Feb. 8, 2006

Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old Boss (Redux)

Stephen Harper buys himself a Liberal (David Emerson), and all it cost was his promise of clean and open government. That lasted all of one day... In the photo we see Mr. Harper and Mr. Emerson turning their backs on the voters and sharing a laugh.

Last spring the minority Liberal government of the day managed to survive a non-confidence vote in part by enticing Conservative MP Belinda Stronach to "defect" to their party. The Conservatives were enraged by this betrayal. They trumpeted it as a sign of Liberal corruption and demanded that she step down and run again in a by-election. At the same time a Conservative MP tried to entrap the Liberals into offering a bribe for him to switch parties (didn't work).

Now we have a Conservative government and their first action is to give a Liberal MP a cabinet post in exchange for joining their party! David Emerson is now the Conservative government's International Trade Minister, with no hint of a by-election to sanctify it. Perspective's a funny thing, ain't it?

The voters in the Vancouver Kingsway riding are livid, as he ran just two weeks ago on the Liberal ticket on the backs of Liberal campaign workers and Liberal donations. The Conservatives were a distant third in the riding. Mr. Emerson doesn't seem to have any problems with the way things have worked out though.

Other dubious Cabinet choices:

  • Michael Fortier, an un-elected Conservative activist, has been appointed Minister of Public Works. Mr. Harper has long expressed outrage over un-elected political officials.
  • Gordon O'Connor, a long-time military lobbyist, has been appointed Minister of Defence (I'm sure he'll set aside any past corporate affections). This is just weeks after Mr. Harper spoke of the importance of cutting the connection between lobbyists and government.
Listening to: Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo from Dead Man's Party.

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