warned about his blog months ago, yet he turned up the heat anyway.

Lets not forget either that Garth could have returned to the CPC caucus, but he closed that door himself.

I'm not happy to see him go, but I have a feeling that things would have gotten worse if the caucus had allowed this to go on.

Paul MacPhail said...

As strange as it sounds, I always felt that the CPC let him do his thing so that the party could get a handle on what the public would accept and what the public wanted. Allowing Garth to be branded as a maverick gave the party the ability to run things by the public first before presenting it to the House of Commons. In much the same way that the Liberals used the Court Challenges program to advance their interests, the CPC had Garth as a replacement. I think it would have been better to allow Garth to continue as he was, even though I'm sure it provided many headaches to current MP's. Eventually, he would have had to choose between defending government policies, or explaining to his constituents why he wants to serve as a member of the CPC. Now, he has more opportunity to attack every single move the government makes, without any thought of remorse against those who voted to remove him. Hopefully, for his constituents and for Canada as a whole, he isn't so bitter that he won't act responsibly.

Proud K-W Conservative said...

What is the big deal about suspending Turner? Some corners are alluding to it being a CPC attack on democracy. That is a totally ludicrous argument on all levels. Garth is still free to sound off however he wants.

It makes a great deal of sense to do the deed now. His lack of respect for his colleagues, as well as his constant self-promotion were bound to lead to bigger problems.

Good riddance! He can spend the rest of his 15 minutes embarrassing whoever decides they are desperate enough to adopt him into their party.

Anonymous said...

As someone in Ontario - to me this just makes the Conservatives look like a bunch of right wing nuts.

If there's no room in the part for people who are mildly liberal - well I think there's no hope for the party in mainstream Canada.

The sad thing is to see that the PC party has been taken over by the religious right - and is no longer the party of Brian M.

Kick out the bible thumpers - not the Turners. Good luck in the next election, and say welcome back to the Liberals.

bree said...

What do you think about the rumours that he'll go Green? I think he should do it, if only to enliven the televised debates next election.

Honestly, I didn't know anything about Turner before this except that he had a blog.

Jim said...

Aaron,

I'm not happy to see him go, but I have a feeling that things would have gotten worse if the caucus had allowed this to go on.

It was nice for me to be able to identifiy with a social moderate, fiscal conservative who stood up for those principals. Selfishness aside.

If he felt the Conservative Party was being too fiscally liberal, he said so. If he felt the Conservative Party was being too socially conservative, he said so.

Those are positive messages.

Jim said...

Proud KW,

What is the big deal about suspending Turner? Some corners are alluding to it being a CPC attack on democracy. That is a totally ludicrous argument on all levels. Garth is still free to sound off however he wants.

He is now, as long as he's not in the Conservative caucus. I seem to recall the Conservatives railing against the Liberals for not allowing enough free votes ... I also recall Conservative supporters railing against the NDP for not accepting Bev Desjarlais break with the party line ...

I was one of them. I didn't like it then, I don't like it now.

Jim said...

What do you think about the rumours that he'll go Green? I think he should do it, if only to enliven the televised debates next election.

In a way, I think Garth would do better as an independent, a la Chuck Cadman. Conservatives can still vote Garth without having to vote Green.

It might be a hard sell for a riding that formally was Liberal for the last 13 years.

I think the President of the Halton Conservative Riding Association said as much ... but, I think he wants Garth back as a Con MP.

Anonymous said...

Garth is/was alway's a Liberal anyway, all Progressive Conservatives are all Liberals, you're only Conservatives when you don't like what the Liberal's are doing, and you're PC when you don't like what the Conservatives are doing...pick a side whould ya and stick to it.Don't keep jumping on bandwagens...