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.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.
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.
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.