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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Emerson's inner state

The controversy over David Emerson's embrace of the Tories continues to crackle in the Vancouver media. The Vancouver Sun has run a story about how Emerson is "flabbergasted" at the negative reaction to his abandonment of the party, on its front page today. And the subject continues to generate heat on talk shows on top-rated CKNW radio.

But perhaps the most unusual piece of news connected to the entire episode came out yesterday, many paragraphs down in the Sun's page-one story on the affair. Here's the line to which I'm referring:

"A Buddhist who takes a global view, he's [Emerson is] at peace with switching allegiances."

A Buddhist. How fascinating. Who knew? And it's curious, isn't it, how yesterday's "peace" has now turned into his being flabbergasted and surprised.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on February 9, 2006 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


Actually, Emerson's being a Buddhist has been mentioned in previous profiles.

Posted by: Russil Wvong | 2006-02-09 4:41:25 PM

"And it's curious, isn't it, how yesterday's "peace" has now turned into his being flabbergasted and surprised."

You are misleading. He is surprised and flabbergasted at the reaction from the public. He is still at peace with his decision. Or do you really expect us to believe that he is now "surprised and flabbergasted" at his decision to cross the floor? He's not a moron.

Posted by: potato | 2006-02-09 4:53:51 PM

Yes, David Emerson's Buddhist leanings were noted in an article about him in the Vancouver Sun May 8, 2004, and appear to be largely due to the influence of his Hong Kong-born wife Theresa.

Regardless, he is a man of prodigious intellect, talent and accomplishment, yet remarkably humble. Canada is the better for his presence in the cabinet, for sure, but can the Conservatives outgrow the optics? That's Mr. Harper's problem, however, not Mr. Emerson's.

Posted by: Rick | 2006-02-09 5:18:12 PM

Good clarification potatoe. Plenty of people were angry with Kieth Martin and Pesieldo (something like that - Alliance guy - and belinda and maybe, Scotty too. Why do the papers think Emmerson is bad when the other floor crossers were not bad. Oh wait - is the MSM biased?

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-02-09 5:21:44 PM

I sure that even "Peaceful" people can be flabergasted. Wait till Mr. Emerson hears what defeated NDP candidate, Ian Waddell has instore for him. Latest news is that hes want the Ethics commisioner to investigate the crossing the floor episode.

I figure that the people of Vancouver Kingsway are upset because the Liberal they voted for is now a Conservative. The "Liberal" Constituency Association wants their money back.

Now hear me out.. The Liberal Party welcomes Belinda, Peschisolido, Brisson and others with open arms. They try to "bribe" others into crossing and almost get caught. They recruit heavily from the NDP for candidates to build up their electabilty profile in Vancouver. Who knows what other incentives these Liberals offered to prop up their minority. The Vancouver Kingsway Riding association jumped with both feet to support the undemocratically "appointed" candidate Emerson in 2004. They again worked their buns off to see that he was re-elected last January. Now that he has been "convinced" to switch Teams they have no grounds to cry foul. They knew what they had was a "top-notch" candidate, well qualified and, by virtue of his most recent flip flop, clearly a Liberal. He exemplifies the best qualities of liberalism and the crying you hear is just the sound of people getting burned by their own fire.

Posted by: Servant | 2006-02-09 5:28:36 PM

The libs have not changed. They are still trying the same selfish tactics. Give me my money back!

Well I tell them give us the $42 millions ADSCAM back, give us the $x millions of insider trading back, give us the $2 billions back from the gun registry.

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-02-09 6:27:29 PM

Instead of dwelling on philosophical questions about the decency or lack thereof of crossing the floor, I prefer to look at Fortier and Emerson by their merits. To be sure, they aren't empty-headed rich girls like Stronach. I don't know much about Fortier except that he was big in investment banking. As for Emerson, this guy headed a massive lumber company, not to mention the Vancouver Airport Authority. And he's a Ph.D. in economics. Emerson is a solid pick for the International Trade portfolio.

Posted by: Anon | 2006-02-09 11:27:30 PM

Not only that, but give us our COUNTRY back. Our history, our culture, our heritage.

Harper needs to put out this brush fire by saying, quite clearly, "I pick the Cabinet. Together, we govern the country. The role of the media is to report the news, not make it up."

We're in a very difficult political situation here. Harper needs some flexibility and some time to build a true national government. What do some people want, yet another election? As for the people of Vancouver-Kingsway, I live next door to that riding. The people there would make better use of their time cleaning up all the garbage on the streets, then they could all sign up for driving lessons. Red light means stop, even in Liberal ridings, right?

Posted by: Peter O'Donnell | 2006-02-09 11:31:12 PM

Knowing Emmerson's tenure at the Vancouver Airport Authority, I seriously doubt that he was
"flabbegasted", and is not really concerned. I
remember how the Right Honorable P.E. Trudeau PC
used to treat the media, with almost total contempt - Canadian media were scared shitless of Trudeau, who consider puffy Duffy a buffoon
and who totally intimidated Oliver. Appearing with Newman is not something you should write in your Diary - Newman is starting to look like
Lenin's corpse.

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-02-10 4:19:41 AM

There is no doubt that Emmerson is a competent manager and an intelligent man. But he is not a politician and contrary to what some claim being a politician is something of great honor. If I lived in Kingsway - a very livable place with many fine people contrary to what Mr. O'Donnell states - I would also be very angry and would want a by-election. And in a by election I would vote for Emmerson. But I doubt that the CPC has the courage, the integrity or the intelligence to call a by election and this lack of faith will come back to haunt them. I predict that Emmerson will be out of politics in six months, probably to head up the struggling Vanoc.

Posted by: Vancouver Cyclist | 2006-02-10 6:43:48 PM

I'm amazed that no one has mentioned the fact that Harper ran a campaign based on increasing the accountability of public officials. The issue is not whether Emerson is qualified, or whether he will do a good job, the issue is that if Canadians are to have faith in our electoral system we have to have faith in what our politicians tell us. We have to have some assurance that they won't say one thing, and then do exactly the opposite less than 2 weeks later. This is the definition of hypocrisy, and a democracy based on hypocrisy is meaningless. That is the issue here. For the sake of our democracy, Harper should call for a by-election in Vancouver Kingsway (or appoint someone else to be Minister of Trade), and Fortier should run in a senate election. I'm amazed that Harper could be so stupid as to have made this mistake in the first place, but now is not the time to try and justify the unjustifiable. They need to right the wrong for the sake of their government.

Posted by: W Sacks | 2006-02-13 3:47:04 PM

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