Brent Rathgeber quits the Conservative caucus -

Brent Rathgeber quits the Conservative caucus

The free-speaking MP leaves after bill amended


In the wake of a vote by Conservative MPs at the ethics committee today to amend his private member’s bill on public service disclosure, Brent Rathgeber has quit the Conservative caucus.

I just notifed the Board of Directors of the Edm-St. Albert CPC Association and the Speaker that I have resigned from the CPC Caucus.

My decision to resign from the CPC Caucus is because of the Government’s lack of commitment to transparency and open government.

Mr. Rathgeber blogged about his bill here, here, here, here and here. Earlier tonight, he tweeted in response to the vote of his colleagues tonight.

In his comments to the Globe tonight, Mr. Rathgeber pointed at his party’s leadership for the changes that were made to his bill.

“I’m obviously very, very disappointed both with the government position and certainly with the [committee’s Conservative] colleagues, many of whom philosophically support this legislation unequivocally, but seemed powerless to resist the instructions that were given to them by the [Prime Minister’s Office], by the whip or wherever the final instructions came from,” Mr. Rathgeber said after the meeting.

Update 10:44pm. Conservative MP Mark Warawa, whose motion on sex-selective abortion was prevented from reaching the floor of the House earlier this year, tweets at Mr. Rathgeber.

Brent, you are a man of integrity and will be missed.

Update 10:51pm. Via Twitter, the Prime Minister’s director of communications says Mr. Rathgeber should step down as the MP for Edmonton-St. Albert and run in a by-election.

Mr. Rathgeber has resigned from caucus. The people of Edmonton-St. Albert elected a Conservative Member of Parliament. Mr. Rathgeber should resign and run in a by-election. 

If the Harper government now feels MPs who resign from caucus should run in by-elections, it would seem to have come to this feeling sometime after David Emerson and Wajid Khan crossed the floor to the Conservative side. Last year, only three Conservative MPs supported an NDP bill that would have forced MPs to resign and run in a by-election if they wished to switch parties (which wouldn’t have applied to Mr. Rathgeber, as he has not switched parties).

Update 11:12pm. Mr. Rathgeber spoke to me for this piece on the Backbench Spring and later explained himself to Global. In February, he talked to The West Block about the role of the backbench MP. All our previous coverage of him is here.

Update 11:54pm. The Globe’s Josh Wingrove has posted a fuller transcript of what Mr. Rathgeber had to say after Conservatives on the ethics committee voted to change his bill.

I think we fought the good fight, but we’re simply dealing with a government that is not interested in transparency. And I believe it’s really short-sighted, quite frankly.


Brent Rathgeber quits the Conservative caucus

  1. Good! I hope he will stay an independent and not run for the CPC again if he cannot understand that there is a give and take in political party policy making.

    • Give and take? This issue has blown up the base. It is getting bad. Real bad.

      • Really. So Rathgeber can do so much more as an independent.

        I think Rathgeber is not being as open and transparent as he would like us to believe. Time will tell, but my bet is that he has already talked to Justin Trudeau to run as a Liberal in the west.

        • Maybe, but the bill re-tooling speaks for itself. Why would the CPC do this?!

          • Because they’re the Party of Stupid.

            Look at their supporters here on this site alone!

          • Thanks for contributing.

          • New here are you?

          • Ouch, that was a bit low.

          • ‘When your opposition is shameless, there’s no time to be spineless.’

          • In not really complaining. It would be hard to overstate the rank stupidity of some of the Harper loyalists like FV.

          • Clogs up the site and doesn’t let anyone serious have much of a say……as bad as the students who crash a thread with trash….everybody else then leaves.

          • It is Emily you are talking about.

          • no, Emily, they are the party of “we think the public are stupid!”

          • Well, the public voted them in… they have a point. LOL

          • Because one member deciding on a bill is not the right way to go about it when you are elected on a party platform. There must be a give and take attitude or how else could parties work.

            Now you may believe that in Canadian politics we can do without political parties, but it cannot be done.

