February 25, 2006

Emerson has protestors arrested

David Emerson had four of his constituents, peacefully protesting for a meeting with their Member of Parliament, arrested this week and charged with trespassing (http://www.cknw.com/news/news_local.cfm?cat=7428109912&rem=31550&red=80110923aPBIny&wids=410&gi=1&gm=news_local.cfm).

Whereas I understand the frustration that Emerson and his staff must have felt at the protestors’ refusal to leave, particularly several hours after the office’s regular closing time, I think it’s important to discuss an easy alternative to the arrest that Emerson refused to accept.

The sole wish of the constituents was to talk to Emerson on the phone and agree on a time and place to meet, a request to which the office had already agreed but had been unreasonably slow to schedule (particularly given that Emerson is now conducting all his work in BC by flying his advisors to the taxpayer tune of $22 thousand http://www.cknw.com/news/news_local.cfm?cat=74281526912&rem=31408&red=801152623aPBIny&wids=410&gi=1&gm=news_local.cfm)

The constituents were respectful, and I would argue, well within their rights to request a firm meeting commitment from their Member of Parliament, and I find it disappointing that rather than make this phone call to the people he claims to represent, Emerson would prefer to call the police and have them arrested.

Party-switching, whether because of ideological divide or open admittance of a desire to be a government cabinet minister, happens. David Emerson has made his choice, and although I disagree with it, it’s over and done with and I refuse to continue to criticize his reasoning or his thought process.

My concern regarding Emerson extends far beyond that one political maneuver. His floor-crossing decision is indicative of a much larger problem that is slowly uncovering itself through such actions as his refusal to physically represent his constituents in the House of Commons or his willingness to call the police before his voters. David Emerson has no respect his constituents, his role as their Member of Parliament, or the basic function of representative democracy.

I can’t tell if it’s laziness, a general disregard for the lowly peasants of this world, or a Conservative staff that just aren’t nearly as good at hiding the guy’s arrogance, but either way I'm none too impressed.

PS- speaking of incompetence, I *know* there's a way to link words to sites, but the commands don't seem to be working on my mac or with my safari, so if anybody feels like helping out a pseudo/quasi blogger such as myself, feel free to drop me a line... ;_)

27 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Why is it that this kind of anger didn't come out when Belinda or Scott crossed the floor? And don't give me that time lapse crap. Crossing the floor is crossing the floor. Is it because it happened to Canada's "party-for-life"? Me thinks so. So get over it.

2/25/2006 4:11 PM  
Blogger audacious a dit...

emerson's popularity hasn't increased ... good!

2/25/2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

As indicated in the post, this is about more than the floor-crossing. I don't think Brison or Stronach ever opted to have their constituents arrested rather than talk to them. This is about an inherent disrespect for the political system.

2/25/2006 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Kate a dit...

Denise, you are so god damned stupid, that I read these for a laugh.

You refuse to criticize him for crossing the floor? Too little too late - you have already done that.

God you are pathetic. When I read the title on liblogs, I already knew it was you crying foul in some dramatically pseudo-principaled way that you pretend to be.

You are childish and transparent. Please drop journalism. You suck.

2/25/2006 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

The reason no-one was arrested in the Brison or Stronach case is because the constituents didn't take the crossing to be as big a deal as the Liberals do. It's OK for Conservatives to cross over to the Liberals but when the tables are turned you turn into English soccer fans and go nuts. Ease up a bit. it's only politics.

2/25/2006 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Corrinne a dit...

Got to agree with you Kate! Denise is a horrible journalist and a blatantly blind follower. I can't even take her seriously.

I totally disagree with Emerson's decisions and yet, having Denise criticize him is proof to me how pathetic and blind she is.

The part that gets me though, is how she tries to play this opinionated, bright, articulate, passionate, and principled person and she such a fake.

And really... the day she gets a professional job writing for anyone other than the McGill Daily is the day that Emerson appologizes!

2/25/2006 8:21 PM  
Blogger Mark a dit...

In Brison's case, the overwhelming majority of his constituents voted Progressive Conservative.

They did not vote Reform.

