Belinda Stronach was raked over the coals for crossing the floor to the Liberals in 2004. Why the hell would David Emerson think that he's above criticism for defecting to the Conservatives?
Fucking double standard.
Ohhh...! I feel so silly--this explains Emerson's attitude:
Conservatives sputtered with rage after the defection of Belinda Stronach last year, disgusted by a lack of ethics and demanding that MPs who switch political parties face the music in a byelection.
But many are singing an entirely different tune now that they're in power and Liberal David Emerson has joined them. Carol Skelton said just months ago that she was sick to her stomach when Stronach defected to the Liberals.
The Saskatchewan MP even introduced a parliamentary motion to restrict the practice of party-switching, but won't be bringing it back anytime soon.
"That was last year," Skelton, now the minister of national revenue, said Thursday.
"We talked about it and I decided not to proceed with it. It's one of those matters that is debatable."
Ontario MP Harold Albrecht appeared to be softening the position he advocated during the election. He campaigned on a promise to ensure floor-crossers face the electorate anew to confirm their switch in allegiances.
"I expressed that, yeah. I would prefer that when someone crosses the floor they would have a byelection," he said Thursday. "But I want to talk to my colleagues about that."
B.C.'s James Lunney, who supported a proposed law to force byelections after Stronach defected, now indicates he's not as supportive any more.
He said he's discovered some wisdom in floor-crossing. Party leaders would have too much control over MPs if they were not free to switch caucuses on matters of principle, he said.
Ontario MP Garth Turner was one of the few who spoke publicly about his unease with Emerson's move. On his web site, he posted a letter from a furious constituent.
"I am feeling incredibly betrayed by Stephen Harper," said the letter.
"This is more of the same crap that the Liberals have been serving out for 12 years and which made my blood boil.
"The lies, the deceit, the arrogance. I couldn't wait to vote those bastards out and vote in some integrity and honesty. But this! This is a betrayal of my confidence in Harper and the Conservative party."
Turner said he campaigned on the idea that MPs who switch parties should be forced to face byelections. And he still supports the idea.
"I think anyone who crosses the floor, ultimately, should go back to the people for ratification," Turner said.