I am resigning to spend more time with my kleenex


David Emerson decides it’s time to stop and smell the, er, well…

It was a persistent nosebleed – which struck during the Beijing Olympics and lasted nearly two weeks – that helped David Emerson make up his mind to quit federal politics, the departing Conservative Foreign Minister says.

“It made me realize that all of this travel and the stresses of the job were starting to take a toll,” the 63-year-old Vancouver-Kingsway MP said in an interview yesterday.

He said the affliction was caused by weakened capillaries in his nose – likely aggravated by arid conditions on flights or the August air in Beijing – rather than by high blood pressure, which tests have ruled out.

Really? You’re the foreign minister. You’re leaving politics because of a nosebleed?

Mr. Emerson, who endured heavy criticism in February, 2006, for defecting to the Harper Conservatives after winning election as a Liberal, said he informed the Prime Minister only last weekend of his decision to retire.

It’s unlikely Mr. Emerson would have won in Vancouver-Kingsway had he decided to run there…

And then this glimpse into the mindset of a Canadian politician, circa 2008:

Mr. Emerson, first elected as a Liberal with Paul Martin’s minority government in June, 2004, said he still has no regrets about crossing the floor – a move that sparked nasty protests in his riding.

He said his commitment was to Mr. Martin and this ended in January, 2006, when the defeated Liberal chief announced he was quitting as leader.

“I told Paul that if he stayed on as Leader that I would stay on [with the Liberals] and we’d have some fun in opposition,” he said.

“We’d have some fun.” He would have spent his days, that is, loudly trashing the government he now defends, with as much venom as he did before he joined it. He doesn’t actually mean a word of any of it, you understand — these things he says to the voters — the enraged attacks, the pious defenses, the solemn promises and the heartfelt invocations. It’s all just “fun.”

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I am resigning to spend more time with my kleenex

  1. This is one of the reasons I wish we had more relaxed conventions about Cabinet minsters being MPs. If he didn’t have to run, he wouldn’t have had to act like a partisan when he wasn’t, he could have served PMs of both parties and it would have looked statesmanlike instead of cynical.

  2. Unlike other politicians who’ve accomplished little other than being elected to office and lived off Canadian taxpayers,

    Emerson is a self made man. He’s decided his period of service is over, unfettered by office holder pension timelines, a narcisstic desire to “make a name for himself” by gaining the approval of our gatekeepers of info in the press, or some dead-end realization that he’d have to go back to that part-time teaching job for little pay.

    We were lucky to have a man of his talents in our service for this long. Who needs to withstand the pathetic partisan hackery of a desperate opposition and a gnawing leftist press that considers conservatism the great evil of our day? Not Emerson.

  3. Sure…let’s just acknowledge that Emerson was an opportunist and, it appears, a big baby.

    And this guy is the creme de la creme that the CPC has/had to offer.

    Let’s all give you guys a big round of applause for coming out!


  4. I find it odd that he’d actually take up a position like national co-chair, which is as partisan a job as there is.

    The story on him was that he was a reluctant politician and that he basically picked party based on convenience.

    Now he’s working hard for one side. Hmm.

  5. “Now he’s working hard for one side. Hmm.”

    Makes ya wonder what kinda comfy fur Harper’s promised him, eh? Ambassador to England? Permanent rep to the WTO? Senate (h/t ITQ)?

  6. I think it’s possible to overestimate how hard he will have to work. He’s national co-chairman of the Conservative campaign the way Celine Dion is in charge of cystic fibrosis research. She spends very little time sequencing genomes.

  7. Except maybe her own.

  8. FWIW, the sequencing is all done.

    They’re working on the mutants now.


    (Both the CFTR and Celine)


  9. Emerson’s is a cynicism that will go down in history. Age shall not wither it, nor the years approve.

  10. One might be tempted to ask why the Chinese felt inclined to put our foreign minister in the nosebleed section.

  11. Maybe it wasn’t until he got there, Dot. :)

  12. True, too much Yin without enough Yangcan also do that, I’m told.

  13. Kody says: “Who needs to withstand the pathetic partisan hackery”

    Are you familiar with the slightest of details of Emerson’s time as a ‘parliamentarian’? Dude do you read a word before you post? I thought that you got you in trouble the other day on Well’s blog.

  14. Yes, yes, I know the routine around here:

    Harper is a seething, power hungry monster, and Emerson is one of his eeeevil minions, worthy of our utmost contempt and hatred.

    What else, let me see, oh yes, Dion is really a great leader but Harper managed to convince the country he was weak, by Harper’s nefarious ads (which gained traction not because they focused on real weaknesses, but because Harper’s a “bully”),

    hmmmm, what else, oh yes, Harper’s “cold”; its not just the media telling us he’s cold because he gave them the cold shoulder and the media mistrusts anyone daring to take the country in a conservative direction, but because the media can see into his dark heart, and oh yes, it’s black,

    suggesting Dion is “not a leader” is dirty pool, but publicly accusing Harper of involvement in criminal conduct draws yawns (because deep down we know he must have done it, regardless of a lack of any evidence whatsoever – see black heart above),

    Canadians really, really would have liked Dion’s carbon tax, but Harper the bully told the public not to like it. Why, would Harper stand in Dion’s way? It was such a good plan? See dark heart above.

    LOL, beyond the national press corps, and the Liberal elite crowds in downtown Toronto (of course the two are not mutually exclusive), folks see Harper very differently.

    How different?

    We’ll see on the 14th of October.

  15. We’ll see on the 14th of October.

    See you back then. Enjoy your sabbatical.

  16. All you dippers and left-leaners better check out the three recent surveys on who Canadians think would make the best leader/prime minister. Stephen Harper comes out way ahead –three times better than Dion in one survey! And no less than a 45% approval rating in all three surveys! Boy, has Harper ever fooled these surveyed Canadians…

    And Layton who says that Harper wants to “quit his job,” should realize that the Prime Minister is just looking for new terms of reference for the same job!


  17. kody, does your bold early morning statement mean you won’t be back to post until Oct 14? To crow, of course, but not til then?

  18. I second Kody’s comments.

    What a shame! Losing David Emerson from politics, he acted like it was a higher calling and an honor to serve his country.

  19. Nothing compared to the nosebleed he was going to get if he stood for election in Vancouver Kingsway again.

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