They supported Brison when he stepped aside so that Joe Clark could lead the Progressive Conservative Party again.

Not Reform.

And they supported Brison when he ran for Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Not Reform.

They supported MacKay for the brief period of time that his back-of-the-napkin promise to David Orchard was valid.

Not Reform.

Then MacKay and Loyola Hearn and th rest of that idiot bunch folded the party and joined the Preston Manning/ Stockwell Day/ Stephen Harper Alliance.

Brison's constituents had clearly spoken on their feelings about joining the Reform Party. So Brison did what he thought was right and what the people of his riding were most likely to support him in doing. Two elections later, I think it's fair to say that he read the situation pretty well.

As for Stronach, she's received a much rougher ride. But put it this way. I fyou were a rookie MP, and you won your seat by about 500 votes, and you ran a platform of trying to moderate the right wing assholes of the Refrom wing of the party, and it had become pretty damn clear that moderation was not in the cards, what would you do?

The reality is she could not have won that riding back as a Conservative. The party had remained too far to the right to be accepted by her constiuents. Again, she did not only what may have been best for her, but what was a reflection of her constituents' voting preference.

David Emerson doesn't have a leg to stand on in comparison.

And, for the record, Denise B. is the shit.

2/25/2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I have never said anything against the floor-crossing, as I was a supporter of belinda switching.

However, having people arrested when they want a meeting is a tad, well, bad for the optics.

Harper has 59% approval anyway, people are waiting for the throne speech and the agenda the Tories will put forward.

2/25/2006 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Kent a dit...

Denise,

You are so full of shit. Don't you ever think before you speak...

An inherent disrespect for the political system - God! You have these big words and just don't know how to use them, little girl. You are full of sweeping statements.

People who refuse to leave a political office when the office is closed is an issue. I'd get the police involved too.

I agree it's bad for the optics, and I think Denise is just picking on that - the optics and then creating this tired piece on how it's undermining the system.

Denise, you're opinions are childish at best.

2/25/2006 10:31 PM  
Blogger fidel a dit...

i thought i should let you know..these 2 statements directly contradict one another:

"Party-switching, whether because of ideological divide or open admittance of a desire to be a government cabinet minister, happens. David Emerson has made his choice, and although I disagree with it, it’s over and done with and I refuse to criticize his reasoning or his thought process."

and

"My concern regarding Emerson extends far beyond that one political maneuver. His floor-crossing decision is indicative of a much larger problem that is slowly uncovering itself through such actions as his refusal to physically represent his constituents in the House of Commons or his willingness to call the police before his voters. David Emerson has no respect his constituents, his role as their Member of Parliament, or the basic function of representative democracy."

isnt this problem one that lies within his emerson realm of reasoning....in that he is a machiavellian (a bad one..no doubt) oportunitic SOB. It is the opportunistic thought process of all these party switchers that have led them to make the decisions they have made. Unfortunately, their thought process does not include the fundamental importance of their democratic positions. Although, i am well aware that it is excrutiatingly hard to ask any liberal to understand the importance of real democracy, or any true principled ideal(what with scandal upon scandal..combined with the unscrupulous naive blind opportunistic support of the liberal party leadership) this is the problem that extends to all these party crossers. Stronach and Brison included.

Denise, rather than focussing on the fact that you suck..or that you are a bad journalist..i woudl rather focus on your lack of reasoning..and your inherent lack of argumentation skillz. Dude Logic 100 may help your ass out.

2/26/2006 12:00 AM  
Blogger bza a dit...

Okay, so you are critical of David Emerson crossing the floor but are not in favour of the NDP proposal to ban such practices?

You guys are ignoring a proposal that would prevent such problems from taking place in the first place. If you're not proposing to fix the system, I have no idea what all these Liberal protests are about. Get behind some policies that might improve our democracy if you think what Emerson did was such a problem.

2/26/2006 12:08 AM  
Anonymous jchan a dit...

Regulations surrounding floor-crossing are certainly not a bad idea. Particularly in cases such as Emerson's where he switched so quickly after the vote and with no legit reasons. I read somewhere that Emerson admitted recently he would support such a bill. This whole thing is just getting so weird...

