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Garth Turner Should Resign

October 24th, 2006

I have been thinking a bit about this, and waded a bit into the debate over at Garth’s blog. The more I think about it, the more Garth Turner should resign as an MP. Not because he did anything wrong, not because I think MPs should have to resign when they leave the parties they were elected to serve, but because Garth believes that – or at least that’s what Garth says:

Instead of being chosen by the voters, MPs are seen as becoming important just because they are MPs. That makes them think they can switch parties between elections.

In a couple of hours I will be visiting twenty of so constituents in Oakville for a neighbourhood focus group. These people provided some keen insights for me during the election campaign, including a sense of outrage at MPs who thumb their noses at the voters by switching party allegiances after being elected.

Given the events of the last couple of weeks and my censure by both the prime minister and the rest of the party leadership after I voiced this same opinion in public

I told them floor-crossing should bring with it an immediate requirement to have an election and let the people judge.

Anybody who switches parties should go back to the people. To do otherwise is to place politicians above the people when, actually, it’s the other way around.

And more accountability, which should include legislation that, as Brian Mulroney used to say, means you dance with the one that brung ya.

We need legislation to force a by-election when an MP switches parties, forcing him or her to go back to the people for support.

And that’s just a sample. Note that he never says anything about voluntary. A member “who switches parties should go back to the people,” “you dance with the one that brung ya,” “force a by-election when an MP switches parties.” Garth has switched sides. Voluntary doesn’t really enter into it. I know this isn’t Emerson re-dux, I understand Garth was forced out, but he has stated publicly way too many times that crossing the floor should mean a by-election. And he now sits on the other side of the floor.

However, I am willing to concede that as long as he sits as an independant, he should be OK. But if Garth switches to another party, regardless of who pushed who, Garth should immediatly resign his seat and go to the electorate. It’s what Garth would expect of the rest of the house.


  1. Richard
    October 24th, 2006 at 11:18 | #1

    I agree with him sitting as an indipendant. Remember he wasn’t removed from the party altoghter, just cacus. And seeing that he was elected as an MP, resignation shouldn’t really be an option in this case.

  2. wilson61
    October 24th, 2006 at 11:39 | #2

    Isn’t it PMSH that controls the timing of bi-elections?

    Garth should sit as an independant until a general election is called and then run for what ever party he wants.
    Save the taxpayers a lot of money!!

  3. Zorpheous
    October 24th, 2006 at 11:59 | #3

    “crossing the Floor” is a voluntary action of an MP. Turner was “Thrown across the Floor” by Harper and the PMO plain and simple. Your case for a bi-election falls very short.

  4. Brian
    October 24th, 2006 at 14:57 | #4

    I don’t disagree with him sitting as an independant, actually. My point is, rather, that Turner himself has stated that he should resign. His words say, you were elected to sit as a Conservative/Liberal, you should remain one until you are elected otherwise.

    That has been Turner’s spiel for months now, he was going to introduce legislation to stop floor crossing. At no time that I can find does he distinguish between voluntary floor crossing or forced. In his own words, “dance with the one that brung ya.” He is no longer dancing with the one that brung him, he should leave the dance. His words, not mine.

    My words are that if he is as ethical as he says he is, if he really believes all the stuff he has been saying the last year, then he will resign.

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