No compromise

So I paused in the cold drizzle before walking through the outside stone portal that leads to the House of Commons this afternoon, thinking about things. Jack Layton power-walked past me. “You don’t need to stand out here, Garth,” he said. “You can still come inside.”

It was the first time I had come to these stone buildings as anything other than a Conservative, and now as an Independent I was briefly unsure of how I was going to fit in.

But, I said to myself, suck it up and remember a few basic truths.

It is not Stephen Harper or the PMO who determines who a Conservative is. That is the people’s choice – the volunteers, the riding association, the delegates, the members and the voters. In the last 18 months they chose me in two nominations and one general election. They may not like it on the Hill, but in Halton democracy is still cool.

No matter what the party bosses of the day decide, I am a member of Parliament who worked his ass off to get elected for a clipboard full of causes, who knocked on 25,000 doors promising to represent people to the hilt, and nothing about that has changed. Live with it.

The blog rants and the Ezra Levant trash talk about me having to resign my seat because PMSH, Ian Brodie and Doug Finley don’t like a journalist-populist-entrepreneur in their hen house, should be taken as flattery. I suppose if I’d done what I was meant to do last week – die a quick, tortuous and public political death on page 32 – they’d have retreated to something else.

And where in these stone castles is it written that one person, duly elected by the voters, cannot be an effective, productive and responsible MP, regardless of what label’s on their back? I mean, if the agriculture minister wants to ignore MPs who sit beside him in caucus just as he does the MPs on the other side of the House – and yet his colleagues can’t grab a microphone and rally the farmers back home – how is anything better?

So, I thought, watching Layton disappear through the brass and glass doors, I might be in this pickle for greater reasons than having been a thorn in the prime minister’s paw and a walking surprise to the PMO communications lady. Perhaps my actions can show that an Independent MP is something we ought to have more of – able to speak freely, truly at ease to represent his or her constituents, unfettered by policy positions nobody ever consulted on, and unrestrained in using every tool available to champion the causes that brought him here. That might be speeches in the House, noisy rallies on the Hill, the mainstream media or, of course, all the arsenal of digital democracy.

And in I went. I spoke to the Speaker and worked out a way to ask questions every few days in Question Period. As a Conservative MP, I had been banned from doing so by the party.

I arranged to make statements in the House regularly on issues that need to be addressed. As a Conservative MP, any rare statement had to receive both advance permission and approval of the script.

I have started the process of being able to table private member’s bills. As a Conservative MP, I was not allowed to pursue any legislative initiative without ministerial approval.

And I am planning my schedule to allow me to travel and promote the causes I am fighting for – from income-splitting to the environment to property rights. As a Conservative MP, I was not permitted to leave town when the House sits.

In fact, almost all of those things that Canadians expect a member of Parliament to do and say and now available to me. Nobody can shut me up. No one can prevent me from demanding what my constituents want, and sent me to get. No political boss ever again will tell me to alter a paragraph or that I can’t go home for a community cause. No compromise. No excuses.

I visited the Speaker for a few minutes in his big green chair, and then headed for my little one up in the back row, a spring in my step.

Damn, but we learn some things late.

82 comments ↓

#1 Lynne on 10.23.06 at 10:50 pm

Good late evening Mr. Turner!

I heard you have been expulsed of the Conservative Party because of your “outspoken style”. Well, I’ve a strong personality too, and I’m a Green! I’m a 20 years old student from McGill University in Montreal, and as I shopped the party I was more inclined toward (hesitating between the NDP and the Green Party), I decided that environment is THE issue that will allow us humans to remain a live species on Earth or become part of the fossil record because we have a short-sighted view. Think about joining our dynamic party (and be part of history as the first Green MP…)!

Take your time to choose, no pressure, I support you!

#2 Derek on 10.23.06 at 10:51 pm

Hey Garth!!

I’m an ex-pat voter living in Australia at the moment. I just wanted to lend you some support, and let you know that I hope that you join the Green Party! You’re the right person for the job – go down in history – for a second time.

Regards,
Derek

#3 Robert on 10.23.06 at 10:53 pm

Hi Garth,

My $0.02. Join the Liberals.

Robert

#4 Scott on 10.23.06 at 10:56 pm

http://idealisticpragmatist.blogspot.com/2006/10/garth-going-green-makes-sense.html

All I can say is whatever you do.. you’ve certainly livened up
Canadian Politics.

#5 Judy on 10.23.06 at 11:00 pm

Garth: You would make a great Minister of Finance. Now, what Party would that be with??

#6 Jim on 10.23.06 at 11:03 pm

I’m also hoping you’ll join the Greens. For that matter, so are all the people I share a little office with at York University.

#7 Dave-Campbellville on 10.23.06 at 11:04 pm

Garth,I haven’t seen a reply to my last comment[because I can’t find it] I contributed $200 to the CPC in answer to a telephone solicitation 2 weeks ago- can I get it back? I wonder if it was a predismissal manoeuver because they knew they wouldn’t get much support after the fact.

#8 Snowbunnie on 10.23.06 at 11:05 pm

You done good today, Garth!
As always.

#9 Frank on 10.23.06 at 11:08 pm

Does anyone else out there think Peter McKay was barking up the wrong tree when he referred to his ex as a dog. I think he should have just let sleeping dogs lie.

