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Thread: Liberal defector Emerson may quit

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Liberal defector Emerson may quit

    Rood riddance I say.

    Emerson might quit, sources say
    Former Liberal said to be disheartened by uproar over party switch
    New Democrat MP refers cabinet appointment to ethics commissioner
    Feb. 11, 2006. 01:00 AM
    SEAN GORDON
    OTTAWA BUREAU


    OTTAWA—Speculation is rising, even among some senior Tories, that International Trade Minister David Emerson could soon decide to resign.

    Though Emerson made no public comments yesterday — a day after a scheduled conference call with journalists was called off because "the minister is caught in traffic" — highly placed sources within the Tory caucus were privately musing he may be considering calling it quits.

    "Let's put it this way: I wouldn't be at all surprised," said one source.

    Another senior Tory who spoke to the former Liberal minister late this week said he appeared dispirited by the controversy surrounding his defection to the Conservatives.

    Emerson himself has hinted at the toll of the past few days, telling a CTV interviewer this week that if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't have entered politics at all.

    Even as the Conservative leadership moved to quell the Emerson controversy by reining in a caucus dissenter, the opposition yesterday added to the minister's woes by calling in the federal ethics commissioner. Emerson hunkered down in his Ottawa office yesterday as department staff conducted briefings.

    Officially, the Tories were saying that Emerson — buffeted this week by allegations first reported by the Toronto Star that he helped block a settlement in the softwood lumber dispute for political reasons last fall — fully intends to carry on in his new role.

    The furor over Emerson's defection and subsequent appointment to cabinet also continued to ripple through the Tory caucus as one of two MPs who publicly criticized the move described how he was hauled onto the carpet by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    Former Tory cabinet minister Garth Turner (Halton) — who was defeated in 1993 and returned to the House of Commons last month — wrote on his website he "came face-to-face with the party machine in a series of unhappy meetings," including a "sombre session" with Harper in the Prime Minister's Parliament Hill office.

    "I think it is now safe to say my career options within the Conservative caucus are seriously limited. If you would like a course on how not to be popular in Ottawa, then take a seat," Turner wrote.

    Turner and Alberta MP Myron Thompson (Wild Rose) both said on Thursday that it would be appropriate for Emerson to resign his seat and run in a by-election as a Conservative.

    "After today, I'm expecting the whip will be assigning me a renovated washroom somewhere in a forgotten corner of a vermin-infested dank basement in Ottawa. That should go well with my seat in the House of Commons that will be visible only during lunar eclipses," Turner wrote on his website.

    Turner said the appointments of Emerson and Public Works Minister Michael Fortier — a Harper campaign co-chair who will be named to the Senate because he didn't run in the last election — "made me question the whole process" of returning to Parliament.

    Fortier still hasn't been called to the Senate, mostly because he doesn't yet own $4,000 worth of land in his senatorial district of Rougemont, southeast of Montreal, as per the Upper Chamber's rules.

    Turner said he "swallowed with gusto promises of more free votes, more powerful committees of free-thinking MPs, more listening to the voters, and an elected and responsible Senate" and that he had sold that message to his constituents.

    "My comments (about the cabinet appointments) were deemed not helpful, even though I chose them carefully and pulled some punches ... I know the PMO has a song sheet it wants all caucus members to sing from, and I know what happens when an individual chooses to go his or her own way. I was just hoping this time I would not be asked to choose between party and principle," Turner wrote.

    Meanwhile, the opposition was trying to make hay by dragging the ethics commissioner into the Emerson case.

    British Columbia NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) made a formal complaint to Bernard Shapiro, Parliament's ethics commissioner, alleging Harper violated conflict-of-interest guidelines by offering Emerson a cabinet job.

    "It is our opinion that the considerable increase in salary, augmented potential pension, staff and assorted perks enjoyed by members of the cabinet, such as a personal car and driver, amount to furthering Mr. Emerson's private interests over what he would have received as an opposition MP," Julian wrote in a letter to Shapiro.

    Julian based his request for an investigation on the fact that Emerson would not have received those perks had he simply sat as an opposition MP, and asked Shapiro to look into whether Harper used those perks to induce Emerson to cross the floor and join the Conservative cabinet. A spokesperson for Shapiro confirmed Julian's request has been received.

    A second ethics complaint is to be registered in the coming days by Democracy Watch, a government watchdog that believes Emerson violated the federal ethics code by switching parties while he was still technically a minister in the Paul Martin government. When the new government was sworn in Monday, Harper issued a revamped ethics code for ministers that stipulates the "reports and findings of the ethics commissioner are final and may not be overturned by the Prime Minister."
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  2. #2
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal defector Emerson may quit

    He's now said he won't. Too many perks, too much power, a pension and way too many lucrative directorships at stake.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal defector Emerson may quit

    Figures.

    Harper's government is shaping up to be the same pile of shit that all neocon governments are, with the lies and obfuscation and power tripping.. except he's doing it in record speed.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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