“I said during the campaign that I think anyone who crosses the floor ultimately should go back to the people for ratification and I stick by it,” Ontario Conservative Garth Turner told reporters in Ottawa.
Harper has few allies, to stop the growing chorus for another election. Good on you Garth, although it really is a clear call.
CBC Newsworld also spoke with Turner. Here are some excerpts from Turner's blog:
I am a democrat who believes everyone in the House of Commons, including the cabinet members who make up the government, should be elected. They should sit in Parliament as they were elected. If they decide to change parties, they should go and get re-elected.
It would be a great idea for Mr. Emerson to do that, and hopefully he will decide that’s the right course of action. Given his new high-profile and powerful position, one would expect voters would be impressed enough to elect him as a Conservative. But maybe not. That’s their choice.
I am not demanding the guy resign today, given the fact he has just been handed huge duties and Harper surely had sound reasons for his decision. But it would look very good indeed on David Emerson to say something like this: Yeah, I understand the feeling of those people who are disturbed that I switched parties. I have decided my real home is with the Conservatives, and I am honoured to serve the PM, but I also realize it’s not all my choice. So after I’ve proven my worth in this job, and when the time is appropriate, I will go back to the voters.
The money quote is Turner's argument that, given his new prestige and power for the good of the country, voters should have no problem with voting Emerson back in. If this is such a good decision, what are you afraid of?