            Rathgeber will find that out soon if he does not understand it already. Therefore, he has probably already talked to Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. Sad, if Rathgeber, the open and transparent mind of all, will not tell us about those behind closed door meetings.

          • There was no reason to gut this bill. It was good. If Rathberger runs as a Liberal next time, good for him.
            The CPC needs a refresh.

          • Because you say it is good does not mean that the CPC internal party policy discussion all thought it was good.

            You have to remember; the party also has some say, collectively.

            Politics is not just about one member OR another. Politics is about finding a consensual middle ground for parties internally as well. That is how it works.

            Rathberger did get elected as a CPC MP. Without the party name attached, he would not have won his riding. Something to think about.

            Rathberger, in all honesty, could have sat out this session and could have waited until the next election. THAT would have been the MOST honest thing to do.

          • There was no need compromise on this bill. They gutted it. Why? What’s to be gained?
            The base has been doing nothing, but compromising since the majority. When are we going to get a conservative government?
            When it comes to corruption and accountability it transcends partisan lines.
            Gutting this bill made no sense.
            The base has had enough. The base is going to destroy Harper.

          • So it was done just as a show of power, probably aimed right at that complaining, trouble-making backbench. Are you a member of the CPC base, is that how you know how they feel

          • Yes.

            I ran defense for Harper for years, but little by little the base has been falling off.

            The Senate stuff was the last straw.

            I discussed this on CBC radio.

            This event is another knife to the party.

          • Et tu Brute?

          • Principle before party.

          • Well, you must be feeling quite a rough patch lately. Thank you for the link; I will listen to it tomorrow morning, when I’m fresh as a daisy.

          • I was in the Reform/CA/Con party many years ago. I never heard that phrase used.

          • That’s my phrase.

          • Ahhh Well there were a lot of idealists around then. Fresh wind from the west and all that.

          • I have listened to the 7.50 mark and then the tape stopped, do not know why.

            Well, Jeff, what can I say. My work is done. If you and the other commenter on that show can find another leader for the CPC without ripping itself apart over it, a leader who must try and hold a wide ranging party together under very trying circumstances, under this kind of Liberal oriented medial all across Canada, and under scandals not of Harper personal doing, I wish you the best of luck.

            If you, as a party member have no longer faith in a man who is telling the truth in that he was not involved in the personal decision taken by Wright, and a man who has tried for years under minority conditions to muddle true, to have stood for senate reforms in the House and out of it as long as I can remember and never got any additional support from any other group except the party members, then I do no longer wish to be part of this charade.

            Find your man or woman to lead the party who you think can hold it all together as well as Harper has managed to do, with now just his second year in to a majority government. Push Harper out with all the protesters you have behind standing behind your plan, but I will not be helping anyone on that front.

            If this is what it means to be loyal to a party which has struggled for so long against all odds to try and make Canada a better place with incremental changes being possible, and only incremental changes being possible in such a divided and complicated country such as Canada, then I will not call it loyalty but sheer impatience on your (and others) part.

            Good luck, Jeff. I hope you will find your leader before the Liberals will eat your divided conquest alive.

            I am so done.

          • Everyone has a limit. I have reached mine. Serious actions need to happen, because a lot people are disgusted by the events of the past few weeks (months?) and this episode is another example.

            Why gut this bill? Why not bring transparency into the frame for those making $180,000 or whatever? By raising the money level to $400,000 they’ve gutted anything of value.

            Wasn’t it Margaret Thatcher who said, “Too many people want to be, rather than do!”
            Harper is squandering his opportunity to effect change in hopes of being an innocous benchwarmer so that the CPC can fly under the radar towards perpetual governance.
            Their quest for power has taken a dark turn.
            They now need some big actions to correct course, or it’s over for two election cycles.

          • Why, for you, to compare this Harper government being as bad as Mulroney’s when speaking on the radio? Who on earth needs enemies with friends like you?

