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The Blogosphere. Democracy’s Rapid Reaction Force

by Pete Quily on February 7, 2006 · 13 comments

Update.

Emerson Owes Vancouver Kingsway Riding Association $96,755.

Jason Cherniak has this update. He got a pdf copy of a letter from the Vancouver Kingsway Federal Liberal Riding Association to David Emerson. Here’ what some of it said.

Approximately three hundred volunteers gave their time generously to the Liberal campaign. They gave up time with family, children and friends, took time off work, and took time away from their small businesses because they believed in the ideals of the Liberal Party and wanted you to represent Vancouver Kingsway as our Liberal MP.

Your actions have made their gifts of time meaningless.

They ask that he:

1. Do the honorable thing and resign and have a reelection.

Let the voters have an opportunity to chose a liberal to represent them as they did only two short weeks ago

2.

Find a way, in compliance with the Elections Act to return the money that the Liberal Riding association transferred to you to run your campaign. This totaled approximately $96,755. This amount came from donations to the Liberal Party and were intended to elect a Liberal, not a Conservative. You would not have received those funds from the Liberal riding association if you ran as a Conservative. A spreadsheet is attached providing a breakdown of the amounts.

Very interesting. Wonder if they could sue him for misrepesentation or fraud if he doesn’t pay up. Few people have mentioned the citizens in his riding. They voted for a Liberal got him elected and he immeadiately became a conservative. This isn’t a matter of someone resigning after a year on principal and sitting as an independent. Do Canadian voters have any rights? Do elections matter?

Ivan Curman, President of the Vancouver Kingsway Federal Liberal Riding Association has the letter on the constituency website and

a petition requesting a by-election that you can download, circulate and return to us

.

They also ask that people

Contact David Emerson and express your views about his decision. His constituency office number is 604-775-6263 and his email address is email hidden; JavaScript is required

The Canadian blogosphere reacts rapidly. Recall and election blogs were created the same day for a politician who changed party’s 2 weeks after election for a cabinet seat.

David Emerson was a Liberal cabinet minister who campaigned for reelection as a liberal. He won reelection as a liberal January 23/06. 2 weeks later, Feb 6/06 he switched parties and becomes a conservative and a cabinet minister.

I don’t know if there is a Yiddish word for extreme chutzpah, but if there is, it applies to Emerson. He won the riding by getting 43 % of the vote. The NDP got 33% and the conservative candidate got 19 %. Here’s what Stephen Harper said about one person crossing the floor from his party recently.

There’s no grand principle involved in this decision, just ambition.” – Stephen Harper reacting to Belinda Stronach’s defection to the Liberal government in May, 2005.

When Belinda switched, Harper said this

“We don’t go out of our way to romance MPs to get them to cross the floor,” Harper said. “The Liberals will do anything to win. We are trying to create a principled party where people act in a principled way.

“We’re fairly cautious about encouraging party jumping because I think that’s the kind of thing that generates cynicism and frankly when somebody jumps once you’re not sure to trust them that they won’t jump the next time.

“So I will always handle with an extraordinary degree of caution.”

So he lost his principals and his party’s principals the very day he got sworn in. Maybe his new motto is sell out early. Here’s how Emerson characterized his view of Stephen Harper after the election via Ahab’s Whale

“Emerson added he is going to enjoy keeping tabs on Prime Minister-elected Stephen Harper.

“I’m going to be Stephen Harper’s worst enemy,” he warned. “We’re going to stir the pot and you better believe we are going to make a heck of a lot of noise.”

Remember he said this only 2 weeks ago. So now his worst enemy is his best buddy?

Here’s his new tune. He said he would have “absolutely” stayed on in Paul Martin’s cabinet if the former PM had been re-elected. via Babbling Brooks Why didn’t he just say I’d sell myself to the highest bidder?

Here’s the Remove Emerson Blog. Here’s the Elect Emerson Blog, which demands that David Emerson must resign and be elected as a Conservative. Joan Tintor offers these suggestions for citizen action.

“Below is a quick list of suggested actions loyal Conservatives can take to show their disapproval and dissent:

1.Do not make further donations to the party. Write the Conservative Canada Fund and advise why

2. If you receive a fundraising letter, return it with a letter indicating why as above, or simply mark it “Return to Sender – ELECT EMERSON.”

3. Contact your Conservative MP or candidate and advise them that you will not be assisting them in preparing for an election until this matter is resolved in a principled manner.

4. If you are on a riding executive, ask your executive to pass a resolution expressing its opposition about the appointment, and asking the Prime Minister to require Mr. Emerson to seek the support of his constituents as a Conservative. Issue a press release to your local media about your riding’s resolution.”

Wow. Extreme democracy in action. And both are run by Conservatives, not betrayed Liberals.

There’s also an online petition to recall Emerson and hold an election “so that the people of Vancouver Kingsway and in general all Canadians can be represented by the party and candidate of their choice.” via Remove Emerson

There was a vote held less than 3 months ago on a bill to make MPs who cross the House floor subject to a by-election call which 40 conservative MP’s voted in favour of. You can see a list of who voted in favor of it, including at least one current Tory cabinet minister here at the great How’d They Vote site which allows you to see how your MP voted on different issues so you can hold them accountable.

There are links to the politician’s website where you can encourage them to follow through on their convictions. Hopefully their convictions have not expired yet, this vote was only held 2 and a half months ago.

Here’s a final quote by Emerson during the recent federal election campaign

“The Conservatives want to keep any of their members who might be inclined to say something that would uncover their true intentions and keep them quiet, out of the limelight,” Industry Minister David Emerson said in Vancouver yesterday…

“I’ve got to wonder what it is they’re hiding,” Emerson said in an interview after a speech by Prime Minister Paul Martin.

“They’ve got a message that they’ve been quite successfully getting out to try to pretend they’re moderate on a range of issues where we all know that underneath, when you scratch a bit, they’re not moderate at all.”

Glad he was so honest about his true intentions.

One good thing out of this is to show how quickly the blogosphere can mobilize on something of political importance. Will be interesting to see what the results of the 2 blogs and petitions will be. Maybe not a change of the appointment but possibly a longer application of heat on the new hypocritical conservative leader that talks of transparency and accountability and his first move make’s Paul Martin’s Liberals seemed principled.

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