Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Who needs principles when you've got Garth Turner?

Normally, I'd be happy over the news that someone was crossing over from the Conservatives or the independent "rump" to the Liberals. Especially with the news today that Garth Turner, who was kicked out of the Con caucus last fall, is about to convert to the Parti Rouge. Payback, perhaps, for Wajid Khan going from the Grits to the Reform Party.

Not this time. Because this goes against everything Garth has stood for all these years. He's been against floor-crossing from Day One and has made it clear -- specifically clear -- that if someone wants to change parties between elections he or she should resign his or her seat and put their job on the line in a by-election so that the people in the district can decide.

Garth decided to sit as an independent a few months back (after flirting with the Green Party), which is fine if he thinks the party he once belonged to no longer represents his interests or that of his constituents. To take it to this level is the height of arrogance. All he offers to the Liberals at this time is a pull back to fiscal conservatism, which Stéphane Dion certainly needs to emphasize to persuade Canadians to give the Grits another chance. By doing this, he takes the choice out of the hands of his constituents; unless he and the Liberals are planning a surprise no-confidence vote within the next week thus forcing a March election.

Stated baldly, Turner should walk the talk: Resign his Halton seat and let the people decide. If he wins, then he'll be welcome into the Liberal Party legitimately.

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