            Actually, the CPC government will be over if people like you go about your ways. Are you perhaps a Prentice scout. I could easily imagine that, since you specially seem to think that Harper needs to be replaced. So now undermining Harper will help your cause? A cause to reach what? A divided party once more? Or do you really believe that forcing Harper to resign, that it will change the attitude of the media, as if by magic? You are delusional if you believe that.

            Do you really believe that there could not have been a valid reason for keeping a particular level in mind when proposing a new motion as to public service disclosure? As if one particular motion could not be effecting other government business to attend to in the future; working with the public service is not a one way street.

            But maybe you do not understand the complexities involved. Trying to govern, and govern effectively in this country does not lend itself to mere black or white solutions. Private motions may be viewed as being isolated decision makings all in their own right, but such is not how governments can work. The complexity of what and what not motions should or could effect is not as straightforward as you may think. What may seem a good solid solution to be covered in one private members bill, if left unchecked against other events in the making, might bring about a reverse effect in the future if not carefully directed. All hangs as one. It cannot be otherwise.

            You say that “Their quest for power has taken a dark turn.
            They now need some big actions to correct course, or it’s over for two election cycles.” which makes it clear to me that you no longer believe in the Harper government otherwise you would not speak about ‘their quest’ as if Harper and his struggles are already no longer your problem. You have distanced yourself from the Harper government already. You, in essence, already talk as if you are now indeed running against the Harper government.

            And thinking that that is the case, why, I wonder, DO you feel the need to talk on the radio as if everything is indeed Harper’s fault, and that indeed you are now not sounding any different than the leaders of the opposition parties. So, then, why not come out into the open about THAT when you appear on radio shows and comment boards. If you expect openess and transparency from others, would it be too much to ask to do the same coming from you?

            The end of June is the CPC convention. You know that but Rathgeber knows that too. What is so open and transparent about Rathgeber then to not stand with the convention first to have witnessed there if what he was planning (to leave the party) would be justified. Why would Rathgeber not want to have attended that grass roots convention? Something smells fishy here. And to tell you the truth, I don’t understand why you feel the need to undermine Harper now. It is my understanding that you do not understand the complete make-up of Canada, if you believe that Harper could have pushed more than he has been pushing for already. If you push too hard, the party will not get the seats it needs to form government. And although I think you know that, I don’t really think you understand it fully.

          • Look, it wasn’t that long ago that I wrote this,

            I think Harper can still turn this thing around, but the Senate issue and the way it was dealt with is a turning point. It was handled poorly.
            And now this…

            I think Harper has been great. He’s the best PM I’ve ever seen, but the tactics of winning have left him open to some darkness and at this point in the CPC mandate, they seem more concerned with entrenching power than with effecting change.

            Secondly, the Liberals have veered away from the leftist insanity that started with Paul Martin. They aren’t as threatening as they used to be. If the CPC will eventually lose and when they do they need to lose to the Liberals, not the NDP.

            Thirdly, I am not beholden to the party. They don’t pay me and they have nothing to do with me. I will speak my mind as a free man does. My criticisms are out of concern and honesty. I’d like to see another Harper term, but not if he (and his team) keep going on like this.

          • A government that has become the exact thing its base fought against isn’t worth keeping around just for the sake of being in power.

            Harper and his PMO have become Jean Chretien with blue signs. Corruption, hypocrisy, and stupidity rule. Decisions are made based on what is polling well this week.

            This is not what CPC supporters signed up for.

          • Morning, Jeff; I don’t know if you will come back to read this, but I took some time and listened to this audio you linked to last night. I was a little surprised to hear you, on the one hand, say that the Harper government has no ethics, which is kind of what Rathgeber says, but then go on to hope (blind faith?) that he can change and make things right and better for CPC. I cannot reconcile those two statements! One either has ethics and integrity, or not. Sometimes it takes some time to do what that little voice (conscience) is telling you, but I see Harper as a power-at-all-costs kind of guy. Ethics are merely for optics, not for real. And the backbenchers: they complain and whine but for sheer gutlessness, they are pretty hard to beat. So that’s not integrity, even if they believe in the policies they want to push, they get a little push back, and disappear down the rabbit hole!

