Sunday, March 05, 2006

John Crosbie Offers Bad Spin On Emerson

Former Tory Cabinet Minister, and perpetual blowhard, John Crosbie weighs in on the Emerson matter with some "superficial criticisms":
In attempting this Harper has shown he is a political leader who can think outside the box, as demonstrated by inviting David Emerson, re-elected as a Liberal, to become the minister of international trade and inviting Michael Fortier, co-chair of the campaign, to become minister of public works after appointing him to the Senate...

As for Emerson, well respected in B.C. and the West, note that all Harper did was invite him to join the cabinet. He had run when Paul Martin asked him to serve in 2004 and performed well as a minister. So he was asked to "serve" again and accepted.

"Outside of the box" indeed, with the box being our democratic process. Crosbie rationalizes Emerson's defection as simply a call to serve, no different than Martin's recruitment. The call to serve would be justified, if Emerson was a diplomat, but the voters actually do the calling in the instance of elected officials. Emerson was called to serve as a Liberal, not a free agent who always ends up on the winning side. Crosbie attempts to inject nobility into the selection, but he conveniently ignores the core issue- voters rights.

The typical conservative protest:
The natural governing party of Canada, and their media sympathizers, clearly have protested too much about the addition of Emerson and Fortier to cabinet...

The movement of Emerson to the Harper government, following the election, was in no way deserving of the hysterical hissy fit frenzy of much of the media the same media caught by surprise but undisturbed when Martin bargained Stronach into his cabinet.

This whole issue is simply media driven, with the underlying partisanship. Interesting that Crosbie chooses to make the Stronach comparison to prove his point. If my memory is clear, the media was relentless in their criticisms of the Liberals in the wake of Stronach. It is also fact, that the Conservatives used the Stronach episode as a cornerstone example of why the corrupt Liberals had to go. Crosbie forgets that it was the Conservatives who chose to run on a platform of "restoring integrity", in effect laying the foundation on which they would be judged. Had the Harper Conservatives not presented such a moralistic, pure image, the Emerson affair would not have looked so hypocritical. The media, driven by public outcry, is merely pointing to the pedestal the Conservatives created. Hey John, if you live in a glass house....

Quite telling that the entire Crosbie editorial falls to mention the voters. Attacks on the Liberals partisan motives, the left wing media (always a conservative nemesis), but no acknowledgement of people. I would argue that the entire Emerson affair is primarily a people driven enterprise. Are most of the demonstrators, petition signers, talk radio callers Liberals and NDP supporters? Yes, how could they not be when the people of Vancouver-Kingsway overwhelming supported these parties in the election. Should the media ignore the public, in an effort to avoid any accusation of bias? Whenever the attention challenged media wanders, the public outcry demands they re-focus. Crosbie presents Emerson as the victim, at the mercy of the evil press and the party of entitlement. Crosbie conveniently ignores the true casualty, Canadian democracy.

12 comments:

Forty_Two said...

They're all corrupt. Have you forgotten why our species sits at the top of the food chain?

Steve V said...

forty two

Agreed. The problem with conservatism in general is the propensity to seize the "values" issue as their natural domain. When they inevitably fail, and reveal their own flawed humanity, the failure is all the more striking.

Paul Vincent said...

I don't think you can apply Crosby's theory to Stronach's in quite the same way. Harper was thinking outside of the box because he saw someone who had the experience to represent his part of the country well and be a minister. Belinda Stronach however had no ministerial experience (she proved that) and because of this it couldn't be characterized as "thinking outside of the box" as Crosby put it, but instead as political prostitution.

Just a point of clarification.

Dana said...

Stronach may not have had Ministerial experience but she had, for good or ill, been CEO of a major successful corporation. Argue the Daddy points all you wish, her name was on the letterhead. I'm not saying I'm a big fan of hers, as I'm not a big fan of Martin or Harper either. But a fact is a fact.

The aspect of the "politics not ethics" argument that troubles me more is the tacit concession that the disconnect between them is considered so complete that saying the words together in the same sentence is taken to be an indication of either naivete or senility.

But what troubles me most is how passively we, the citizens, accept that ethics and politics don't/won't/can't coexist simply because that's what we're told by politicians.

It also troubles me that we're expected to presume that when "it's just politics" is called during any procedure that it somehow bears no relevance to the way in which the country is run and we are governed. As though "politics" and "government" were to be considered two separate concepts that bear no relation one to the other or have no influence on one another.

I think we're in deeper doodoo than we know and it has less to do with partisan politics than with an elitist corporatism coopting our democratic institutions, traditions and forms of discourse.

Steve V said...

dana

We seem to be moving closer to the American experience, wherein every statement is viewed through the lens of partisanship. The "truth" is merely a reflection of what side of the aisle someone sits. The media becomes nothing more than a he said/she said discussion that clouds objectivity.

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

Just noticed that CTV claims Harper is preparing to “dump” the Ethics Commissioner.

Oh yippee! Our very own Saturday Night Massacre ...

Brought to us by Harper’s New Tories. His first import from Bushland. What’s next? Stars wars systems? Troops in Iraq? Bloated budgets and deficits?

Can’t wait to see.

Adairsville said...

Interesting blog...a good read.

Regards,
A Cassville Heritage Association member, Cassville, Georgia
Adairsville

Johnny Reb said...

Interesting blog. Keep up the good work.

Regards,

Johnny Reb
Bartow County
http://www.scv670.com

SCV Member said...

A good read. I'm looking for info on the civil war and anything related to it.

Regards,

SCV member
SCV

SCV Member said...

Interesting blog. I'm always interested in anything to do with the civil war, especially in the area of Bartow County, Georgia. I'm an active member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).

Regards,
SCV member
Stiles-Akin Camp 670

Johnny Reb said...

Interesting blog. Keep up the good work.

Regards,

Johnny Reb
SCV
http://www.scv670.com

SCV Member said...

Interesting blog. I'm always interested in anything to do with the civil war, especially in the area of Bartow County, Georgia. I'm an active member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).

Regards,
SCV member
Kingston