Well, I've had a few hours now to think about today's events, and I think I've come to a conclusion. I think, for the first time, I can honestly say that I've been let down by one of my elected officials... by The Honourable Garth Turner, PC, MP.
I was ticked over the whole Belinda affair, but can't really say I was let down... I was even somewhat disapointed when Scott Brison chose not to join our new Party. (I heard Keith Martin did the same? I must have missed that one when it happened years ago) But with Garth, I don't know... this time, it's different. I know I shouldn't have, but I guess I took this one personally.
I've watched Garth's explaination videos... but they don't answer it for me. During the election last year, and for the months leading up to it, I followed his adventures on his blog with daily anticipation... I'd check two or three times a day, waiting for that next post. He struck me as someone who really cared, and who could actually make a difference, even though we didn't see eye to eye on everything. (I'm a hard core So-Con; him, not so much) I was rooting for him all the way, taking keen interest in the results from his riding that night, as one of a handful that I watched with close interest. I wanted him to win. In my opinion, he was one of the best local voices in the new CPC from the "Old Guard" of the PC Party... and I wanted him to be there amongst us. In fact, I was even tempted a couple of times to head on down to his riding and lend a hand.
But then he got to Ottawa. I was looking for a strong voice... but every voice has to know when to speak, and when it's best just to shut up. Yes, our current system is not perfect, and in today's media oriented electoral climate, a large degree of top-down control is required... at least until the "scary right-wing" label has had a chance to wear off.
Garth, dispite all his media smarts, couldn't seem to grasp that concept. In order to be able to dispell the Liberal myth, time was going to be required... time to get some good things done in Ottawa, to rebuild our reputation, and show the nation that we are NOT the scary bunch that the Liberals have always said we are.
Now, he's turning around and repeating those very same lies... the very ones he sought to dispell. They're still untrue... and I know what you're all going to say at this junture... "See! Garth has proved that your're a bunch of scary neo-Cons!"
Amm, think about it this way... what was your opinion of the school Principl after you'd been told you couldn't go on that great class trip because of your behaviour? Exactly... Garth had his own idea of what things should be like, and he was unwavering in his view of how things should be done... so he kept doing his own thing, which is what eventually got him ejected from caucus. It wasn't any scary neo-Con agenda, it was simply a strict code of conduct, imposed on the caucus in an effort to repair our image in the eyes of the Canadian public, in order to improve our chances in the next, and now impending, election.
To be honest, Garth was largely right... the way things are done with the Party structures in Ottawa is NOT how it ought to be done. MP's ought to have a lot more freedom, and the ability to more accurately reflect the wishes of their consitituants.
However, his move today is an even greater act of hypocrisy than a simple floor crossing...
He joined the Liberal Party of Canada... the inventors
of the modern (and disgusting, if you ask me) way of doing politics. Anyone who rejects that notion ought to try reading Grits, Trudeau and Our Times (Parts 1 and 2), and any other honest book about the Liberal Party of Canada they can get their hands on. If it wasn't for how they've done things for the last hundred years, our system would not be in the state it's in.
No, I'm not saying that the other parties in the past, the CCF, Social Credit, the Unionists, and the old Conservative and Progressive Conservative parties were ideal in how they did things either. But because of this jugernaught, this "Liberal machine" that keeps on rolling, no one has any other choice. We, most of the membership of the CPC, would LOVE to do things more like the way Garth recommends... but we'd get TROUNCED in elections, and Canada would indeed have a "natural governing Party"... FOREVER. Personally, and I've said this many times, our current state of political mess can never be changed until the Liberal Party gets split up... which, as they are obsessed with power at all costs, WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
Unless, of course, an alternative can be established... a new Party, one where individual voices matter, where MP's can really speak out on behalf of the common voter, and ensure that their voices are heard.
Garth, you personally stuck a knife in the back of the best chance we, the voters, have had at that in the last six or so decades. And no, it wasn't your precious brand of "Progressive" Conservative... which, for the record, was also a top heavy, slick and sleazy political organization... one that I never, ever, supported. You've let me down.
This new Party that arose three and a half years ago, the Conservative Party of Canada
, was the fruition of that first ray of hope that ever glimmered in my lifetime. It is a Party that does value the little guy at the ballot box... I actually matter to my elected officials, for the first time in my lifetime. I'm not just some peon to be swayed to vote Liberal, so they can hang on to power at all costs, and then use it mainly to help out their friends and family. I've seen all the "connections" to power and to powerful people that Liberals have... and it's sick. It's a huge and exclusive "old boys club", way bigger and way worse than any "old boys club" they accuse us of having... which, for the record, I still have as of yet to see for myself.
Garth did have something legitimate to say... but he scuttled his own best chance to say it. Garth, it takes time to change the system... one election isn't going to do it. And ONE MAN isn't going to be able to do it... it's going to take an army. And I would have been one of those who would have followed you.
But now... now, Garth my friend, you've gone the other way. You've joined the great and gastly "Liberal machine"... the very instrument that has stifled the voices of regular Canadians for decades. Again, one man won't change the system... and Dion is most certainly not the man to even begin to change that system. Agian, you've let us down.
Our only hope is to take the reigns of power, and bring about change ourselves. Change the rules, change the game. The Accountability Act is one of those changes... change the way parties get their money. Cut off the funds bleeding from government coffers and force them to look to the people for their funding... and their views. End the "we know best" mentality that permiates our political system, and get the voice of the people, you and I, heard once again.
THAT is why I support the Conservative Party of Canada. I, a regular Joe Canadian, have been able to get in, get involved, and have my voice heard... for the first time in a very long time. And my Prime Minister is a man who is a lot like me... at least the closest thing to hold the reigns of power for a very long time. He's not a millionaire, he's not some bigshot lawyer, he's an economist... he has a mortgage, and until recently, he drove his kids to hockey practice himself.
It would have been great to have Garth as a part of that team, that dream. But somewhere along the line, he forgot the big picture... that this is a long term project, and we're not going to be able to change the system overnight. He let us down.
If we, the CPC, did things Garth's way now, do you really think it would change the other parties, namely the Liberals? I don't think so... they'd just take our good will, and walk all over us, right into 24 Sussex. Somewhere along the line, he lost the big picture... and now he's gone and joined them? What a let down.
I don't know if I'd call it hypocrisy... one has to realize what one is doing to really be considered a hypocrite. I honestly think that Garth has simply forgotten how things work in the real world, and what needs to be done to truely change the system... and give it back to the people.
Going digital isn't enough Garth... it's a start. We need to change the game... and Mr. Harper, I think, is the best shot we've got.
Sorry to see you go. I hope that you still have a chance to really contribute to the coming change.
Well, that's the end of this rambling post. I'm sure there are plenty of errors, unfinished thoughts, and various what-not... hope you get something out of it. Please feel free to add to it in the comments.
Hope it helps in this path of change that we're all on... together.
Labels: CPC, Garth, Harper, Liberals