            You also referred to previous debacles in the news as “fake scandals.” Really, Jeff? Now that you are here, in this place and time, do you understand that Harper, the famous incrementalist, has really built his government on all kinds of little “scandals” that get to slide, slide — and people like you laugh at people like me who don’t like what they are doing, and how they are doing it.

            It sounds like, no matter what, as long as there’s a different leader, you wil continue to vote CPC. As a Liberal supporter who switched votes after the sponsorship scandal, I and many others had to switch our votes, or why would the party WE support, that we want to represent us, ever change?

            I understand that audio was recorded prior to Rathgeber’s resignation from caucus, and so was the blog you posted (below). So, what will it take for you to switch your vote elsewhere, if this PMO scandal isn’t enough? Or would having Kenney at the helm be enough of a change for you?

          • #1. The Fake scandals I referred to included the opposition grandstanding that preceeded the 2011 election. Attempts were made to turn molehills into mountains. They were trumped up charges that the general public shrugged off.

            This stuff is different.

            #2. Because this stuff is different, it is more serious and more compromising. No government is perfect and if it was dealt with appropriately it could be forgiven. That’s why I am still open to Harper having a “Rocky 3” type moment. He can turn it around.

            #3. Will I mindlessly support the party? No. I have already withweld money and will consider witholding my vote. Justin Trudeau doesn’t seem to be as leftist as the party had been lurching for the past 8 years and I suspect he’ll win a majority if he doesn’t blow it. So be it.

            Thanks for listening.

          • I honestly appreciated the opportunity to “talk” to someone whose views are different from mine, but who didn’t call me names and blindly defend. There used to be more of that here. I guess when you can remember “good old days” on a blog, you’ve been around it too long! Best back at you.

          • you’re full of crap.

          • And how does a member of the NDP feel. Or when they left the caucus did they not listen good enough to Mulcair.

          • The base will destroy itself. What does Rathgeber have now. Nothing, nothing, no bill to present, not party to belong to (yet) and no influence over policy setting whatsoever.

            Who are you to say that the rest of the CPC DID NOT already come towards the middle on Rathberger proposed motion. In fact, that is what did happen.

            Do not believe for one minute that only Rathberger must take lumps. All party members must take lumps or nothing can co-exist within a party, any party.

            What if a backbench Liberal MP would have objected publicly to Justin proposal about the senate expenses today. Justin proposal is in fact nothing more than an attempt at nothing because Justin can not set the rules for the senate, and neither can the House of MPs. So let us assume someone in the Liberal party would have openly declared that what Justin was proposing was not acceptable to that Liberal individual. Should Justin then have stood back and let the individual MP take over from there………………….or present an individual private members bill next week, or whenever, to do as he pleased without Justin consent…………………………………….eh! Think about it how Justin would react to that.

          • ‘The base will destroy itself ??????????


            The ‘base’ is all of Harper’s support!

            Time for bed Frannie.

          • By the base I mean all Members of Parliament sitting under the party banner, the ones they got elected on.

            You must sleep all day to not have understood that much.

            NO one can be PM if the base of MP is NOT there.

          • That wipes out Harper as leader.

            Works for me.

          • But we have always known that. Harper hate is normal for you. Always has been.

          • No, I hate willfully ignorant people….Harper is one of them. So are you.

            PS So is Stockwell Day. I left the party when he got elected.

          • harpo isn’t ignorant, but he does use others’ ignorance to his advantage. harpo knows what is going on and he knows it’s wrong. The reason he tries to cover for his cons, is because he pulls the same crap.

          • Well then either way he’s being ‘willfully ignorant’…..and he’s damaging the country because of it.

          • He’s being willfully corrupt. It’s not like he’s just turning blind eyes and deaf ears. Ignorance on any level, limits his responsibility. I say he’s at least an accomplice to crimes, if not the ring leader.

          • Damage to the country……what’s in it for him?