#10 Stephen Karr on 10.23.06 at 11:10 pm

Garth, I hope you are buoyed by the weight of comments from differnt people on your blog supporting you. Keep also in mind that a lot of the posts deriding you are from repeat offenders.

#11 Surreal1 on 10.23.06 at 11:12 pm

Garth, One person can make a difference,
Time and time again. follow your heart and all else will fall into place. We have mainly things to discuss my friend and this road has just begun.

#12 ferrethouse on 10.23.06 at 11:16 pm

There are a hundred ways of making a person feel shunned and I’ve got to tell you that in the last five days my former colleagues and their bosses have found every last one of them.

What goes around comes around. Stop crying and grow up.

Your fifteen minutes are almost over…

#13 shewholovesthetruth on 10.23.06 at 11:18 pm

my 2 cents: garth, remember don’t let the people so full of fear who project their junk onto you, affect your spirit. protect yourself and know that hurt people, hurt people. there’s so much pyschological at play here. and it’s fear that running the joint on the hill. if you come from love, you can’t lose. God Bless!

#14 James on 10.23.06 at 11:28 pm

Put plain and simply, if you like being independant, and your voters like you independant, then by all means stay independant. The only rules you have to follow are the same rules every single person in the house needs to follow, and that’s it. Which is exactly how it should be.

#15 Brian Gardiner on 10.23.06 at 11:30 pm

Sorry Garth, but after your many posts about David Emerson resigning (or how you thought he should), I’m not sure I don’t see why you aren’t resigning. You were, after all, elected as a Conservative, now your not.

This is especially true should you ‘cross the floor’ to another party.

Garth, I have liked you for a lot of years, but after the way you got on about Emerson, you have two choices. Resign and run again as an Independant/Green/Liberal/Whatever or take a major credibility hit.

#16 Doug M on 10.23.06 at 11:43 pm

Regarding your blog today: You make excellent points. Although I am a conservative and a party member, I will watch with great interest and anticipation your moves over the next several months. All of Canada needs you, Garth, and not any particular party. We need you to show us what digital democracy can do and what a truly independent MP can do. Leadership is what it’s all about, and you have proven yourself smart enough to show the rest of them what is possible. Keep on doing it.

Now go show ‘em all how it can and should be done!

#17 Mikael C. on 10.23.06 at 11:58 pm

Garth, can we have the link to question periods featuring yourself posted somewhere? while I enjoy question period, I cant catch it every day, but I want to see Garth active in the house!

#18 Glen on 10.24.06 at 12:09 am

Garth – don’t join a party just yet. Enjoy your tenure as a independent, you may just enjoy it! Like you said in your MPtv, it’s very liberating and you don’t have to report to a political boss.

#19 Iggy Pops Poo on 10.24.06 at 12:12 am

And thus, the Party of Garth begins not with a bang but with a whimper.

#20 jmccain on 10.24.06 at 12:29 am

Some interesting thoughts describing why
proportional representation is a bad idea.

Basically, why bother electing MPs in the West when Ontario & Quebec can run the whole show with their majority of the population.

#21 jmccain on 10.24.06 at 12:29 am

Here’s the link to the article:

http://www3.telus.net/irobertson/PR.html

#22 A.R.Wainwright on 10.24.06 at 12:32 am

Garth, Do the right thing—-Wait a minute, you are doing the right thing.
Stick by your guns.
By the way, it is now open season on ALL of those old fogies (Parties) that clutter up parliament.

#23 Raven on 10.24.06 at 12:35 am

I think that staying independent is a great decision.

The party aspect of politics is incredibly corrupt, and I would prefer it if every MP were independent. The PM could then be elected pope-style from the body of elected MPs if going the Presidential route wasn’t palatable.

I’m not in your riding, and I don’t agree with a pretty significant chunk of your goals, but I appreciate that you are at least willing to discuss the issues.

#24 Joel French on 10.24.06 at 12:44 am

Wow. Sounds like an independent is what most communities should want. Unfortunately they are few and far between.

#25 Ron on 10.24.06 at 12:59 am

Good work Garth
We know it is not easy,but you have the support of a lot of Canadians who wish you well.Your current plan of action to test the waters as an Indie is excellent and sound. All the very best.

#26 NCF TO on 10.24.06 at 1:08 am

Go Green, Garth!

Signed,

A proud conservative who thinks the Green Party is wack.

#27 Michael on 10.24.06 at 4:06 am

Mr. Turner, right on! Go wherever you can continue to reach the voters, and continue to take Harper apart bit by bit. We need you to continue to attack Harper for what he is: the most opportunistic, partisan, egotist I have ever seen in politics. He makes Mulroney look like Pearson!

#28 Catherine on 10.24.06 at 5:22 am

Yeah Scott – it’s livened up, but, it’s too bad it’s not about anything substantial that impact our daily lives.

#29 Scott on 10.24.06 at 6:48 am

While its polyanna to think that it would ever come to pass, but the more I ponder the topic, I become more convinced that the days of party politics should end!

Digital democracy, is there anyone in Canada who does not know what Garth Turner believes?

Parties are outmoded. Let people decide who can best represent them based on the individual candidate. Then let those candidates create coalitions with other like minded MPs in Ottawa.

Let the PM be chosen the same way the speaker is chosen, through a house vote. And let’s give the senate value by electing them as well.

Imagine a parliament where the MP’s HAVE to put their constituents first.

