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Welcome, David Emerson, you unprincipled bastard...

Well, "unprinicpled" was Stephen Harper's response to Belinda Stronach's little floor-crossing adventure last year. Of course that was then and now he's PM and on the other end of the shovel.

As for Emerson, every time a politician spouts off about "doing what is best for my constituents" I want to puke. Here's Emerson:

I fundamentally went through the thought processes many times over, and came to the conclusion I can be more helpful to the people of my riding, the people of my city, the people of my province and the people of my country doing this, as opposed to being in opposition and trying to become a powerful political partisan which I have never been

Now don't get me wrong, I think that all elected representatives must think always of what their constituents want, but when it is so bald a power move, a personal power move, leaving them the fuck out of it would seem at least a little bit noble. But, no, not for Emerson, who then goes on to explain that his party affiliation doesn't matter because he really is "non-partisan":
I was elected to serve the people of Vancouver Kingsway... I will continue to serve them as the member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway. I have always served the people of my riding on a non-partisan basis, I run my office there on a non-partisan basis because I was running as a Liberal...
So, either the electorate of his Vancouver riding knew that his Liberal party membership was a little joke for free signs or we're going to have to finesse the definition of "non-partisan". Yeah, on average I am non-partisan, I'm sometimes a small "c" conservative Liberal and sometimes I'm a small "l" liberal Conservative, whichever best suits the situation.


Just as I was beginning to think that Harper was a pretty smart guy, he goes and throws two big juicy bones to the opposition - this defection and the unelected appointment of his flunky Michael Fortier to the Cabinet and Senate. Fortier co-chaired both Harper's 2004 leadership campaign and this past election. This is a move bold enough to be, well, chretienic. Now, I understand that reforming the Senate in the face of an overwhelming Liberal majority in that august lawn-bowling club is a longshot and will require stacking it with like-minded Conservatives, but this just looks bad.

In all fairness to Stronach (never thought I'd use *those* words), it's not really a equivalent comparison - Belinda was 11 months into her electoral mandate when she crossed and could make a half-legitimate complaint of differences of opinion with Harper and the direction of the Party. Emerson can't even make that claim - if it wasn't *his* Liberal Party, then why the fuck did he run for them?

Good point, Dan. Even Harper, in a weird way was fair(ish) to Stronach when she crossed by alluding to the fact that her leadership ambitions were not going to be satisfied in the party. And she had already voted with the Liberals on the high-profile same-sex marriage legislation, so her crossing over in hindsight makes some sense.

When I started this post I chose the title as kind of a riff on Harper's "unprincipled" comment regarding Stronach, but as I read more about Emerson, the more applicable I felt it became.

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