          • You should ask his wife about her stock portfolio, or maybe nigel wright.

          • I understand she sold off all her stock….and Harp doesn’t strike me as the yacht/swiss bank account type in any case.

            Easy enough to just resign and get directorships by the bucket right now.

          • Selling off stock is how one makes money off of it. For them to collect a pay day, they wouldn’t even have to follow through on their back room promises. All they would have to do is buy the stocks on the cheap, start the ball rolling in favour of the company, and when the stocks raise enough, sell them off. If the ball stops rolling for whatever reason, they wouldn’t care, they already got paid.

            The thing with the worst of the worst criminal types, if no one ever suspects them, because they’re good a being bad.

          • It can also be abandoning ship. If she’d made a bundle we’d know about it…

            No, I can’t see fighting to get to the PMO as a way just to make money in the market.

          • There are ways to cover money trails. Look how easy tax havens function.

          • Easier ways to get rich than to run for PM first!

            No, I think motives are different here.

          • Politicians have been using stocks as payoffs since the concept was invented. harpo doing it, is nothing new.

          • Anything is possible Justin, I just don’t think that’s the motive here.

            Seems more like a deliberate attempt at a culture change to me.

          • When it comes to corruption, greed is almost always the motivating factor. People might start off with good intentions, but it’s greed that drives them into corruption.

          • Lots of news today about how much Wallin has made off her board appointments — reports say more than a million since 2008.

          • Appointments are a way for corrupt politicians to pay people for their favours.

          • What about speaking engagements? That is one lucrative market. Never mind a million in 6 years. Some minor personalities were making $400K per year (prior to taking a full time job on the hill).

          • harpo is smart, I too agree. it’s just what he applies it to. populist method can be very well executed and get results. oh my, but who wants such results? there is no real human value in leveraging people’s worst tendencies, such as hate and fear. yes it may win the election. this is where Trudeau said something very profound (not saying Justin is a profound person) when he said a win in an election is not worth it if you can not govern. what harper is doing is not governing. he is harvesting power for his party. as any farmer knows, once its harvested it cant grow any more.
            I am certain harpo has made a bad call here, and this is falsification of power and bad government. cleanigin up govt and making it more efficient are all good. but to use it to consolidate power, using it to make the govt partisan is hugely INefficient for the taxpayer.
            I am not certain that Canadians are smart enough to see it that way in time for the next election.

          • You are the most ignorant person on this site. I have always felt that way and I still feel that way.

            You swing your nonsense one way and then the other, whatever you feel like doing, works for you. No consistency, no ideas, no insights to reveal or share, not common sense, and no respect for anyone or anything.

            I hope Jeff will be liking you enough to be able to stand your daily comments without content. I really hope he will. There are many ignorant commenters on boards all across media land, but to deal with you would have to be an eyeopener for anyone. I hope you will be able to open Jeff.s eyes enough for him to realize what he is doing.

          • That’s because you have no education, and no knowledge of the world.

            Just ‘feeeelings’

          • See, there she goes again, EmilyOne never knowing what she is talking about. You do not know me. All you can come up with is character assasinations. Ignorant is what you are. Namecalling is what you know to do best. Dear EmilyOne, stay with your gang and be happy. There is nothing left to say.

          • You promise?

          • Te conbots say that all the time, but keep right on yapping

          • Yes, I wish they’d take their ball and their bat and go home….permanently

          • You’d know all about that, eh, fv? Being as that’s your specialty and the only thing you’re remotely competent in.

          • LOL.. “You are the most ignorant person on this site”..

            The irony.. it burns!

          • Ah, there is Thwim, another one I suspect is calling Rathgeber a hero and will be called an even bigger hero when he does not want to call a by-election.

            Rathberger, the MP who wants to speak on the behalf of his constituency first, now has NO constituency. But Thwim will not understand about those things. Thwim is here to just hang out and not think too much. Hello, Thwim, how are you today. How’s the weather? Blue skies overthere? Perhaps EmilyOne would like to know how the weather is over at your imaginary place.

