Former Liberal MP Wajid Khan says his decision last week to defect to the governing Conservatives was no snap decision, but rather born of disillusionment with the Liberal party that grew out of several events dating back nearly two years...
His frustration neared its breaking point last June, when 17 people were arrested in Toronto on terrorism-related charges.
Last July, during the war in Lebanon, Mr. Khan argued in a letter to his local newspaper, the Mississauga News, that the Tories should be building diplomatic relationships with Iran, Israel and Syria, rather than emulating U.S. policy.
"From the machinations of the past week however, it has become obvious that Canada's attempts to create its own strong and independent voice in the global arena, and the chance to act as the honest broker, are in danger of being squandered by the foreign policy manoeuvres of the Conservative government. At the G-8 leaders meeting, Harper unequivocally wrapped himself around the U.S. policy of unqualified support for Israel's military actions," he wrote.
"While it has always been important to maintain good relations and where appropriate, support the actions of the United States, the Conservative government's inability to articulate its own policy in the Middle East and attempts to curry favour with the Bush administration cannot and should not supplant Canada's existing foreign relations capital, nor our potential to be a sober and moderate voice of reason in the world."
Someone please reconcile the contradictions.
Khan also offered a direct criticism of Stephane Dion:
Khan also expressed disdain for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, whom he said did not support his work with Harper and wanted him to give up the position.
"He's now taking the Liberal party in the direction I do not wish to go," Khan said. "He has no coherent foreign policy, no commitment to family values, no background in enterprise and no interest, that I can see, in helping new Canadians."
At a news conference in Edmonton, Dion refused to respond to Khan's comments, which he described as "too ridiculous."
Can someone explain "family values", because it sounds like neo-con talk to me? Newsflash, Stephane Dion doesn't care about families, how juvenile. Khan's comments are laughable on one level, especially the immigrants crack. Maybe Wajid should go look at the old Reform manifesto that Harper helped craft, because it is objectively anti-new Canadian, bordering on racist. The only motivation for "helping" is the never-ending search for new votes. I'm glad Dion took the high-ground. All Khan creates with his potshots, a concerted effort to bring him down next election. A used car salesman indeed.
The defection is not getting the political mileage that was hoped for. It was a one day story and that fact must be driving Stephen Harper bananas.
I wonder if that is what motivated the second press conference today?
It would seem that there are a few disgruntled former Liberals who now think that the libs do not reflect their values anymore..interesting, and perhaps just the beginning of an exodus..certainly Cotler,Laperriere and this new defection are incidences of a greater pathology..
I wouldn't say it's a one day storey either, not when the balance of power has tipped to the NDP who may try their best to wring whatever concessions they can out of the govt.
Of course it did and I find it quite pathetic really.
All things considered this defection was a political dud. It has not helped the Conservatives one bit and the damage to the Liberals has been negligible.
As well, as has been stated by many, this frees up a seat for either a star candidate or a very capable local candidate with much better Liberal credentials.
So, on balance, I would say the advantage of this defection goes to the Liberals, although only slightly.
There are always retirements when a new leader takes over a party and that is true of all parties.
Alot of long time Reformers and Progressive Conservatives left politics after the election of Stephen Harper as Conservative leader.
The same is true when Paul Martin was elected as Liberal leader.
So what we are seeing is not incidences of a greater pathology. Instead it is just the normal course of politics in this country.
As for the NDP, we will just have to see how that plays out to see if this defection has any impact down the road.
Certainly Cotler,Laperriere and this new defection are incidences of a greater pathology..
When did Cotler defect? And who's Laperriere?
Anyway, I'd barely even heard of Wajid Khan before last week and now, well..the guy certainly is a piece of work.
There is something very odd going on here.
Cotler has not crossed and in fact said he would run, this week. Nice try.
Kahn has adapted to the parlance of the CPC with record speed.
In his speech, when I heard him say, "the New government", I laughed out loud.
The CPC is trying to frame this as, Dion forced him to choose between party and country. Good luck with that. The guy has been a conservative and simply used the riding to get elected. He's returned to his natural home.
I'm glad to see those who will cause future problems leaving frankly.
ti-guy, here you go. I say good bye, good luck.
Someone who says:
"...incidences of a greater pathology...
and, I wouldn't say it's a one day storey either..."
is spouting talking points. Someone who types "pathology" and "storey" in the same paragraph is certainly not either one of those. Construction perhaps Kursk? Did you get the TP email?
Nice try trying to bolster Khan and his new-found hissy-fit with the Libs.
Where's the report, Kahn? Where's your expense sheet. Surely you know your new master is a stickler for those kind of details, being open and accountable and all, to the ordinary taxpayer Canadians.
Get with the program Khan, oh beacon and bright light of the "new government" open and accountable for all Canadians (insert your politically correct blessing here)
Oh yeah, and how about Harper and his God Bless Canada routine; are you on board with that now Khan?
