This story has helped me understand why David Emerson decided to switch parties, and why more trouble remains in store for the Liberal Party.
It appears that Mr. Emerson was only a loyal Liberal because of Paul Martin, and when PM resigned as leader, Emerson's loyalty was no longer there.
After some reflection:
Since I first heard about the cabinet picks on Monday I have been torn between opinions on the subject. At first I was pissed, and all I could think about was that this was the Belinda incident all over again, but next I started feeling betrayed as to how the Prime Minister could possibly do this.
A day or so later and after much reflection I came to the conclusion that it was my own fault that I felt so let down as I had placed the CPC up on a pedistal of my own making, and this bugger was so high that it would be impossible for anyone to reach it.
Politics is a blood sport and everyone uses the rules and traditions to their own advantage, I may disagree with some of the rules as they are now written, but I cannot hold it against anyone who plays by them. There are numerous examples of ministers named from outside Parliament and included in this list are a few that went on to become PM.
The rules are clear for crossing the floor and in the Emerson case the RULES were followed and at NO time did PMSH ever say that he opposed MPs crossing the floor, in fact on the CBC this question was directed to him on the subject:
Hello, my name is Colleen Belisle and I have a question for Stephen Harper regarding the accountability issue. In the past 18 months, I have noticed a number of MPs crossing the floor after the election. This makes me wonder why I should, as a voter, go and vote when my MP can change parties after the election. Mr. Harper, are there any policies that you plan to enforce after the election regarding this issue? Thank you.
Stephen Harper: My short answer is no. And I understand the voters' frustration. You can imagine I feel that frustration as much as anyone. I was the victim of a number of the particular incidents that the voter is referring to, that Colleen's referring to, but the difficulty, Peter – I know that many members of Parliament have put forward various proposals that would restrict the right of MPs to cross the floor, force elections, or whatever. I haven't seen one yet that convinces me that it would create anything other than a situation where party leaders have even more power over the individual members of Parliament. And, as you know, I've said that, of course, I've said that for a long time that I think our members of Parliament need more authority, need to be able to represent their constituents' views, and they may make very bad decisions in crossing from a good party to a bad party or, more particularly, a winning party to a losing party. But that all said, I haven't seen one yet that I'm convinced creates a bigger problem than it's actually trying to fix.