Conservatives Provide Open, Accountable Government for Minus 17 Minutes
Fatigued from 12 plus years of Liberal rule, Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party won power on January 23 by promising Canadians change.
Amazingly, the new Conservative Government managed to live up to their promise almost until they were sworn in. Prime Minister Harper provided Canadians with open, accountable government for a whopping 17 minutes prior to becoming Prime Minister earlier this week, until he successfully lured David Emerson from the Liberal cabinet. (As well as appointing an unelected party operative to the Senate so that he could sit at the cabinet table as Minister of Public Works (despite saying during the campaign that he would only appoint elected Senators); naming a former defence industry lobbyist as his Defence Minister; and naming a MP who doesn't speak a word of French as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister responsible for Official Languages. Other than that, it was a great week for Prime Minister Harper.)
Emerson, who was Minister of Industry in the Martin Government, stunned the nation and pissed off 82 per cent of his constituents in Vancouver-Kingsway with his sudden defection to the Conservatives to become Minister of International Trade, a whopping 336 hours after the federal election.
Emerson's about-face is all the more surprising, seeing as he called Harper "heartless" during the campaign. Furthermore, he claimed that Harper would create a government where it would be "every man for himself" and only the "strong survive and the weak die" during last month's campaign. And he pledged to be "Stephen Harper's worst nightmare" the day after the election. At least he got the last part right.
The beleagured Emerson, who has gone into hiding in the Andes Mountains until Parliament resumes sitting in April, refused to comment directly on the matter, as he claimed to be stuck in traffic.
|PM HARPER, who let power get the best of him before he even took power: "We're doing cronyism and backdoor shenanigans the right way."
A spokesperson from his office indicated however that Emerson wasn't ready to leave cabinet, regardless of the election's outcome, as he was just beginning to develop a good relationship with his limo driver. "It would have been rather rude for Mr. Emerson to just up and leave now," said Debra Iscariot, Minister Emerson's press secretary. "He'd just learned the driver's name."
Prime Minister Harper continued to insist that the torrent of criticism that has befallen Emerson is "fluffy, frivolous and not worthy of my time," while also adding that the switcheroo had nothing to do with partisan politics. "Really, I didn't even know he was a Liberal. Didn't he run as a Conservative?
"I'm supposed to be smart, remember?"
Conservative MPs Diane Ablonczy, James Rajotte and Jason Kenney issued a joint release saying how incredibly happy they were with the fact that Emerson is now sitting at the cabinet table, and they aren't.
"The joy we feel for Mr. Emerson is beyond words," the statement reads. "Really."
Posted on February 11th, 2006