Digital Democracy…..Cool!

#30 Canadian Latitude on 10.24.06 at 7:00 am

Hey Garth!

Your a good MP and I like your style. It is the Conservatives loss you are not there anymore. I guess they only like lap dogs.

I say Go Green!

#31 The Cyber Menace on 10.24.06 at 7:05 am

Actually, Mr. Turner, you knew full well when you ran as a Conservative that it is the party that ultimately decides who is a Conservative. Since you’re no longer a Conservative, you should resign your seat, just like you asked David Emerson to do. Anything else would be an example of political hypocrisy, wouldn’t it?

#32 shudson on 10.24.06 at 7:23 am

My $0.02. Join the Liberals??? .02 That is about all there worth.

#33 josie erent on 10.24.06 at 8:21 am

if funny how the elected representatives who are a favourite about the elected…….are always in trouble with the party…..yet suck up like my MP ….Carolyn Bennett ignore their constituents and pretend they have made tremendous accomplishments…..

Garth…….YOU ARE BIGGER THAN YOUR PARTY…………you have touched many people who like me have become very cynical about party politics……..

you have tremendous power over the media…use it wisely to your advantage……

As more me…I will be writing a letter of company to Sorbara..Liberal Finance Minister who is totally against raising minimum….These idiots certainly are not against raising taxes by 30% through atomic energy or giving corporate welfare handouts to Ford GM and the Mapleleaf entertainment for the new soccer stadium that we simply don’t need….

These people garth have a lack of priority and follow special interests groups…..I just hate people like Sorbara who pretend they know what small business people want…very simply – lower taxes, less bureaucracy and less bullshit and interference from all levels of government…..

its also helps by not providing corporate welfare to the Ford and GM bums who by the way…ford laid off hundreds of people in Windsor……

#34 PW on 10.24.06 at 8:24 am

I think a lot of people voted for Garth in spite of the fact he was a conservative.If it had been his choice to be independant then maybe he should resign.
I think the Conservatives that come on this site don’t comprehend the idea of bottom up democracy, just my party right or wrong.Well we have all seen that before and you don’t have to know too much history to see where it leads.
I have defended the Harper government in the past but no more.
As for Ezra Levant,party apologist,he can go make potty in his hat!

#35 Ex-Liberal-Now-NDP on 10.24.06 at 8:47 am

It’s sad to see confirmation that the CPC has destroyed what was left of the PC party, especially in regards to social policy. I hope their bullying will be their undoing. Things can only get better for you now that you have their constraints lifted. good luck.

#36 Ray Hall on 10.24.06 at 8:50 am

To All you kool-aid drinkers of the Dear Leader, who are calling on Garth to resign, this differs greatly from the David Emerson.

Garth did not leave the Conservative Party, the Party left him.

Steve stabbed Garth in the back, just like when he stabbed the Progressive Conservative Party in the back to go run off with Presto Manning and Jetski Day and we all know the total and utter failure that the Reform and Alliance Parties were.

Stand strong Garth, stay independent, and you will be ready to rid the cancer which has infected the Conservative Party.

All the best to your wife, your dog, and yourself.

Ray Hall
Montreal, Quebec

#37 Gerry on 10.24.06 at 8:52 am

PARTY ON GARTH! as we used to say – as an independent.

#38 Zipper on 10.24.06 at 9:02 am

Cyber Menace,
You say; “.. you knew full well when you ran as a Conservative that it is the party that ultimately decides who is a Conservative.”
How do they do that I wonder?
Read the Conservative Party Constitution. It’s on their website. Garth does seem to be adhering to every aspect of it! Is the party negating or breaching it’s own constitution here? If so, perhaps they should ‘suspend’ themselves.
Further, I wonder if Dave from Campbellville should get his $200 dollars back, or at least get a response from someone? Dave?, Who did you write the cheque to? Garth MP, the Halton EDA, or the CPC? Let us know how that turns out eh? I don’t believe Garth holds the cash for the Party, so maybe your questions should be redirected elsewhere and responses (or lack thereof) can be attributed to the holder of your cash?

#39 Ed Brooks on 10.24.06 at 9:03 am

Dennis (The Menace?):

First, as far as I’m concerned he is still a Conservative. By your ridiculous assertion that “Garth is no longer a Conservative”, you are disenfranchising me. As a member of the Halton Conservative Riding Association, and one of the people who selected Garth as our candidate, I think I should have some input as to whether or not Garth is “still a Conservative”.

Secondly, how anyone with an iota of intelligence can claim that the Emerson situation is the same as the situation that Turner is in is simply beyond comprehension.

Emerson was offered a position and accepted it. There is certainly no Quid Pro Quo for Garth. He was unceremoniously shown to the door.

You are wrong on both counts.

Be very careful about what you are calling hypocrisy, my friend. As I said to you before, Garth has been consistent from day one in telling us how he would represent us. If you weren’t paying attention, that makes you look bad. If there is hypocrisy being manifested in events since the election, you need to look elsewhere.

