Friday, May 23, 2008

Turner Needs To Self-Censor

I'm not sure what the point of having an MP openly muse about factions within the Liberal caucus, "weakening" Dion is, but it certainly suggests the time has come for Mr. Candid to zip it. Garth stirring up a hornet's nest, for no apparent reason:
Dion won the leadership after a year-long campaign involving 11 aspirants, recalls Turner. He says the fierce competition left its mark.

"I support the leader, but not everyone is of the same mind and there are factions within caucus who want to weaken Dion. There are people who have aspirations . . . without a doubt, who forever and a day will continue to try to promote their agendas.

"I have a problem with those who still harbour ambitions and should swallow them. I see that happening within our caucus and I don't like it."

Turner says he doesn't want to undermine any of his colleagues and prefers not to identify individuals. That said, it was clear from our conversation that he is referring to Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae who came second and third in the leadership stakes.

Turner, who has a long history of speaking candidly -- going back to his days in the Mulroney caucus -- reveals he's "in a bit of trouble right now" with some of his colleagues.

"I'm seen as a guy who is standing out there for Dion, helping the leader succeed." Those who Turner has targeted for their disloyalty have reacted by drawing their own swords against him.

I'm open to any suggestions, just how calling out your fellow MP's helps Dion? All Turner does here is reinforce the notion that Dion doesn't enjoy the support of many in his caucus, former leadership rivals aren't working together as a team, basically painting a picture which does nothing for the Liberal "presentation".

When a Liberal goes on the record criticizing Dion, then you can at least attribute it to frustration, or whatever. However, Turner is actually offering all this in defence of Dion, and in so doing actually has the opposite effect.

Is it true, what Turner says? I think that is ENTIRELY irrelevant, because going public helps no one, it just ruffles more feathers, continues a narrative which was actually starting to wane, basically tells everyone that Dion's leadership is weak. Honest candor is great, but when it serves no rational purpose, when it feeds a negative, when it just gets the media hunting for more, then it's just plain dumb. Turner takes it farther, playing the martyr, that the swords are now aimed at him. Well, I don't have a sword, but if I was standing behind Garth as he started to spew to the media, he would certainly get a poke or two.


MarkCh said...

Hmmm....Maybe it would have been better to leave Turner as an independent, rather than taking him into caucus.

Cliff said... we know why the Tories didn't want this guy....Keep in mind the real root of Garth's problems was his aspirations...that was to be in cabinet...wisely that didn't happen.
But, once he was overlooked...he sulked...he played the child's game and he sees first hand what the lack of team play is all least now he is surrounded by like minde friends....

Möbius said...

We warned you he was an idiot, and not worth the trouble...but nooooooo!

Anonymous said...

In fact, there have been stories that Garth's own production company will be doing the ads for the Grits in the next election. He is now the so-called Communications Director in caucus.

If Dion's leadership is defended boisterously by a maverick MP whose history in the Liberal party is recent to say the least, then this highlights some problems that need to be ironed out soon.

Anonymous said...

When he was given the boot out of the Con party, Liberals said he was a free voice that was killed under Harper's oppression. Now that he carries the Liberal banner he is criticized for speaking his mind.

Bottom line is, the guy is an idiot who only sees himself as the main show. He really should learn to put a sock in it.

Anonymous said...

I think Turner sees it as it is,. He is a Red Tory, ant that is sure one hell of a lot better than what breathes on the other side of the House. Perhaps he does tell a little truth, but perhaps to, he should tell it as it is, but not to the public. Let the Liberals know how he feels, not the media

Blues Clair said...

Steve V, You are one of the better bloggers out there. That being said... when Garth was in the CPC I enjoyed his blog because it gave me insite to the Nu Government. You can't throw him overboard now because he displays the same behavior. Garth has been a strong Dion supporter since he joined the Liberals... one of the strongest I might add. What he is saying might be true.

Anonymous said...

Having read Turner's blog fairly regularly since he was kicked out of the Conservative party, I have concluded that he IS a conservative idiologically and that he really doesn't belong in the Liberal party.

He does the blog because he has a regular following of folks who feed his ego, which he seems to need.

Why would I bother to read the blog? To get inside info, of course. Lately, though, his rants are becoming more self-centred, showing possibly his more dangerous side.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question.

Why has Dion been so eager shovel up Tory refuse?

Steve V said...

"You can't throw him overboard now because he displays the same behavior."

I'm not really suggesting that, but he needs to be reigned in, this is just counter-productive. I read his blog from time to time, sometimes you get good insights into the inner workings, but stuff like this just divides the caucus further. I don't get it.

Steve V said...

Contrast Garth's compliants with today's G and M piece, the first I've seen that actually suggests a measure of "unity".

Jim O'Brien said...

Actually, Mr. Turner's views remain quite conservative from an economic point of few. He was always on the conservative side of the PC party - never a red tory. Although an incredibly bright individual, he doesn't have a humble bone in his body and seems to be an utter egomaniac. I am willing to bet that most of the liberals new this, but wanted the short term publicity of adding a tory to their benches. Especially one who offered up the story of an oppresive PMO.

Anonymous said...

Garth brings more positives than negatives to the Liberal Party.

He knows how to work hard and is a great campaigner. He won a riding he should not have won against a popular sitting MP. The Liberals can learn from him and must to win the next election.

He is far more left than many Liberal MP's, many of whom have recently retired, thank goodness; but he is still well within the Liberal tent ideologically.

As far as his candor, I don't see it as being an issue unless he challenges the leader.

Challenging people who challenge the leader should be something more MP's are willing to do, not less, even in public.

Garth is not of the natural governing, arrogant, entitlement totally disconnected from voters kind of Liberal MP. That's why he is an asset, big mouth or not.

Anonymous said...

Garth an egomaniac?

Sure, but an egomaniac that will knock on every door in his riding personally (without exageraton) and campaign on foot for a YEAR to win an election.

How many Liberal nominees have been campaigning every day for the last year to win their seats?

I'd venture none. If they had, they'd probably win those seats, including Outremont. We didn't campaign, so we didn't win.

We need Garth's ability, hard work and determination.

Sean said...

Blues Clair:
When you say "insight", what you really mean is "dirt".

Garth's your man.

rabbit said...

The Liberals have gotten into the bad habit in the last 8 years or so of undermining their own leader.

A political party is supposed to be an organization, and you can't have an organization without some discipline.

I support Garth on this one (first time ever). It might be better to openly demand discipline then to quietly put up with members who undermine the leader.

Steve V said...


Nothing is served by calling out your fellow MP's, not sure how that tactic gets people in line. About all it accomplishes is more angst, there is zero upside. Besides, the timing of this doesn't quite jive with the link I provided, nor the sense I've had in the last few weeks, that people are genuinely putting the nonsense aside and getting ready for an election.

rabbit said...

"Nothing is served by calling out your MP's"

It might serve to encourage them to stop a destructive practise. If so, the bad press it generates will be worth it in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I agree with rabbit. More MP's should have had Dion's back from the beginning, public or not.

Garth is on the right side of this one, as lacking in discretion as he may be sometimes.

Steve V said...

Do you guys actually think this public airing has any benefit, other than to piss people off? Make your case, but don't run to a microphone to do it. Again, I see zero upside, it just keeps the media digging for more, and it detracts from what seems to be a more unified effort.