For Unprincipled Bastard, there is only one way out
In all seriousness, what the hell did he think was going to happen? He defects like 8 minutes after the election into a cushy cabinet post after serving in the Liberal cabinet competently but without distinction.
So, he's got angry mobs ringing his doorbell, protests in his home riding drawing hundreds, christ, they even have campaign buttons! It's enough to disillusion a guy, I tell you! I hear that he's so disheartened that he's thinking of not even running in the next election. Word up, Dave - if the Conservatives on the ground have any more balls or brains than you, you wouldn't survive a nomination convention to even get that far. If a Marxist-Leninist was your only competition you'd still come in third.
And, to top it off, there might have been a plan in the works long before the election to pull UB into the Tory ranks.
So, even though they knew months in advance that Emerson wasn't happy and might be interested, the Conservatives did not put together a team to spin this thing and instead have watched it fly out of control to the point that they've lost any opportunity they had to operate from the moral high ground this parliament. Of course I am laughing my ass off watching these guys limp around with "Vibram" stomped into their dicks again.
Chretien must be howling with laughter at Martin - "you lost to these guys?"
Where does Harper go now? Do you admit defeat, cut Emerson and write it off as a lesson learned? Nah, probably already too late for that. I can't imagine the mea culpa that would be required to get rid of this kind of stink. I kinda think that he's stuck with him and the stench of his decision now.
I can imagine that there are going to be some icy stares come next cabinet meeting.
edit: I just noticed that the NDP are asking the ethics commisioner to look into whether Emerson was "enticed" by Stephen Harper to cross the floor. If so, this is apparently illegal. I'm not exactly sure why it's illegal now and not last year when Belinda Stronach walked to become the Minister of Humiliating Peter Mackay, but there you go. That's why I'm not making the big bucks.