#40 Jane on 10.24.06 at 9:04 am

Hi Garth,
No, you’re not my MP. Not even close. I’m from butt ….ck British Columbia but did see the news article on TV tonight about your Caucus throwing you out. Since the media cited your honesty and bluntness (my words…theirs were something like..you say too much that caucus doesn’t want the rest of us to know, you reveal too much information, etc.) on your blog as being one of the reasons, I had to check it out.
I like the fact that you actually give information worth reading, bluntly put or not. You actually come across as being a pretty ‘real’ person with some strong opinions and the ability to recognize, and write about, a lot of the bullshit you guys sit through every day.
Kudos to you.
You actually seem to be an MP that the people all hope to have represent them, but which dream we all know is hopeless. I hope you can continue being affective, and even more honest than ever as an Independant!
Your blog is well worth bookmarking for future reading.
Thanks for being ‘real’.

Jane in Nanaimo, BC

#41 Ed Brooks on 10.24.06 at 9:10 am

I think the Conservatives that come on this site don’t comprehend the idea of bottom up democracy, just my party right or wrong.

Some of us get it, but please use the term grassroot, not bottom up…

Ya know, we used to complain about the Liberal trained seals when we were in opposition. It is becoming clear that when a party is in power, most of its members want to play from the same playbook as the other party.

Must.Keep.United.Front.At.All.Costs.No.Matter.What.

Phew.

#42 PW on 10.24.06 at 9:27 am

Sorry Ed,
My comments were not directed towards you as I have followed your thoughtful. comments for months.
I don’t believe you to be one oF the “Borg Collective.” I also didn,t feel that you were a large “C” Conservative.

#43 Ted F on 10.24.06 at 9:48 am

Bet your constituents won’t be voting for you in the next election.Just an observation ,but your recent town hall meetings seem to be packed with people who did not vote for you?The green bloggers say you are just treading water before you come over to them?May won’t get elected,so you will still be tilting windmills.But you seem to like being a self described martyr!Anyways good luck on whatever course you choose.

#44 Steve on 10.24.06 at 9:50 am

its also helps by not providing corporate welfare to the Ford and GM bums who by the way…ford laid off hundreds of people in Windsor……

By josie erent on 10.24.06 8:21 am

Ford bum here. What an insult to the hundreds of fellow autoworkers and there families living in Garth’s riding.

#45 Stephen Smith on 10.24.06 at 9:54 am

They only way PMSH and his co-horts could have defeated you was for you to quit and I know that’s not in your make-up. So you learned a lesson a little late, better than never. Continue to be a thorn in the paw of government(and other places as well) Canada needs more independent thinkers. The wisest follow their own direction – Euripdes

#46 John G on 10.24.06 at 10:00 am

Ed Brooks…I too have listened to garth from day 1 (i am not a constituent however) and I think in many ways…Ezra Levant is accurate in his interpretation of the events……

#47 James Brooks on 10.24.06 at 10:13 am

awww i was hopping you would join the greens. no worries though elizabeth will win a seat in London. Good luck with everything! You rock man!

James

#48 Ray Hall on 10.24.06 at 10:20 am

Garth,

A couple of quick questions that maybe you might incorporate into a blog entry for us all:

1. Are you still a member of the Conservative Party of Canada?
Yes, apparently.

2. Are you still the nominee for the Conservative party for the riding of Halton in the next election?
Yes, until I am disqualified by the Conservative Party national council.

3. If the answer to question 2 is no, would you/could you run for the nomination of the Conservative Party in Halton?

4. What has happened to the Conservative Party riding association are they still in charge in Halton?
Yes, until they are instructed otherwise. This could happen at a meeting to take place Thursday evening between local Conservative workers and volunteers and party brass. Room 4, Miltion Sports Centre, 7:30 pm, Milton Ontario.

5. What happens to campaign funds that you have raised for re-election do they go with you or stay with the riding association?
This money, tens of thousands of aollars, is lost to me. As an Indepedent, I start today from zero.
Regards
Ray

#49 Brian Gardiner on 10.24.06 at 10:25 am

Secondly, how anyone with an iota of intelligence can claim that the Emerson situation is the same as the situation that Turner is in is simply beyond comprehension.

I was going to respond intelligently to this – but since you prefer insult over debate on this issue, I’m out.

#50 David Witherow on 10.24.06 at 10:39 am

As a member of your constituency, Garth, I’d like to see you go Green.

#51 shannon on 10.24.06 at 10:48 am

Hi Garth,

Happy day 2 indie on the hill. If you haen’t seen this blog yet you might like to check out Red Tory, I think he’s a secret fan of yours.

http://redtory.blogspot.com/

#52 Zak Green on 10.24.06 at 11:05 am

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE.

Garth spoke his mind
And he got turfed
He stood for up Canada
But this unearthed

A wake up call to voters
This is what this government is about
No room for ideas
Especially ideas with clout

Centralized and backwards
Led by Steven Harper
More free votes? Right. Lying bastards.
But more then lying-this is even darker

Democracy is dying
Perpetuated by Steven Harper
Neo-cons with zero brawn
Power tripping and falling farther

Behind progress
We see progress no longer
So Garth please address
The issues and ponder

On what needs to change
How this country could be stronger?
I’d invest in Green
It’s the new progressive path to wander.

[email protected]

#53 The Cyber Menace on 10.24.06 at 11:08 am

If Garth Turner is really about grassroots democracy, then he should do what he said David Emerson should do and put his actions to the test of a by-election. Vancouver-Kingsway elected a Liberal, and Garth Turner said Emerson should go back to them to approve him as a Conservative. Halton elected a Conservative, so Garth Turner should go back to us to approve him as an independent or anything else.