Just when an average Canadian thinks they've seen the lowest of the low with Emerson and Fortier, along comes another remoraTory. Sorry, reformaCon :)
Funny you say this is a one day story, yet it got great time again today on CBC, CTV and Global. All mentioned immigrant votes moving over to the Conservatives. Don Newman did about 10 minutes on the whole thing with Ruby Dhallah trying to mop up. The best reason she could come up with for immigrants not to go Conservative was the Income Trust broken promise. Meanwhile a great clip of a Sikh gentleman saying "The Liberals used to think they had immigrants in their pocket. Not anymore."
If those votes are moving to the Conservatives, then how come all the polls show the Tory support below the last election? Are they losing the white christian vote, and that is counter-balancing the herds of ethnics?
If Harper was really making a splash, he wouldn't have had to do two press conferences with Khan. Smoke and mirrors.
Think back to the Emerson defection. That event was front page news and it lead the nightly news for about a week. He and Stephen Harper did not have to call a joint press conference afterwards to sustain it. Indeed, Mr. Emerson went into a bunker for about two weeks afterwards.
Think back to the Stronach defection. Same thing although she did not hunker in her bunker afterwards.
Now compare that to Mr. Khan's defection. It did not make the front page of my local newspaper, it was not the lead story on any of the nightly news, although it was carried prominently for a few hours on the 24 hour news networks. He announced his decision on Friday and by the following Sunday it was pretty much forgotten.
As I said before this defection carried very little political advantage for Mr. Harper and he knows it, hence yesterday's performance.
I think it's great that those who don't want to re-run in an election or cross the floor do it now - it leaves room for the renewal.
This doesn't hurt - it helps.
I find Khan very suspicious - why did he go to Harper about the terroritst - I suggest they keep an eye on this dude and his (personal) mission. It all doesn't make sense when there are plenty of "qualified experts" other than a pilot and car dealer.
Khan is clearly an opportunist, something readily apparent to most eyes which is why this crossing made so little splash I'd surmise. I mean really, he takes a special advisor to the PM/leader of the party his current (at the time) party most opposes for government, still sits in the Liberal caucus, and it is not obvious that he is considering a cross to the Liberals from the get go?
Especially when his actual credentials for this special advisor's post are nonexistent (sorry, being a Pakistani Air Force pilot 30 years ago does not an expert on the ME and Afghanistan make, especially when in this country his career path is one of a used car salesman and not something more relevant to such concerns) and no one can remember the last time an PM had as a special advisor for anything an MP of the Official Opposition showing just how unorthodox and unusual this was and that it could more easily be explained as a courting ritual to entice a floor crossing. You know, much like Grewal tried and failed to do with the Martin Liberals, it appears that not only was Harper willing to cover up that fraud he is also willing to use the tactics he so decried and vilified during his rants against the Martin Libs for daring to try to buy a floor crossing, which when one considers the fact that Martin and company never did what was alleged (via faked evidence which when discovered and all edited materials returned to their proper place conclusively disproved the Harper/CPC claims of criminal conduct which Harper then did everything to cover up any CPC wrongdoing in pretending no CPCer had done anything wrong whatsoever including Grewal despite the clear evidence of their fraudulent activities in this matter) by Harper et al is really a good example of his twisted hypocritical thinking and situational ethics IMHO.
It also appears according to Stockwell Day that Khan had decided to cross well before the Dion "ultimatum" and waited until after the Cabinet shuffle so as to close the door on allegations he crossed hoping to make it into the cabinet in the shuffle. This man's stories for why he left the Liberals have morphed a few times from the first and given the short period of time we are talking about that should tell any honest political observer what this really was. That this was an MP that was more interested in the perks of being in the government than he was in anything else. It is interesting to note that prior to the crossers to the Liberals (Brison, Stronach, and Keith Martin) that there were clear signs of discomfort with the direction of the party/leader. In the case of the Libs crossing to the CPC no such evidence existed of such discomfort and only suddenly appears after the cross is announced, which makes it clearly suspicious as spin without substance. So the Libs take in principled crossers leaving primarily out of clear discomfort with their party/leader whereas the CPC takes in those Libs more interested in power of government than in which party the government is made up of, a clearly far more expedient and power driven motivation. Yet Harper would have us believe he is the leader that best represents/demonstrates integrity, morality, honesty and ethics while the Liberals are the scum of the earth?!? It is to laugh.
I also agree with Ottlib that Harper and Khan got far less media use from this crossing than any of the other recent floor crossings of the past few years. Which is very likely why they decided to do that presser yesterday at Khan's riding to try and get some more mileage out of the story. Instead though what it is doing is adding up more evidence to support the premise that Harper likes to buy MPs that are more concerned with power than principles and is willing to repeatedly change stories behind why these folks cross to his side of the aisle. I do not see the CPC gaining any significant advantage beyond the shift in numbers in the House of Commons. This defection says nothing about the Liberals except the good judgment of Dion for thinking an MP cannot serve two clearly opposed masters (in this case a CPC PM while staying a member of the Liberal caucus, especially after the damage Emerson did by revealing everything he had been trusted with as a senior level Liberal MP for BC). Indeed, ironically enough Harper made that argument carry weight by his expulsion of Garth Turner for allegedly breaking caucus secrecy despite no actual evidence specifically shown to back that up with was ever released as far as I ever heard of.
