Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Gunter: "The obnoxious Garth Turner"

This piece from Lorne Gunter in today's National Post explains pretty much why Conservative's didn't shed a tear over losing him... and why we shed tears of joy when Dion decided to give him a seat on the bandwagon.
The obnoxious Garth Turner
Lorne Gunter, National Post
Published: Monday, July 07, 2008

There's an old adage: When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. I'm pretty sure Liberal MP Garth Turner has never heard it before. On Thursday on his blog, Mr. Turner, long a loose canon, insisted those in the West who oppose his party's new "Green Shift" carbon tax scheme are un-Canadian, even though the plan proposes to slam Westerner energy producers about four times harder than central and eastern Canadian energy consumers.

This is an old Liberal trick: Equate the national interest with Liberal policies, then question the loyalty of anyone who disagrees.

This tactic is frequently compounded in the West which -- because it seldom returns Liberal MPs -- is frequently portrayed by Liberal prime ministers and organizers as the bad boy of Confederation.

It was Liberal Senator and campaign chairman Keith Davey who, in the 1980 election, summed up his party's strategy as "Screw the West, we'll take the rest." Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien used Alberta as a foil for everything he claimed would go wrong if his Liberals were not re-elected in 2000, and it was Mr. Chretien who said he preferred to do politics with anyone but Albertans.

Paul Martin likely maintained a minority for his party in 2004, too, by falsely claiming that if Stephen Harper were elected, he would sit idly by while Alberta dismantled medicare. Over and over, Liberals have bashed Alberta and the rest of the West to win votes in central and Atlantic Canada.

Stephane Dion signalled he was prepared to do the same two weeks ago when he began portraying Alberta and Saskatchewan as avaricious polluters who deserved to bear the brunt of his tax plan even though they have just 13% of the national population between them.

This is the same Dion who for at least a decade had been saying a carbon tax was a non-starter in large part because it would be unfair to the West. Now for a few extra votes in Ontario and (he hopes) Quebec, Mr. Dion is prepared to turn on the region, even though just last year he had pledged to be its "best partner" in Ottawa.

Still, no Liberal, with the possible exception of Sen. Davey, has been as obnoxious about his distaste for Albertans and the West as Mr. Turner.

On Thursday, the Halton, Ont., MP said he admired his leader most for having "stood up once to the self-aggrandizing, hostile, me-first, greedy, macho, selfish and Balkanizing separatist losers in Quebec," and for being prepared to "do it again in Alberta."

This provoked a lot of angry responses, not the least from Mr. Dion who called Mr. Turner and chewed him out.

After their call, Mr. Dion insisted that Mr. Turner had "retracted" his offensive remarks. But he did no such thing. He just kept digging.

As of Sunday afternoon, his remarks were still prominently displayed on his Web site and, to make matter worse, he was making new posts repeating his scurrilous charge that separatism is rampant in Alberta.

The closest Mr. Turner came to an apology was to Mr. Dion for the way his remarks made the Liberal leader's task more difficult: "That was not my intention." Talk about self-aggrandizing. Mr. Turner only went that far to save his place in the Liberal caucus.

By Sunday, Mr. Turner was back implying separatism was common among Albertans, and Westerners in general. In full demagogic huff, Mr. Turner said it was a "sad thing" that "ripping separatists" should be so controversial. After all, all he had done was make his "feelings about Western secessionists incorrectly obvious."

But where are these separatists, Mr. Turner?

There are a few Web sites advocating separatism. The odd farmer erects a billboard on his land next to a highway advocating Alberta independence. But no Western province has ever elected a separatist government. No legislature has a sitting separatist MLA (Alberta had one. One. For six months. Twenty-six years ago.) No Western province has held a referendum on sovereignty association. No Western premier has threatened to pull his province from Confederation. And the Reform party -- the most successful Western alienation movement since the Second World War --had as its slogan "The West wants In," not out.

That's not to say there is no resentment or alienation in the West. But it has been dormant lately -- until the Liberals came out with their "Green Shaft" proposal and Mr. Turner, a la Joe McCarthy, began imagining separatists everywhere and setting up separatist straw men to justify his self-serving, antagonistic, look-at-me, tough-guy grandstanding.

Stop digging, Garth, and just admit you were wrong.

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  • At Mon. Jul. 07, 10:36:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If Dion's "green shaft" is implemented, Alberta will walk.

    Many of my friends and I will campaign tirelessly for separation.

    We're tired of feeding the cow while Ontario and Quebec milks it.


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