You Garth lovers can squirm all you want. Unless Garth Turner abides by his own standards, we’ll know all this talk about democracy and doing things differently will have been a sham. It would have been all about Garth Turner, just like we said from the beginning.

What is Garth Turner afraid of? Why won’t he ask us Halton voters if we like him as an independent, Green, or any other parliamentary stripe? Why is he even considering any of these moves without our consent?

Democracy is about putting your job on the line to do the right thing? Why won’t Garth Turner do the democratic thing and run in a by-election? Why doesn’t he put his money where his mouth is?

All you lovers of democracy should encourage Turner to do the democratic thing he asked Emerson to do in the first place, right?

#54 Ed Brooks on 10.24.06 at 11:09 am

I was going to respond intelligently to this

That’s too bad Brian, I was really hoping someone could explain how the situation is the same. If you can identify how Garth garners any benefit similar to that accrued to Emerson, I will happily apologize for insulting you.

#55 Rory on 10.24.06 at 11:13 am

Garth,
I feel I must remind you that our system is based on the other party’s keeping the Gov. in check not it’s own members. I feel you can do more for me by been in the Gov. looking out for your riding. I don’t think you are much good to me sitting alone

#56 Andrew on 10.24.06 at 11:15 am

Hello Garth,

I’m an ex-pat Canadian living in Europe and I follow the politics back home. Naturally, I’ve been following what’s been happening to you. First of all, I’m a Green, but I’m NOT writing to encourage you to join the Greens. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for you to become the first Green MP in history. But it should be done the right way. You are an MP who consults the constituents and has been investigating novel ways of using appropriate modern technologies to improve democracy. I’m with you on this. You had a meeting in your riding where you conducted a straw poll asking what you should do next. Why not expand on this? Hold your own election.

Here’s how:

Step 1: get the voters’ list for your riding

Step 2: create a ballot. My suggestion is this:

******************
WHAT SHOULD GARTH DO?
– stay as an independent
– attempt to rejoin the conservatives
– go to the Green Party
– go to the Liberal Party
– go to the NDP
– go to another party (write in choice)
– resign to prompt a by-election

REFERENDUM QUESTION:
Are you in favour of mixed-member proportional representation? Yes/No
******************

Step 3: Consider a ranked ballot. Have people write a number beside each choice, “1” being their first choice, “7” being their last. If you go this route, each ballot will need to be entered into a computer. This is a hybrid between simple vote and consensus rule and it would be more representative. (see simplified example below)

Step 4: Recruit a massive number of volunteers to conduct this election. Preferably, get people who have an opinion on as many choices on the ballot as possible so you can get mixed groups of vote counters and scrutineers to count the votes in order to keep the results honest.

Step 5: Have a mini-election campaign. For this, you personally do nothing but sit back and await the decision. The campaign would be conducted by different groups wanting different options.

Step 6: Hold the election. Set up polling stations around the riding staffed with volunteers. People will come in to vote, showing some ID (driver’s licence, etc.).

Step 7: Counting the vote. If you choose to go with ranked voting, you will need to ensure that there is no computer-assisted voting fraud. In order to do this, have different “factions” (ie. those who want you to go Green, rejoin the Tories, join the Liberals, etc) each have their own computers set up to tabulate the vote. Each group will receive vote data from each polling station. If all agree on the outcome, then this is the final decision. If there’s a discrepancy in one, but all the others are identical, then go with all the others. If most or all have discrepancies, redo the counting.

If you do this, it would be a wonderful democratic experiment that would get more people interested and participating in democracy. I think you should at least try this. It would be sure to garner a lot of media attention, which would also expose shortcomings in our current system.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you get to see this as these days I’m sure you’re getting many e-mails.

Andrew Dalby

#57 The Cyber Menace on 10.24.06 at 11:16 am

Ed, it’s simple. Garth said Emerson was voted as a Liberal, so he should go back and be voted as a Conservative. Garth was voted as a Conservative, so he should go back and be voted as whatever he wants to be now.

We’re using Garth Turner’s own words and standards. Not yours. Not mine. Not anyone else’s.

It’s not that complicated, really.

I will wrte about this issue shortly, since I have now been given a legal opinion by the House of Commons. But, in general, calls for my resignation come from those who are disappointed that I have not already been d politically. The corpse is still twitching.

I did not leave my party, stop espousing its philosphy, give up my party membership, cross the floor or join another party. I am no Emerson. I will continue to serve theeople who sent me here – perhaps, ironically, with more effectiveness. — Garth

#58 Ed Brooks on 10.24.06 at 11:24 am

John G:
Ezra Levant is accurate in his interpretation of the events

Yeah, right. If you look at the blog archive there are postings back to May 2005, 8 months before the election, and long before the writ was even dropped. So Ezra’s accuracy is only factually wrong by how much?

And as far as changing postings, I believe Garth responded that he changed an entry at the request of the Party. Are there other examples?

I guess John G, you believe what someone says who you happen to agree with, regardless of the facts.

