Tuesday, February 07, 2006

David Emerson fallout

Quick questions regarding the Emerson affair:

1) :: Should we hold a by-election every time an MP falls behind, in popular support, to another candidate?

2) :: Should we hold a by-election every time an MP votes against his party?

3) :: Should we hold a by-election every time an MP acts with his own judgment rather than what a survey indicates constituents want?

As much as I think the Emerson affair is a bad moral (it was dishonest) and political move (the public is spazzing), I am beginning to think that the whole affair is not as "undemocratic" as some people think.

Democracy requires the greatest flexibility for those in government. Otherwise, MP's are at the behest of party whips. People will have their democratic say during the next election, which will be soon, just as they did with Belinda Stronach. We don't live in a direct democracy people.


Anonymous said...

the can of worms is out ..
the sense for Cleanup is out of the windows it didn't take even one day...
and the "west" is more divided and hurt and betrayed then the Liberals ever were..

It is all downfall from here . we are dealing with a weirdoo antisocial anti-everything sick person who is going to rule from his cocoon one soundbite a day and put a MUZZLE on EVERYBODY as the tool.

how long ?? Not very long ..my dear..
I Knew he is weird but i didn't know he is so sick..

Christo said...

Crossing over is a decision with implications. I think politicians have to weigh it out for themselves. For Belinda, I expected that she probably thought that the Liberals would get re-elected and she would get re-elected in her riding if an election were to have happened. And an election did happen. Her first gamble didn't pay off, but her second one did. She got re-elected.

I agree, people will have their say during an election.

Gary McHale said...

You have to be joking with these 3 questions. How do you compare any of these questions to hundreds of volunteers working hard to ensure a particular party wins and 1 week later you cross the floor?

How can you compare any of these questions to 82% of the voters in a riding voted against a party only to have their views disregarded one week later?

Quite the spin you put on it.

Visti this blog to hold Conservative accountable

Jonathan said...


Those are three valid questions that have yet to be answered without shrugging them off.

As for your question...it is a difficulty for sure. But my point is that the idea of running for a party during an election and switching is under no more false pretenses than voting against the party that you ran on. No?

CurisotyKilledTheCat said...

The crux of the Emerson Switch – Absence of Good Faith towards the Voters:

It is clear that not every action of an MP should call for his or her resignation and a by-election being held.

But there is one clear case where the continued occupation of a seat in Parliament by a person is morally unacceptable, and the Emerson case falls squarely within the boundaries of this case.

The principle should be this: If a politician shows clear evidence of a material breach of faith with his or her electors within a very short period after an election, then that politician should be called upon to resign and seek re-election.

This policy could be implemented by an independent person such as the Ethics Commissioner. Any finding by the Ethics Commissioner of such a material breach of good faith would have moral suasion on the leader of the party concerned, who should forthwith call for the member’s resignation.

What duty of good faith did David Emerson breach?

He ran for office for a party, supported by volunteers and party members, using funds contributed by such people, and clearly – in public statements – indicated to the voters that he was a candidate for that party. Then, before even taking his seat in Parliament with that party, and without any major event causing serious individual reconsiderations by him of the political philosophy of the party under show aegis he ran, he decided – within days of his election – to unilaterally decide what was best for the voters, and to switch parties.

Clear indicators of the absence of good faith on the part of Emerson are:

(i) the timing (negotiations apparently started a few days after the election!);
(ii) the absence of major disagreements of principle with the party’s policies;
(iii) the absence of any proactive steps taken by Emerson to attempt to influence the policies of the party in order to reconcile his principles with such policy;
(iv) the stark contrast between his statements about the Tory policies while running for office as a Liberal candidate, and his speedy acceptance of the policies when elected;
(v) the agreement to accept a reward in the form of a Cabinet posting;
(vi) the absence of any discussions between Emerson and the Liberal party officials in his riding regarding his decision to switch parties.

David Emerson has no moral authority to represent his riding in Parliament, and should resign and seek re-election as a Tory. Also, no party leader accepting such a switch in such circumstances, can do so with integrity – that party leader is equally guilty of conniving in and countenancing a breach of faith with voters in that riding.