"It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." (REM)*
It almost appears that with all the blogosphere and ink-stained firepower aimed at this story, that Emerson’s appointment signals the End of Conservative Integrity even before it arrived. As Charlie Brown would say, "Good Grief."
My own family was up in arms last night as they watched the news before dinner. (Why watch the news on TV, I ask when you can read it first in the blogosphere, but I digress.) They lined up with what seems to be a tsunami of integrity criticism.
You’d think the Pope came out in favour of same-sex marriage and abortion – in one day! People, we elected a politician – not a spiritual leader. Politics is pragmatic. Harper is apparently interested in what he believes is best for the country. So is Emerson. Why else would someone cross the floor to a minority-government cabinet position which promises about as much job security as a water-ski instructor in Nunavut.
SDA’s Kate is much more eloquent than I am:
I’m glad a Liberal MP crossed and I hope more of them do. David Emerson’s a big boy, he can face the deserved criticism from the electors. But should he become the first floor-crosser in modern Canadian history forced to run in a byelection just to prove a point about "Conservative principle"?
Are we nuts??
Certainly, I’d have preferred he’d gone to the back benches and earned his way into cabinet – but then, I don’t have the task of building a larger tent, quelling a persistant media theme on the "lack" of urban MP’s, balancing regional representation, and finding the experience and talent to solve long standing international trade disputes.
I expected there would be decisions made by Harper I wasn’t going to like, and I expect there to be more.
Pragmatic politics isn’t always done tastefully, and sometimes you swallow when you’d rather spit – but the parliamentary rules allowed what was done today, and as has been pointed out ad nauseum, Harper has done nothing particularly novel when compared to previous administrations.
UPDATE: Read Emerson’s response to Liberal Riding Association Critics. Read Stephen Harper’s comments on Emerson and why he asked him into the cabinet. [HT: Nealenews] And read Kate’s Continuing Comments.
Read the negative comments to my post below.