Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Let's talk ethics.

Parliamentary ethics--as paradoxical as that may be.

The Conservative Party touted their ethics package as one of the crown jewels of their platform. Promising to clean up government, they insisted that they'd work in constituents' best interests. "Stand up for change," they implored.

Instead, constituents in the Vancouver Kingsway riding in British Columbia re-elected Liberal David Emerson--a man who crossed the floor to both the Conservatives and a cabinet post a mere two weeks after the election. The voters of Vancouver Kingsway clearly did not want a Conservative M.P. representing them:

Emerson easily won the riding by a margin of 4,592 votes, garnering about 44 per cent of the total ballots cast. The NDP candidate came in second, followed by the Conservative candidate.

In fact, said Conservative candidate garnered only 18.79% of the vote.

So I'm not surprised that the Vancouver Kingsway Liberal riding association is calling for Emerson to repay the funds used to re-elect him as a Liberal. (I am surprised that each of the 20,064 people who voted for Emerson aren't calling for it, too.)

Emerson, on the other hand, does seem surprised--and generally pissed off--that anyone would have the gall to ask that he repay the campaign donations, and run in a by-election as a Conservative candidate. (Incidentally, the New Democratic Party included a proposal for an Accountability to the Electorate Act--which would require M.P.s who switched parties to resign and run in a by-election--as part of their ethics package.)

Now, what be the ethical thing to do, David? Really, I know you're not required by law to repay those funds or run in as a Conservative in a by-election, but aren't you at least required to try to be ethical?!

If a newly-minted Conservative is at all indicative of our newly-minted Conservative government, it would appear that the Canadian electorate is in for more of the same unaccountable, disrespectful governance.

Edited to add:

Will the new government be haunted by ghosts of Conservatives past?

I know that legally he was exonerated, but in the court of my very public opinion...? I'm not convinced yet. And given that the fifth estate's just illuminated a few more things, I'm even more skeptical.

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