            Good god, what a farce!

          • Before or after the sea-doo?

          • LOL I ripped up my membership card within minutes of Day being elected leader….so before that crazy beach-butt incident.

          • Wait a minute…..weren’t you just applauding Jean Chretien in a crazy deja vu ‘beach-butt incident’????

          • ???? Chretien is 79 and long since out of office. Hardly the same thing as being the new leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and showing up in a wet suit

            Time and a place…..etc

          • Like Trudeau hate is normal for you?

          • More like a sick stalker crush.

          • Bizarre analogy.
            Brent’s bill made sense. There was no reason to gut it. I get being a team player, but not when the team has gone off the rails and totally lost touch.
            I used to be the guy running defense for the CPC in message boards like this, but they’ve crossed a line with the Duffy thing and now it’s beginning to unravel.
            Justin may be flakey, but he’s not an insane global warming leftist like Stephanie Dion or a devious antique like Michael Ignatieff.

            With the CPC going off the rails, Justin could end up winning the majority that was supposed to be Paul Martin’s in 2004.

          • They crossed a lot of lines, people just didn’t want to pay attention, but the truth always sets one free.

          • Justin can make the rules for his own party though, so if he tells his MP’s & Senators to release their expenses, they will have to do so. Justin is therefore taking a step forward when it comes to the transparency in his own party.

          • Scary when the libs are showing up the cons, on accountability and transparency, eh?

          • Rathgeber had no influence over policy setting before either. If you think what the backbench wants matters in the slightest to this government, then I have a bridge to sell you.

            If it did, Vic Toews spying bill and his absurd comments about people who don’t want to be spied on supporting child predators never would have happened. They were against that. The base was against it. When donors started telling the party to screw off because of that bill, it got yanked real fast.

            This government is run from the PMO. No other opinion matters. And really, if you’re a backbencher with any integrity, why would you want to have your name associated with the nonsense coming out of this government lately?

            I’d rather quit and be able to look myself in the mirror.

          • “In all honesty”
            What does that mean?
            It seems clear that Rathgerber agrees with the CPC platform, but can not accept the level of hypocrisy and ignorance in the way the CPC is exercising its power.
            The Liberal party has exhibited the very same tendencies in a majority. This is a Canadian problem of an inability to cope with power. Not only a Canadian party (Putin, for example).
            Francien is that classic puppet personality that can not reallythink so very well, and feels that mimicking (parroting?) a group dynamic to their best ability is freedom and responsibility. You could study history, Francien, such as pre-WWII Germany, to find out jsut how dangerous that is.

          • Or how people use to blindly follow monarchs.

          • And will you still believe Rathgeber is speaking for his constituents when he does not run immediately in a by-election.

            Next thing we know, you and others will probably defend Rathgeber for NOT wanting to run in a by-election, because, you know, Rathgeber knows BETTER than his constituency about what to do and what not.

            What a joke this all is. Looking forward to reading your next posting on Rathgeber not having to call a by-election, you under a new fake name, of course. Of course!

          • You mean like David Emerson ran in a by-election?

          • Same ‘fake’ name. I am consistent. Your name is fake too?
            There is for me a conflict between representing constituents and being an MP beholden to a party. A constituency is an essentially non-partisan entity.
            Until now the CPC has not wanted to force by-elections. Calling for it is hypocritical, except that hypocrisy is not comprehended by the Harper PMO. If we then accept that the rule is opportunism and not principle, there is still no force of reason for a by-election. And doubly so if it is entirely lawful and regular process for an MP to leave a caucus. In terms of serving his constituents, it seems pretty clear that Rathgeber stands by CPC the platform he was elected to, and which is still formally being used.
            As such it seems that there are only weak and emotional reasons left over to spend taxpayer’s money on a by-election.

          • Some might argue that it’s not the party name, but the party philosophies that enabled him to win his riding.

            That is, some of us who think that perhaps not all conservative voters are idiots.

