Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Excuse me, Mr. Kettle? There is a pot calling for you...

My least favourite MP and Conservative attack dog Pierre Poilievre is on the front page of The Hill Times this week, in reference to the number of Liberal MPs resigning saying as follows:
  • they are "breaking their word" to their constituents;
  • "St├ęphane Dion is not a leader, so they're resigning because they don't want to be part of a failed effort";
  • they "are responsible for millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded byelections"; and
  • if they were going to resign early, "why did these Liberals run to be elected to Parliament in the first place?".
Several others are quoted about how Poilievre is right and how horrible these Liberals are.

To be honest, I am not a big fan of people retiring early without a very good reason. You are elected to serve a term and if people put your trust in you, you should respect that. However, there is an old saying about throwing stones when you live in a glass house.

I would ask Mr. Poilievre, have these individuals also betrayed their constituents for resigning in the middle of their terms:

  • Current Conservative campaign chair and former interim leader of the Canadian Alliance John Reynolds who resigned in 1977 because he could not support Joe Clark as leader.

  • Reform Party founder Preston Manning who resigned in 2002 as he found it uncomfortable to sit in a caucus which he did not lead.

  • Or perhaps our current prime minister, Stephen Harper, who resigned in 1997 to take up a job with the National Citizens Coalition and due to disagreements with his leader.
So Pierre, are Messrs. Reynolds (in charge of getting you re-elected), Manning (the founder of the better part of today's conservative movement and one time mentor to your current leader) and Harper (your current leader) just as bad as these Liberals? If not, please explain how that is exactly.


KC said...

I can't stand Pierre Poilevre either. I remember when he was seeking the nomination in his riding. My girlfriend worked at Staples and he got his campaign literature done there so she brought some home. We had a good laugh. His slogan was "Rock Solid Conservative" and it was such stereotypical far right garbage.

Since he was elected hes really proven what a weiner he is. I know name calling isn't nice but that guy really annoys me.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Good post. There's also the guy that resigned clear a path for Stockwell Day...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Now can you explain the sudden departure all under one leader?

You examples were truly amazing, must have taken a lot of dusting off of those old newspapers to get all the way back to 1977.

That said, people jumping ship on Dion in large numbers just illustrates how he certainly is not a leader, and is ruining the Liberal party all at the same time.

nbpolitico said...

BCer - I don't think that really applies, lots of MPs resign to get their leader's into parliament when they don't have a seat and our favourite MP wasn't criticizing that practice.

I just thought it was cute that three very prominent members of his party had done it for similar reasons.

nbpolitico said...

anon - Did you read what I wrote?

I wouldn't have reached back to 1977, if the person in questions wasn't a currently active and integral part of Poilevre's party.

I agree with Poilevre that these people shouldn't be resigning, I just thought it was funny that he would be criticizing that when the leading figures of his party had done the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Might also be a good idea to check out WHY they resigned.
Perhaps even some stepped aside to let the next generation in.
If this is the best the Conservs have got it's pathetic.
M mangeur de hotdogs can "fist and arm" his way back to Nepean.
What a rude child.

NB taxpayer said...

For the record, Preston had cancer and had to live in the Gatineau mountains with his wife [during his recovery] for the rest of his time in Ottawa.

northern nb said...

Liberals MPs don't want to be part of a sinking ship so it's normal they want to quit the party.

"We are against the Liberal practice of shaking down kids at lemonade stands"
- Pierre Poilievre after he heard that children had contributed to Joe Vople's campaign.

nbpolitico said...

People seem to be missing the point.

The reasons or motives for the departure of these Liberals is not the issue.

If Polievre was simply saying all of these Liberals are leaving vecause their leader is no good/the party is in shambles/etc I might disagree but I wouldn't be calling him to task for being a hypocrite.

But his arguement is that resigning midterm is a betrayal to constituents and taxpayers. How can he say that when his party founder, national campaign chair and leader have all done the same?

Kit said...

I don't know about all this. I tend to agree that if you commit to representing a political riding and get elected, you finish the commitment!
If you can't do that, you shouldn't run, as you obviously lack enough integrity to represent anyone but yourself.
At anyrate...the whole thing came out of an article in the "Hill Times" for petesake! The equivalent of Parliament Hill's National Inquirer, not exactly quotable journalism!

nbpolitico said...

I don't know about all this. I tend to agree that if you commit to representing a political riding and get elected, you finish the commitment!
If you can't do that, you shouldn't run, as you obviously lack enough integrity to represent anyone but yourself.

With that, I agree wholeheartedly.

le politico said...

I think your argument about this working both ways would be more complete if you could find one past Parliamentary session where the same number of Conservative MPs decided to call it quits.

Looking at it that way, the current number of Liberal MPs quitting, for whatever reason (ahem, cough**Dion), at mid-term is unprecedented.

nbpolitico said...

I don't know why you would want to bait me like this, but ok...

In 1977, John Reynolds was not the only Tory to jump ship. On May 24, 1977 there were 6 by-elections, 1 of which was to replace a Tory and on November 16, 1978 an additional 15 by-elections were held, 6 of which were to replace Tories. So in the midst of Joe Clark's widely criticized leadership 7 Tories resigned mid-term, slightly more than the 5 Liberals that are leaving now. You may recall that Joe Clark went on to do what many thought was impossible and beat Pierre Trudeau in the 1979 election.

But I digress.

I don't know how many times I have to say it.

Is this a good thing for Dion? Probably not.

Is Dion doing a great job as leader? Not really.

Do I think Dion is likely to win the next election? Not if things continue to go the way they are.

BUT all of this is besides the point. As I just got done saying, if Polievre or anyone else wants to say this is a sign of Dion's faltering leadership, I will not fault them for doing so.

I just don't like hypocricy and you can't on the one hand say that these MPs are horrible people because they are forcing by-elections and costs on the taxpayers and on the other hand stand proudly in support of Stephen Harper and John Reynolds and the legacy of Preston Manning who did exactly the same thing!