2/26/2006 12:47 AM  
Blogger Kimberly S a dit...

Wow, I've never read so many posts by so many idiots with such shitty writing skills. My first point is that I don't think Denise has ever claimed to be a journalist, or a non-partisan for that matter, so can we please move past that and onto the issues?

I for one agree with the concept of legislation surrounding floor-crossing. Not necessarily that it should be banned, but the idea that one would be forced to sit as an independent through a by-election is a logical idea.

It's also hilarious that the proposal comes from the NDP. Of course they would propose this. They don't exactly need to be worrying about people switching to their party...

2/26/2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger Craiginbc a dit...

Hello!?!?! The guy had people arrested!!!! What the hell is wrong with you people? They were CONSTITUENTS. If you can't admit that move was a bit extreme, then you're the ones blindly toeing the line...

2/26/2006 12:58 AM  
Blogger James Curran a dit...

Man. Denise, I tell ya. These people are interesting folks that post here. It's interesting that they feel a need to attack you more than a need to speak to the issue.....Sad actually.

Here's the thing. Being a riding president and having to constantly raise money for your future candidate - regardless of whether or not you actually like the person running - and having volunteered for the Party on many an occasion, it would be more than troubling if my MP abandoned me as a Liberal for a plum cabinet position in another party.

Further, arresting the same damn people that came out for you rally after rally, meeting after meeting, fundraiser after fundraiser is the work of a coward. A coward afraid to talk to his own constituents.

Mr. Emmerson has been very lucky so far that some young hotshot Liberal BC lawyer hasn't sued his ass for the money utilized by him to win that seat. Believe me. That young lawyer would have one hell of a case.


And as for you cheap-shot artists...lay off. It's a blog. Everyone tries to voice good things and not evil things. Kate, I'd like to read YOUR blog some time. You too Corrine. Oh, then again, maybe ya aren't brave enought to have one.

The What Do I Know Grit.
thewhatdoiknowgrit.blogspot.com

2/26/2006 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

You people talk about the protestors as not without fault. How long do people have to trespass before they are thrown out? The constiuency office is not a public gathering place. It's a place of business . . . political business. What was one to do? Have the people spend days inside the office? What was wrong with the protestors protesting outside? Trespassing is trespassing. And trespassing is against the law.

2/26/2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger James Bowie a dit...

Hi Denise,


1. You're wonderful.

2. If you use a href tags around the url's you're posing, then your sidebar will appear at the top where it's supposed to.

3. I'd be happy to do it for you.

4. Just send me an email. I'll get right on it.

5. I'll also show you what I did, so you can do it yourself next time.

6. Had a great time in Ottawa. I lost Forrest's email. In the email you send me about your blog you might include his addy? Thanks so much.

7. I love lists.

8. Don't you?

9. Ok, I'll stop.

10. Really. I'll stop now.

2/26/2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger James Curran a dit...

Maybe if Emmerson wasn't such a coward and was prepared for the outlash by his constituents this wouldn't be happening. If the guy can't talk to his constituents to resolve this issue, how is he going to talk to the Americans about softwood lumber?

The What Do I Know Grit.

2/26/2006 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

How in the world is Emerson going to resolve the issure. The Liberal constituents won't except anything less than a resignation. Emerson knows that so what are negotiations going to solve? It's just too bad that Conservatives aren't as rabid political fans as Liberals. If they were, there still would be Conservatives occupying Brison and Stronachs' offices.

2/26/2006 12:43 PM  
Blogger James Curran a dit...

The two people now running for Liberal Leadership? yeah. The Cons should have invaded their offices. Camped on their front lawns. Sued them. However, Brison was a man without a Party. Stronach's just an opportunist. Who says money can't buy love?

The What Do I Know Grit.

2/26/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Clinton P. Desveaux a dit...

Hey fellas, new column for you over at my place

2/27/2006 2:29 PM  
Blogger MPM a dit...

Anonymous said: "The reason no-one was arrested in the Brison or Stronach case is because the constituents didn't take the crossing to be as big a deal as the Liberals do."