          • See, what can I tell you folks. Here is Thwim again with name calling and not much else. All his reasoning skills are based on name calling; the better Thwim can name call, the better Thwim can reason, or so Thwim reasons.

            Good god, what a farce. Never knew so many people could be so dense!

          • Tell me, who did I call a name, and what name did I call them? I’m curious as to what you think you read.

          • As a person whom you demean and call stupid on a regular basis, I can only suggest that you are completely delusional OR you have profound short-term memory loss.

          • Hint: Context isn’t something you win.

          • And you claim NOT to do any name calling. Yeah, we got it!

          • Yeah, didn’t think you’d have an answer.

          • Actually, since you did the namecalling in another post, I have responded to it overthere. But you knew that already!

            Keep trying whatever you think works for you. Do not try and have a debate about issues and substance. That would be so much scarier than name calling! LOL

          • Pfeh.. not even a good lie, anybody with the stomach to go through your posting history can see you did no such thing.

          • Some of you might believe that Albertans don’t think it is important that their party is is power in Ottawa. Some of you might be dead wrong to believe that.

          • But one member (Calgary Southwest) deciding on a bill (EVERY bill) is exactly the situation we have now!

            You’re right, Rathberger was elected on a party platform. The failure of this government to honour that platform is precisely the reason he has resigned.

          • You have no proof, no proof whatsoever, that only the PM decides everything. YOU believe that the PM decides on everything and therefore, you falsely reason, it MUST be true what you say.

            But your opinion and Rathgeber’s opinions are just that; other opinions in a field of opinion making.

            You really believe that Rathgeber’s private motion, is important enough to say he must stand on principle only? What about the last time the CPC government tried open up the CBC books? That’s right, to court it went and the CBC won, of course!

            Rathgeber’s explanation of trying to change things in a manner which means nothing, will not do for me.

            If Rathgeber really considers himself courageous, he would have put forth a motion to do a way with CBC tv altogether. THEN he would have been able to make real changes. THEN he would have reached for the gist of the problem.

            Disclosing incomes of people earning a specific amount of money will do what? The CBC will still try to undermine whatever it deems un-Canadian, the CPC that is. Trying to make public what Mansbridge makes in a year, will be fought once again in court and won’t be won by the CPC. Of that I am convinced.

            To be able to govern, is much more complex than purely standing on principle. I thought men like Rathgeber would have understood that by now. Apparently not.

        • Ha. Tough on crime, anti-CBC, fiscal hawk Rathgeber is so far away from being a Liberal. He’s a true conservative believer – there’s no place for him in the Liberals, or even the Conservatives it turns out.

          • OK, I will stick to my bet and you can hold me to it.

          • How many times have you said that and lost now? You cons really need to stop lying so much. Even if you told the truth, no one would believe you at this point.

          • When have I lost.

            During the last election, I did say that a CPC majority would be formed.

            The NDP picking up votes in Quebec was the only surprise at the time for me, but it is completely understandable that Quebec voted for the NDP at the very end of the election campaign. There never would be a chance of forming coalition governments with the involvement of the BQ. Quebeckers understood that and therefore held out hope for a minority government holding, as Quebeckers, the balance of power over the NDP in a coalition government.

            It did not happen. Harper did get the majority as I had predicted.

            No, I have not lost yet. You only wish I had.

          • Every con scandal that’s come up and been proven true.

          • The cons aren’t real conservatives. harpo is more liberal than most libs. he’s just a better liar than most.

          • No, he’s neither Lib nor Con.

        • He is being true to himself. You’ve got to be able to look in the mirror in the morning.

    • There is no take. As a CPC back-bencher you do what Harper says and shut the f-ck up if you don’t like it, regardless of how corrupt they are.

      • And as a Liberal backbencher, how does it work out then with a presence of over 160 some seats for one party.

      • Just like the Court of Star Chamber under the Shawinigan Shyster.

    • With the cons, it’s always take, never give.

    • I hope so to because he is a man of morals and integrity, something the Conservative Party has absolutely none of.