#59 Paul R on 10.24.06 at 11:36 am

Its funny how the political game is played. When polls are high or low, actions change. In the early days of the Conservative government a few months ago, the Bloc was very cooperative and supportive and all was good deal for Quebec. Now the Conservatives are down in the Polls (mostly lost in Quebec), the Liberals have no leader so the Bloc is starting noise about bringing down the government and attempting to capitalize on this. Times have been tough in Afghanistan and Lebanon. Is that the total fault of the Conservatives or SH? I don’t think so. The Liberals put our troops there with small resources and poor planning. The conservatives have being playing catch up after several years of neglect of our troops by the Liberals. All parties are walking on eggshells trying not to offend any particular group. Now the Liberals are trying to score points in Quebec by calling them a nation. Good grief. Next there will be the nation of Alberta or BC. Everyone living in south-central Ontario already knows they are the center of the universe. I’m not trying to make fun of anybody. I just want to emphasize special status and interest groups have to go.
Garth, You should do fine as an independent. It is very difficult to make everyone happy and it is far easier to criticize your efforts. You have used your blog as an effective communication tool and bring many topics up for debate and discussion. You even did your best is getting one of your constituents out of Lebanon. You have shown your loyalty is with your constituents. If you go Green, you have an opportunity to sell all their platform ideas. Currently Green is associated as a one-issue agenda (Environment) and the vast majority including me does not know what else they stand for. There are many people who would like to see you back with the CPC, but I think those bridges are burned. It’s time to talk less about your old days as a Conservative and talk about how you’re moving forward and continue to represent your constituents. Good Luck.

PS Although I do support SH and the Conservatives, last week was a disappointment.
Highlights:

Environment plan was very wimpy and not well received by many.
Steve Mackay calling Belinda Stronach a dog. The other parties trying to play victim and fowl play was ridicules and over dramatic.
CPC kicking your butt out.
Now the poll showing the CPC is losing the women vote.
The thought of going back to Liberal rule would be far worse. No more $100.00 for my child or another point reduction in the GST. I hope this is a wakeup call for the CPC and they get their shit together real fast.

#60 mike on 10.24.06 at 11:44 am

Garth – i just received my conservative party membership card in the mail (that i signed up for when we thought that nutjob was coming after your nomination). what do you suggest i do with it?

what happens to the donation i made to your re-election (re-nomination)? does the party keep that? the riding association? if so, you can tell those bastards i want my $ back.

and all this crap about resigning & running in a byelection is a waste of time & money. you’re no different today than you were last week.

#61 Gary V on 10.24.06 at 11:53 am

Hey Garth I see you support middle class citizens I was wondering if you could be a little clearer on that. Where is the cuttoff point top and bottom. $100000 on the top and 30000 on the bottom? What about the guy who has worked hard and is over $100000 or the senior who is retired and on fixed income do you still support these people? Or is this just a feel good appeal to the majority slogan?

#62 Gary on 10.24.06 at 12:00 pm

Hi Garth.

Just read your “No compromise” . Good piece. Actually, very good.

In short, you are no longer whipped.

Your piece touched me in a number of ways…..like what’s with Chuck Strahl? Sure there are those who want changes in the Wheat Board (after all, our provincial government spent a $1,000,000.00 giving Albertans one side of the story, but there are are huge number who do not want to see the Board neutered. Does he not realize that he represents the interests of all Canadian grain farmers?

Then of course, you mention the wrath of Ezra. He is one of the republican conservatives….either you are with him or you are not. Policy debate—not. I have listened to him…he is mean in spirit and divisive.
In law school he had T-shirts made up with pictures of himself. They sold out. Undoubtedly sales to friends and foes were brisk.

Prior to the merger , I was a PC. I spoke out against it, and lost. Some debate. We were given 2 minutes to speak. We have democracy but allow it to be compromised at every turn. Look at the controls that were placed on you.

My MP is Bob Mills…Mr. Environment until the government was formed then he was sent to the back benchs. He has a column in a local paper…once his own work, now generic gov’t verbage.Bob personally will be well looked after, I am not sure that either his constituents or the environment will be.

Keep up the good work. Keep up the writing. Few MP’s are as media savvy as you…….use it…for Canada.

Gary
Red Deer, Alberta

#63 Stanley on 10.24.06 at 12:16 pm

“I mean, if the agriculture minister wants to ignore MPs who sit beside him in caucus just as he does the MPs on the other side of the House – and yet his colleagues can’t grab a microphone and rally the farmers back home – how is anything better?”

Garth, I am a Western Canadian wheat farmer. And I support the CWB. And it pisses me off to no end to see our Ag Minister try to do an end run around the democratic process on this topic. Before the last election, I spoke at length with my current MP (A Conservative) and he assured me and others that he was solidly behind the farmers having the right to decide what happen with the CWB. But since the election, he has been both silent and invisible on this issue.

I can understand those that say an individual farmer should have total freedom to grow and market as they please. In the case of wheat and the CWB, a farmer is completely free to chose not to grow wheat if they don’t like the CWB marketing system that is favored by the vast majority of Western Canadian farmers. If you don’t like the business, grow something else.

And to those that claim farmers should be able to do what they want, when they want, I would ask this….what about the lack of freedom to run a dairy and sell milk or produce eggs for sale. Those industries are both contolled by marketing boards that make it illegal to produce those products for sale unless you have purchased quota. It’s hard to understand how the anti CWB farmers can scream about free choice on the wheat issue but be completely silent on the milk and egg issue.

Finally, let me repeat, if any farmer does not like the rules of the wheat farming game, they do not have to play. There are dozens of other crops out there that they can grow and market as they choose.