You don't say!? If the Conservatives didn't think it was a big deal that Belinda crossed the floor, what was with all that "whore", "prostitute", "slut" talk? I'd hate to hear what Conservatives would say if they were really fired up about something!

Emerson is really taking a bad-tone on this issue. If he believes there should be floor-crossing legislation then why won't he stand behind those principles? The old, "Belinda and Brison didn't have to do it" excuse it running thin. If you're a person of principles, you stick with them good or bad, regardless of the actions of others. If he's so sure he did the right thing for his constitutents and that he would win as a Conservative, then walk the walk and call a by-election himself. If he wins, he'll be an ethical hero. If he loses, it's because his constituents do not support him.

Should Belinda and Brison have done the same thing? Probably. But they can't go back now. Plus both have faced their electors. Emerson has not. If the Conservatives were going to usher in a new ethical age, they sure blew their chance.

Alternatively, Emerson and Forier should sit as indepedents. If Harper dumps them from cabinet, it will be clear that Harper's motives were political instead of an attempt to be more representative. When the next elections come, they can both run for whatever party they want.

2/27/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger Raphael a dit...

L'actuel ministre des finances du Québec, Michel Audet, avait à peu près la même tactique.

2/27/2006 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Wayne a dit...

The whole Emerson thing is a dead issue. Nobody except for Mark Marrissen cares enough to talk about it anymore.

2/28/2006 1:06 AM  
Blogger bza a dit...

I see the widely read and Kinsella approved CalgaryGrit is in favour of the anti-floor crossing legislation as well.

If Fuddle-Duddle signs on, well, its a done deal for sure then. Come on guys, it rocks and will help close that democratic deficit and prevent people from being arrested for protesting inside of turncoat constiuency offices.

You know you want to.... :p

2/28/2006 1:12 AM  
Blogger Jason Hickman a dit...

Mark said, after pointing out that Brison's constituents didn't want Reform, they wanted the PCPC, etc ...

Brison's constituents had clearly spoken on their feelings about joining the Reform Party. So Brison did what he thought was right and what the people of his riding were most likely to support him in doing. Two elections later, I think it's fair to say that he read the situation pretty well.

To start at the end: Yes, Brison's floor-crossing has been "ratified" twice over. The people of Kings-Hants have decided they want Brison to represent them. Fair enough.

But before we elevate him to sainthood, try to remember that Brison was a supporter of the PC/CA merger. He voted for it at the PC Party's general meeting, and (from what people who were there have told me), he encouraged others to do so.

And of course, there's the fact that even before the merger, Brison was the PC Party's finance critic, during which time he bashed the holy hell out of ... yup, Paul Martin (until Martin was shown the door or quit, anyway).

And it ignores the fairly right-wing platform (economics-wise) Brison ran on when he ran for the PC leadership in '03, which contained such items as scrapping ACOA. Cripes, Harper and the CPC didn't go that far, in either '04 or '06.

It's more of a moot point now, since (as noted) Brison has been re-elected, twice over, as a Liberal. But for any Libs here who are getting all excited about Brison running for leadership of your party ... well, take a closer look at his record, is all I'd suggest.

3/01/2006 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Michael Watkins a dit...

I was one of the sit-in protesters, but was not one of those arrested.

Those of us there were not a bunch of Liberal party folks - but there was one, and only one, actual Liberal activist there - Kevin Chalmers.

This action we took was not about partisanship.

Regular citizens, enraged over what transpired, came together to protest via the sit-in... we'd all done other forms of protest, had requested meetings with our MP numerous times, all to no avail. So we sat.

Regular folks. Some voted NDP, some Liberal. And there was me, a Conservative party supporter.

At every public protest I've been to I have seen tremendous non-partisan support - doesn't matter whether people are driving by in a beat-up pick up truck or a shiny Mercedes, they are Honking for Democracy. All ages. All races. All cultures.

The people have figured this out. We party folks had better get with the program... citizens are leading the way here.

And we all are not done yet, not by a long shot....

3/02/2006 8:03 AM  

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