Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This Is Why I Supported Emerson In His Defection

Vancouver is buzzing with the latest news that a softwood lumber agreement may have almost been reached after leaked information (Way to go Tories! Must be all those inexperienced staffers) to the media. So after years of taking it in the ass, Canadian softwood lumber companies might finally be seeing an end to this and this is why I supported Emerson in his defection.

Don't get me wrong, I am a Liberal, but as my bio mentions on my blog, I am a pragmatic at heart and my allegiance is to good public policy rather than ardent partisanship. I like Emerson, and though I might be in the minority, I think he is doing good for Canada as a overall. Yes it sucks that a riding which elected a Liberal would end up with a Conservative two weeks later; yes it sucks that our Party lost a major player; and yes it sucks that now the Tories will get credit for an agreement if it is reached, BUT, at the end of the day, if a settlement is reached, a settlement is reached and that's good news for Canadians everywhere.

There are many issues at hand here and I will avoid talking about them or else my blog will be uber long, but I must digress on one thing - butting heads with Americans will not do us any good.

People blamed Harper for being too cushy with Bush. On the other hand, we had Martin in the 2006 Federal Campaign criticize the Yanks to bolster himself in the polls. I've worked for some time in politics as a staffer and I know first hand that if you get along with the person you are dealing with, a solution is much easier to come by. I'm not saying that Martin should have kissed Bush's ass, but to a certain extent, you need to cozy-up to get what you want. Haven't all of us done this with bosses, profs, etc at one point or another? Same logic applies here.

But back to what I was getting at - I'm glad to see that Emerson is in that Tory Cabinet because God only knows how inexperienced they are. If a settlement is reached soon, that would send billions of dollars back to Canada, it would mean more jobs and stronger economies for regions that depend on softwood lumber.

Being from BC, I am excited to see what happens. The lumber dispute is one that negatively effects millions of people despite their political affiliations and we should welcome a solution (given it's a good one) regardless of partisanship. This is a Canadian issue and should not be seen as a partisan issue.


At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By your logic, if any of us have something to contribute to public life, we should cross the floor to whoever has power.

You might call that pragmatic, but I call that ridiculous.

Remind me never to vote for you.

David Emerson told the people of Vancouver Kingsway that he would be fighting for them as a Liberal. He told them that Stephen Harper was a very scary man. He told them that, under the Conservatives, the "weak die".

When people voted for him, they knew very well that he might not be in government.

They wanted him to be their MP in a Liberal caucus. They wanted him to fight Stephen Harper, not be a collaborator.


At 2:15 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Blah, blah, blah... quit your self-righteous attitude.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger ottlib said...

I like his decision because it is a gift for the Liberals that keeps on giving.

I saw a news cast on the weekend that indicated the Conservatives may not run Mr. Emerson in his current riding, instead running him in a safe Conservative riding in BC.

If that comes to pass, it will be the final gift that Mr. Emerson gives to the Liberals as the outrage of not letting the voters of his current riding pass judgement on his decision sinks in.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Fair enough.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger wilson said...

Then V-K will go to the NDP?

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

who's v-k?

At 7:42 PM, Blogger ottlib said...

Wilson61 means the riding I believe.

But what he should also note is the outrage of such an action would be felt most in BC so except for the really safe Conservative seats in the interior no Conservative would be safe in BC.

However, you cannot underestimate the impact on the rest of the country either. That is why such a move would be such a gift.

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Red Tory said...

Your position puzzles and disappoints me.

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Kingsway, and I can tell you, no one has any respect for David Emerson. Most of my neighbours have "de elect Emerson" signs on their lawn.

We don't think that Emerson is "so needed" that we couldn't get a softwood deal without him. He is very accomplished, but we have an accomplished US Ambassador too. And we have accomplished Deputy Ministers.

Why didn't Harper hire Emerson as a Deputy Minister if he was looking to do something non-partisan?

Emerson shouldn't be in politics if he doesn't like politics or partisanship. Because that's what politics is. People elect their MP's to represent their political views, and hold the government accountable, not just to choose administrators.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Pedro said...

Perhaps "support" was misinterpreted. I would never advocate for someone to leave a party unless for policy reasons, but having said that, since he did defect and I like him, think he is doing a good job, etc, I support him in his decision.

Having said that, Emerson has had this file for about 2 years and has been working with Canfor and COFI on the softwood lumber issue for years and years.

I do think Emerson is the right guy to do it.

I understand people's frustrations over his defection, but I think overall I think the net result is a good one.

At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good analysis Pedro. Many bloggers do not understand the difference between politicking and governing.

PS Still waiting for BC Scandal Part II.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Who are you? I promise I will get around to it, but I'm racking my brain trying to decipher who you are...

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Email me...

At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think Emerson is great, and therefore he is justified in crossing the floor to the Conservatives in order to continue governing, how would you feel if Ignatieff, Ralph Goodale, Ujjal Dosanjh, John Godfrey, Carolyn Bennett, etc., etc. all came to the same conclusion and everyone crossed over?

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

It's different. Emerson isn't a political guy - he readily admitted it himself.

Emerson got involved in politics for a specific purpose - softwood lumber. He was a business professional with a specific agenda.

Having said that, for whatever reason, if whoever wanted to cross did so because they felt it was best for them, who are we to stop them?

Political differences are so overated. We really aren't that different.


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