19 October 2006

Canadian (Political) Idol

The other day I received an email from a fellow blogger, asking me what I thought about the Garth Turner situation. I replied as follows...

I only know what I see in the papers, but I think Garth is all about, well... Garth. He obviously feels his own needs, whether it's just ego, or a totally separate agenda, are more important than the party line.

Do I think he was unfairly booted out of caucus? Lemme put it this way... if he was an outlaw biker, he'd be lyin' in a shallow grave with a small hole behind his ear.

When I think of Garth Turner, I am reminded of the vastly over-rated, televised karaoke show, hosted by the Ivy-League educated son of a former Prime Minister. The show's particular claim to fame is it that it has totally locked in the teenage girl demographic on whatever night it is broadcast. Like Garth Turner, Ben Mulroney obviously felt that his talents would be wasted if he were not constantly in the limelight, and this vehicle has been his rocket to a very sharply defined sort of fame.

Garth Turner, on his website, is bragging up his own creation, MP TV. It features, to no one's surprise, well... Garth Turner being the star of his own TV show.

Mr. Turner has gone out of his way since shortly after the election, to irritate the Conservative Party dog, if you will, every chance he got. He was extremely critical of the David Emerson defection, yet is now shamelessly flirting with any and all political suitors, including the Green Party, whose Leader Elizabeth May is best known for appearing on the Rick Mercer Report to publicly compromise her principles by cutting down a tree with a chainsaw. If Garth goes Green, he gets to be the only Green Party member in Parliament.

Anyway, I think Garth has accomplished what has been his primary mission all along, which is... to focus as much public attention on Garth Turner, as is humanly possible.

And it's been a pretty sad day in the "Land of Actually Accomplishing Anything."

UPDATE: See Stephen Taylor for
the Garth Challenge.

LAST WORD: Party Discipline
More than a decade ago, Jean Chrétien ejected maverick John Nunziata from his caucus after the MP from York South-Weston refused to vote for the 1995 budget over its failure to scrap the goods and services tax.

In an interview yesterday, Nunziata said Turner should look forward to feeling greater independence and having a larger platform, for a while.

But Nunziata maintains Chrétien was still a more ruthless leader than Harper is turning out to be.

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20 comments:

The Tiger said...

Hey now, from someone who actually is from the Ivy League (Princeton undergrad & Harvard grad school), I've just got to say, you can't pin Ben Mulroney on us.

Ignatieff, sure. But not that particular Mulroney. (His siblings, yes.) He went to Duke.

For what it's worth, Jim Flaherty was Princeton class of 1970.

Neo Conservative said...

tiger... i stand corrected, but you get the gist of what i was trying to say.

i think education is a good thing. (my wife left university just shy of her doctorate, to take care of her mother who was, unfortunately dying.)

i'm just not sure ole ben is making the best use of his expensive tutelage (wonder what dad thinks)... which, of course it totally his prerogative.

so what does an ivy league education cost these days?

colour me curious.

The Tiger said...

Depends on your family's income.

Princeton was US$35K a year for tuition, room and board when I was an undergrad -- financial aid picks up a large portion of the tab for many. (All of it, if your family income is below $40-50K.)

Harvard now costs (on paper) $28000 for tuition, $3000 for health insurance (req'd), plus room and board. I'm on fellowship, so I get that covered plus a $15K living stipend. Am now applying for PhD programmes. Shall see how it goes.

But yes, of course -- Ivy League as stand-in for expensive elite American education.

If I could be famous for being famous and make a living at it, though, I'd be very tempted too.

Neo Conservative said...

"If I could be famous for being famous and make a living at it, though, I'd be very tempted too."

you might wanna rethink that one, it sounds a lot like the 'john mark carr' credo.

The Tiger said...

Nah, it's more that I want to actually have a job someday...

One of my friends has taken to calling me a "welfare conservative".

knotsmart said...

I think you've got Mr. Turner figured out pretty well.

Even in previous parliaments he was very much a loose cannon, sort of "all Garth, all the time".

Mr. Turner, like others, identified here or not, truly believes that when anyone else on the planet looks in a mirror, they see...Garth!