At best for the CPC this is a neutral affair with no side gaining any significant advantage, at worst it shows Harper's willingness to buy off MPs with positions and the perks that come with it. No, this crossing in the long run helps more than hurts the Libs by getting rid of someone that clearly was more interested in power than principles from their ranks and the fact that their primary opposition bought him off only underscores that reality. Too bad too many Conservatives do not understand what makes a floor crossing noble/principled is a clear fundamental conflict with his party/leader that is evidenced PRIOR to the crossing, something the Cons crossing to the Libs did have and those Libs going CPC have yet to have.
Oh yes, before someone tries to claim Stronach was totally bought and paid for, that is clearly spin. She was clearly being isolated and treated very poorly by the party she helped create and came in second in the leadership for. This was well in the public record and the actions of Harper in the spring of 2005 were clearly causing her great distress. So while I agree she extracted a good price for her crossing when it happened that was clearly not her sole motivation given the over a year of public humiliation by Harper and the bulk of the CPC for her principles and policy positions. The facts are in the public record on this, which means that it is reasonable to believe that while the inducements of a cabinet position may have helped she was already clearly on her way out of the CPC by the desires of the CPC leadership itself. I wonder how many CPCers would stay in a party that clearly is telling you they don't agree with you, think you are not good for anything other than your name/money recognition and that claim at the last policy convention the only good thing that could be said was that you threw the best party/hospitality room? Not may I would think, at least any with any sense of self worth/respect.
So sorry CPCers and Trolletariat members, this crossing only underscores just how much power hunger and expediency drives Harper's decisions, including who he recruits to cross into his party from his hated opposition the Liberals. He clearly recruited Emerson with a cabinet position by the public statements of both men contemporaneously, and it is equally clear from the sham advisor position cooked up for Khan that this was also motivated by the perks of government being dangled in front of another MP.
There is only one talking point I have heard from this affair which I do think carries any real amount of truth within it, and that is the Liberals have far less strong a hold on the immigrant community than they used to and that this is a result of social conservative views shared by the CPC regarding certain issues like SSM and the incredibly lousy way in which Canada recognizes foreign credentials. That said though the idea that immigrants are leaving the Libs in droves is clearly a fantasy as of this date not supported in reality. That the CPC is skimming a few percentage points I believe, that it is anything approaching a major flood/wave I do not, otherwise their poll numbers would be significantly better than they are especially when one takes out the disproportionate weighting the Alberta numbers give to the national spread regarding the CPC popularity. Yes the Liberals need to watch their flanks on this and it is a vulnerability but no it is not anywhere near as profound and as large as I am seeing CPCers try to make it out to be.
"So the Libs take in principled crossers leaving primarily out of clear discomfort with their party/leader whereas the CPC takes in those Libs more interested in power of government than in which party the government is made up of, a clearly far more expedient and power driven motivation."
I'm not much of a Stronach fan, but there is no question the tension with Harper was real. The funny thing about the two Conservative floor crossers, both are on record slamming the Tories mere days before they left. This fact unavoidably reveals the political opportunism, rather than any principled stand. Both these men are interested in power first, which makes them an excellent fit within the Conservative ranks. Emerson won't run again because he knows his fate, and the more Khan speaks, the more he motivates the disinterested to ensure he is back at the dealership.
What does it say about the Conservatives, that they need someone with sketchy experience to lead their diplomatic charge? Khan's report must be released so Canadians can see exactly what he accomplished. My belief, almost all of the expenditure was for on the job training, rather than any substantative work.
Lets not forget that in Emersin and Kahn harpor has harpooned himself the classic evidence of what he framed as 'Liberal arrogance' during the past few years. 'Only interested in power', 'unwilling to answer to the Canadian voter', hmmm, let's throw in Michelle bagman Fortier and I see that Harpor's aim must be a magic mirror. He is the heir apparent to all things Arrogant!
Good riddance to old trash, I say. If the optics look bad, it only clears the way for better people and true supporters of Dion's policies.
"Good riddance to old trash, I say. If the optics look bad, it only clears the way for better people and true supporters of Dion's policies."
The reasons why someone crosses the floor and the reason(s) they are accepted by the leader of the party they cross to tells any informed person what is really going on regardless of what political affiliations are involved. On that basis the Con to Lib crossers did so with at least principled fundamental conflicts driving them while the Lib to CPC crossers are clearly solely motivated by power hunger and expediency rather than any point of principled disagreement.
I find the way the CPC partisans are trying to spin this into having deeper meaning hilarious. I think what really bugs them is that the defections from the Cons were of significant players and representatives of one wing of the conservative movement whereas the Lib defectors represent nothing but their own interests. So the fact that there was an actual basis to read the Brison, Martin, and Stronach defections as speaking to the loss of influence/power of the PCPC wing of the CPC while no such basis exists in either Emerson/Khan is ignored and the usual whining about the liberal media conspiracy is instead given for the difference in coverage despite the reality being what it actual is. Typical partisan nonsense especially where CPC partisans are concerned. Other party partisans at least are exaggerating something real while the CPC ones rely on total fictions like the media conspiracy shtick to explain why they are not more popular/respected. Sad, isn't it?
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