Thursday, February 09, 2006

David Emerson and Canadian Politics

I didn't anticipate adding political content to this blog, but then I didn't anticipate such a close-to-home scandal that would upset me so much. David Emerson's defection to the Conservative party of Canada after serving as a Liberal strikes deeply into the meat of the Canadian political carcass, and shows us how broken the political machine is in the 21st century.

Let me first reiterate that David Emerson seems like a smart and intelligent person. That he will do generally good things for Vancouver, the 2010 Olympics, and our dispute with the U.S. on softwood lumber, there seems to be a sense that he is a good person for these jobs.

The problem as I see it is that it appears opportunistic for Emerson to change parties after the election. If he was so sure it was the right thing for the consituency and for Canada to be with the ruling party, maybe he should have just said that what was what he was going to do during the election campaign. Instead, he joined the "anything but the conservatives" tirade the liberals were proposing.

The solution then is about fixing the Canadian political party system. It's just broken. Forcing people of good concience to vote against their better judgement in order to be affiliated with a political party is a compromise in integrity I for one don't want to see people striving for integrity in government to have to make.

If David Emerson is the best man for the job, he should go back to being a Liberal, as he was elected, and Steven Harper should have the courage to be a prime minister who can appoint a cabinet minister from the opposition. That would be integrity.