Federal International Trade Minister David Emerson is pledging to ride out the "partisan protests" over his Parliamentary floor-crossing.
Emerson struck a defiant tone today as he told a Vancouver radio talk show that he would not resign from the Conservative cabinet.
He said weekend rallies against his defection were driven by "partisans and zealots" but he is getting a lot of support from people telling him to hang in there.
Is Emerson for real? This is common political spin to rebuff criticism by painting the arguments as purely partisan, devoid of objective reason. However, given the public criticisms coming from Conservatives, Emerson's claims of partisanship are ridiculous. Voters who cast ballots for a Liberal candidate are not partisan zealots, but simply people who have been disenfranchised. What a callous rationalization, and another sign that Emerson is an elitist mercenary.
The next time Emerson uses the partisan justification, someone should cite quotes from Turner, Thompson and a myriad of Conservative Party members. In a way, I am starting to hope Emerson clings to his position, because he will act as an public albatross that negates the government's mandate. The arguments for Emerson's dismissal can be made without referencing one Liberal or New Democrat. A poll of the riding stated that 64% of people in Vancouver-Kingsway want a byelection. I guess the term "zealot" has a wide berth. The good news, is despite the bad spin, Emerson can't count on this issue blowing over. Emerson's arguments will just add fuel to the fire.