In light of the probable upcoming federal election, it would appear that the Conservative rats are jumping ship. Unfortunately the ones who are quitting provided most of the depth of experience to Harper’s cabinet. David Emerson, Loyola Hearn and Monte Solberg have announced that they are not running again.
It comes as no surprise to me that David Emerson has decided to quit. After being elected a Liberal in Vancouver-Kingsway and crossing the floor to become a Conservative Cabinet Minister – his chances of re-election were slim and none. He was the target of a very long “de-elect Emerson” campaign that one can still see lawn signs for in the riding. No doubt he would have been dogged by disgruntled constituents whereever he went with no hope of even winning his seat. David Emerson, while unable to listen to his constituents certainly can read the writing on the wall.
Losing three key cabinet ministers does not bode well for the Harpies. It is hard not to speculate as to why. While it is clear why Emerson is not running again, that is not the case with Hearn and Solberg. One has to wonder if the short leash Harper keeps his cabinet ministers on has begun to feel like a stranglehold. No doubt as they head into the election Harper’s minions are going to be everywhere to ensure that everyone stays on message. Unfortunately for Harper, radical right-wingers are notoriously hard to control. Rob Anders is a perfect example of an MP with radical right-wing views who is hard to control. He once called Nelson Mandela a terrorist! He has also had controversy and court challenges to his continued nominations by acclamation.
By pulling the plug on his own minority government Stephen Harper risks losing it all. Some Canadians are going to view him as greedy and arrogant thinking that he can get and deserves a majority government. Canadians are not generally favourably disposed to avarice and pomposity. We tend to like our politicians humble and simple. Just ask Brian Mulroney…