#64 John G on 10.24.06 at 12:28 pm

Ed…I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about…..I suggest you read the article again……Ezra’s view is shared by most Conservatives…..Garth’s view is widly endorsed by opposition partisans…..odd

#65 Sudan Turfs UN Official Over Blog at The Blog Herald on 10.24.06 at 12:33 pm

[…] e truth as they know it.  Last week, a Canadian politician, Garth Turner, was kicked out of his caucus for his blog writings as they were a little too frank for his c […]

#66 Richard on 10.24.06 at 12:42 pm

Garth,

Let me be honest and tell you that I can never vote for the Conservatives. It just goes against almost everything I believe in. So when you were voted in, I was not really happy about. Fortunately you made pretty clear that were not a Western Conservative but rather a conservative with some progressive ideas. Most importantly, you stood up for your points and your ideas. You didn’t all of a sudden disappear like the other conservative MPs. You stood up for your people. You were available for the people who voted for you. You did something that every MP seems to forget: you communicated with everybody in your riding. Thanks for not becoming one of those other conservative MPs.

Thanks for showing the rest of Canada what it really means to live in a democracy.

#67 Lewis on 10.24.06 at 1:40 pm

Andrew Dalby/
One little problem with your idea. How does one determine who those that voted for Garth, for the CPC in the last election. Unless you advocate that all eligible voters get to vote on the issue, in which case virttually all the Libranos would vote for him moving to them, the dippers ditto etc. In the final analysis it would be meaningless.

#68 Robbie White on 10.24.06 at 1:41 pm

Do you know what would be great? 308 independant MP’s who individually can propose bills and will be voted on. The Prime Minister would be voted in by the MP’s like the speaker as well as ministers. Why is this great? No PARTIES. I’m a member of a party as well and I can see thet they do nothing but hamper democracy and Transparency. Lets get rid of parties all together!

#69 Brian Gardiner on 10.24.06 at 2:35 pm

OK Ed, I’ll bite.

First off, this in no way compares to Emerson, except in one, I’ll get to that.

Second, I myself don’t support by-elections for people who leave a party. I think, and have stated in the past, that I think it’s dangerous for democracy to limit an MPs movement in that way.

Third, for the record, I am not a Garth basher and when I think of him at all, it’s generally positive – although I do disagree with him on some issues.

Now, to my earlier comments. The Garth and Emerson situations are vastly different. However, at the time of Emerson’s crossing Garth said “…floor-crossing should bring with it an immediate requirement to have an election and let the people judge.”

He said it many times, in many different ways. Look through the archives at this blog, February 2006, for many more examples. The implication made by Garth Turner, is that a representative is elected to represent both the riding and the party. What did he say many times about Emerson? Something along the lines of people in Vancouver Kingsway elected a Liberal, then got a Conservative anyway. Well the people of Halton elected a Conservative, then got a guy who’s being wooed by the Liberal’s and the Greens. That is not what they voted for. And according to Garth Tuener, not me Garth Turner, that representative should resign and run in a by-election.

I would add that from any other MP, this is just another MP ignores voters story. Nothing new, no big deal. But Garth’s entire schtick has been Garth the populist. How he was different than all the rest of the Fools on the Hill. Now he’s soliciting offers from other parties, what’s so different about that?

But I’ll tell you what. If he stays independant until the next election, I say that’s fair. But he goes to another party? I’ll be back screaming for him to keep his word.

#70 The Cyber Menace on 10.24.06 at 2:57 pm

Mr. Turner, you demanded that Emerson resign because he wasn’t elected a Liberal. You were not elected an independent, Green, Liberal, or Rhino.

Emerson claimed he was acting in the best interests of his riding, just like you claim. Then, you rejected that reasoning. Now, when your behind is on the line, you seem to accept it.

Besides, why would you run from a by-election? You claim we’re on your side here in Halton. Prove it. Exercise the true democracy you claim to champion. Put your money where your mouth is.

#71 Peter Hebert on 10.24.06 at 3:27 pm

I have to echo the sentiments of those who say that party politics should go the way of the dodo. Stay independent, and work constructively with any MPs who will work with you. Vote your conscience on every issue. Be a shining example of what a representative of the people can be.

#72 Ed Brooks on 10.24.06 at 3:48 pm

John G

Flush with success, Turner started a vanity website, chock full of personal videos and his own Internet diary, called a blog.

Ezra’s article specifically says that Garth started his website as a reaction to not getting a cabinet seat. Clearly, that re-inforces the negative image that you want to apply to Garth.

The truth is that the website was started a long time before the election. A review of the postings on the website provide ample evidence of the direction Garth was headed in, for anyone interested in keeping up.

Look, I will be the first one to say that Garth’s articles are colourful and animated. They are also easy to read for the common man, and humourous in a wry sort of way. Is he a self-promoter, I have no doubt.

But the initiative that he is propelling along is populist and popular. It is also within the core Conservative philosophy of less government, lower taxes, and social responsibility.

Having met and talked to the man, I have no problem supporting his efforts, notwithstanding the fact that his personality is very outgoing.

As far as the quote about the Indian Affairs minister’s comments? This is a compelling secret that he revealed? Spare me…

The rest of the article is just a whine that Garth doesn’t behave like the others. As far as I am concerned, that’s why I voted for him. He is the direction I wish the party would move in. If we are to get a majority in the next General Election, it ain’t going to happen with the same old same old.