Cheers!

Neo Conservative said...

"all garth, all the time"... what a great lead for a post.

Canadi-anna said...

At least Ben Mulroney is kinda cute. Garth is not only obnoxious, he's kind of like Al on Home Improvement -- a bit pathetic.

You've got Garth pegged.

λóγοφιλος said...

I don't really care whether or not Garth is a moron. What bugs me is that the government is not allowing a member of parliament to speak his mind freely. "Caucus confidentiality"? Pah. I want the government more open, not less open. This is a move towards less openness. As such, I dislike it.

Neo Conservative said...

garth is simply a narcissistic opportunist.

the lib's take on that, as they'd say on seinfeld, seems to be... "not that there's anything wrong with that".

Neo Conservative said...

λóγοφιλος said... "Pah. I want the government more open, not less open. This is a move towards less openness. As such, I dislike it."

dear λóγοφιλος... i guess you didn't read to the bottom... "But Nunziata maintains Chrétien was still a more ruthless leader than Harper is turning out to be."

turns out you don't get to piss on the party leader, no matter what your party affiliation.

comedy is easy, politics is hard.

T-Ra said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You may be right about Garth Turner being all about himself or you might not be. I can't say I've followed him at all until he started speaking out against his own party. But, I'd much rather support a narcissist like Garth Turner than a narcissist like Stephen Harper, not that I really support either.

sally said...

Actually, Elizabeth May cut down a dead tree.

Neo Conservative said...

t-ra said, "But, I'd much rather support a narcissist like Garth Turner than a narcissist like Stephen Harper"

hey, i made a fairly substancial post on how garth is in love with himself, and you couldn't even explain your reasoning? it's kinda like in grade school, "well, he's a booger brain, too"

c'mon back and give me something.

Neo Conservative said...

"sally said... Actually, Elizabeth May cut down a dead tree."

sally, you didn't hear her protest about the dead tree being great habitat for birds before she caved and did the dirty deed?

if you're really a greener, or a birder like my wife, you'd know that dead trees are primo habitat in the woods.

or hey... maybe you were just counting on a philistine like me, not to know that. that's a little devious, isn't it?

my wife would have a fit if i did away the dead trees around here... we have 60 acres, a third of that bush.

otter said...

Two things: First, Garth wouldn't be the first Conservative Party member to join up with the Greens. First sitting MP, true, but the Green Party has actually attracted a lot of conservatives who are disgusted with the Conservative Party. Most of the economic policy is very, very conservative in flavour -- very focused on smaller, decentralised government with the absolute minimum interference required. A few tax breaks and a few tax hikes and let market forces do all the heavy lifting. (There's some pro-union stuff as well, but hey.) I know a number of conservatives who vote Green because it does a better job of embodying conservative ideals than Harper's Conservatives.

Second, yes the dead tree is a great habitat for dead birds. It's also threatening to fall over on the friend's mother's cottage and/or vehicle, as was stated in the show... Being a little devious yourself, aren't you.

Neo Conservative said...

"otter said... It's also threatening to fall over on the friend's mother's cottage and/or vehicle, as was stated in the show..."

hey, i stand corrected. the post should actually read, 'intrepid green leader steps up to save woman's cottage and/or vehicle'.

thank goodness for eco super-heroes.

λóγοφιλος said...

...more like you're not understanding what I'm saying, but that's kind of irrelevant. I might just be miscommunication.

"turns out you don't get to piss on the party leader, no matter what your party affiliation."

Sure, yeah, that may be true. I don't like it. And I'm complaining about it. Canadian politics would be better if the politicians actually had freedom of speech. I don't care how ruthless Chretien was. I want this trend to stop.

Neo Conservative said...

"λóγοφιλος said...Canadian politics would be better if the politicians actually had freedom of speech."

i actually agree with you here, but the reality is, you've got a better chance of stopping "world hunger".

there is always gonna be a lead dog & coercive party discipline. that's why every party has "a whip".

if you didn't, these guys would tear each other apart. that's human nature.

The Tiger said...

The Green Party was great -- my old 2nd choice to the CPC -- but they've come out against free trade since they elected their new leader.