Hey, Conservatives will mostly continue to vote Conservative no matter what. How do we attract new supporters to push us over the top? Nothings working so far…

#73 Marc Mielhausen on 10.24.06 at 3:52 pm

I’m glad the Conservatives kicked you out Garth. The Conservatives are working on good, sound economic policies that are geared to turn back the ridiculous tax burden the Liberals have hammered the middle-class with for the last 13 years and, you of all people, should be supportive of that. If you know anything about politics at all, Garth, you should know that a minority party needs the support of all of its members during tough times. You are a huge disappointment to those of us who have always held your opinions in high regard.

#74 Canadian on 10.24.06 at 4:15 pm

you have a opportunity to lead a groundswell here..go green…lotta canadians fed up most parties and are going to vote green…voted conservitive last time and dont like the road were takeing here…harper is outa control

GO GREEN and youll have my vote..

A Canadian

#75 D. MacLeod on 10.24.06 at 5:06 pm

Today I read that the hole in the ozone layer is the largest ever. If we don’t go Green we may just all fry. Then there won’t be any politics to worry about.
GO GREEN GARTH !!!!!!!!

#76 John G on 10.24.06 at 7:15 pm

Ed.. I appreciate your response…..I recognize that Garth does bring a more moderate viewpoint to the table…i salute that…..I also feel that his M.O since missing out on a cabinet post (regardless of what he say’s) has been largely egocentric, self serving, and does little to move his causes ahead….I asked Garth numerious times (10 or more) the following question Ed…how does pissing off the PM and the majority of caucus help your causes…..he has yet to answer….it suggests clearly an ulterior motive

Would we ever see a similar M.O from a Liberal?
Never…it’s why they know how to win….the opposition sure loves Garth….

#77 josie erent on 10.24.06 at 9:05 pm

in reference to Ford bums and GM bums…I am talking about the senior executives of GM and Ford who are paid millions of dollars and get free cars……while their employees are not getting raises………..please do not misinterpret my words……i do not have sympathy for senior executives of large companies getting paid millions of dollars while getting free cars and free loans courtesy of the Canadian Taxpayer. I am a small business person…….I do not expect corporate welfare from my federal government neither should these senior executives who are not taking pay cuts but laying off people….

#78 Tom Clarke on 10.24.06 at 9:10 pm

Ed cut the B.S.
Garth is a Tory and was elected as a member for Halton CPC. His suspension does not change that fact. Still a Tory, still the representative from Halton, just no longer in the CPC cacus.
(not of his choice}
He did not renounce his principals.
He did not change parties.
He did not cross the floor to join another party.
Today, as far as I’m concerned, he sits as an Independent Tory and untill he joins with another party he is not in violation of his position re Emmerson’s floor crossing.
Garth you can and will have influence in the House as a respected Independent with the opportunity to put forward thought provoking Private Members Bills.
Don’t make a party decision untill the next election is called. Then take the position that will do the most good for your constituents.
Keep up the “Good Work”
Disregard the B.S.
I bet some of the Nay-sayer blogers get paid by the hour.
I only wish that you were running in my riding.
T.J.C.

#79 Irene on 10.24.06 at 9:17 pm

Garth, your a breath of fresh air. Thank you for standing up for your rights. There is nothing wrong with running as an independent. I sure hope that you do. Maybe we should be encouraging more MP’s to do just that. This would give them the freedom to work for their riding without having to hush up by orders from the PM. Also would stop the problem with floor crossing if you don’t like being on the losing end. Makes for more honest goverment don’t you think? I think polititions have forgotten about why they chose that field and what got them elected in the first place.

#80 Locusta emersonia on 10.25.06 at 1:01 am

All the Emerson did/did not do it remarks, push them aside. Pitch them onto the manure pile where they belong, along with Rona’s “friends”; Steve’s “accountability”; Oda’s “women on the ground”; Finley’s “care about the homeless”; O’Connor and Hilliers’s “stay the course (while attending secret meetings in Banff to integrate Canada, US and Mexico); MacKay and his diplomatic qualities with his opposite sex; and the the sundry other lies and damn lies the Cons are trying to push on Canadians.
Let ‘er rip Garth. The only thing worse than a loose cannon is one on the other side.
The most truth I have heard from the government lately was today when Flaherty recognized you as “opposite.”
You were elected and stood for your electorate. Emerson… not so much.
In fact, if you had pulled a bait and switch like Emerson/Harper pulled on Vancouver-Kingsway in your own riding, you’d likely have been lynched, or at least run out of town. (People are more laid back out here, which probably figured into the whole scheme to begin with.) However, now they’ve got us riled and we won’t soon forget it.
Stick with it Garth, you have your constituents behind you even if your party failed you. Not like sodding Emerson and his trusting constituents who got a pig in a poke.
Bring on the next election!
I have no confidence AT ALL in this current government.

#81 Ed Brooks on 10.25.06 at 12:37 pm

Uhhh Tom?

You just echoed everything I have been saying. It seems you agree with me, so whats the BS?

#82 Boo Hoo on 10.31.06 at 6:49 pm

Once again, this post just shows how selfish and self centred you are. You care diddly about the voters. All you care about is power and how to get it for yourself. You never were a team player. Admit it. You are getting what you deserve, and that is obscurity. Thank goodness.