      Not that you’d understand since you are paid by the government to post on news stories like this to try to sway public opinion over to the Conservatives.

  2. Hmmm have we finally found a Con with principles?

    Or are we talking sinking ship here?

    • He could be an opportunist. We will find out shortly.

      • Irrelevant. Regardless of the MPs motives, this is still a clear sign of the growing division amongst the cons. The fact of the matter, is the cons, as they are, are finished. I doubt they will last till the next election.

        • Peter McKay is in the headlines again saying he would consider LEAVING the Cons depending on what happens at the conference. Maybe a certain cohort, the one without power, recognizes the Cons are done and are willing to splinter off again, and form something “new.” Maybe they know they won’t win again, even a minority, and are willing to spend a few years rebuilding (and it might be against a minority government). I mean, that’s a serious “maybe” since I have no idea what they’re up to.

          • I don’t think they do either, at this point.

  3. My bet is that Rathgeber will run as a Liberal candidate come next election, and that way he will hope to save his seat and have some clout in the Liberal caucus.

    Sorry, Mr. Rathgeber, I like openess and transparency too, so it would be good for you to make your intensions clear now. Not later and come up with a full set of excuses of what went on behind your closed door.

    Have you spoken with Justin Trudeau, yes or no.

    • My goodness. I really hope there’s a bot army making comments under your screen name, because I see you on every political post on every newspaper/magazine, spouting Trudeau’s name over and over again, whether or not he’s even related to the issue at hand.

      This level of obsession is unhealthy. Perhaps it’s time to step away.

      • What to do when the media does not do its job.

        What does the media have to gain by keeping some things out of the news but over emphasizing other happenings.

        I know you will most likely not respond to a post like this because you will judge me before thinking about what I have stated.

        But whatever.

        • Why don’t you apply for a job in the media then?

          • No one would take her. Only people willing to employ her is the cons, to post on sites, like this.

      • It was that attack ad that showed Justin taking his shirt off….she’s never been the same since. Total fetish.

        • I hope Justin and Sophie Trudeau have some kind of security staff or restrictions on how close she is allowed to get to their family. Those kids are so adorable, I would hate to see anyone suffer because some lonely crone has become unhinged with lust for their poor handsome papa.

          • Yeah Prince Harry is having trouble with a female stalker who’s following him around….I gather they all have obsessed people like that.

            Justin seems to have them too.

    • Uh huh. A right-wing religious conservative is going to run for the liberals. Yeaaaaah. Good luck there. Do your research next time you don your troll hat.

  4. That must have been a hard decision; he’s one of the principled ones in that caucus, so perhaps others will follow his lead. I hope he runs and wins again, as an indie or for another party; not sure where a guy like him would be comfortable. Surprising since he could have taken the summer off and just chilled out and thought about it. But a principled decision.

    • Oh, here comes the pile-on. Rathberger, the best MP around. Rathberger, the most trusted MP around. Rathberger, the most principled around.

      What is so principled to be elected on CPC election platforms to then not agree with party policy making.

      Another Belinda story to come out soon. What are the Liberals promising Rathberger. Time will tell.

      Irrational decision making is not done by taking time to think about it. Opportunists go whenever the iron is hot. And Justin is hot at the moment, just as Martin was hot when Belinda flew into those Liberal arms.

      • The party is the one not living up to their promises of accountability and transparency.

        You always gotta bring up the libs, eh? No matter how foolish you sound.

  5. h l mencken – every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.


  6. Good for Brent. I applaud him for this. Wake-up call time has long since passed.

  7. Hmm. PMO says he should run in a byelection. Just like Emerson and Khan I guess.

  8. LOL Warawa says he’ll be ‘missed’.

    Not ‘followed’….missed.

    • But Wawara recognizes a man of integrity when he sees one: just not in the mirror. Warawa is NOT a man of principle, evidently.

      • No, how could a CPC be principled.

        Better take an example of Justin principles, for charging money for giving speeches while skipping the House. Perhaps Rathberger will buy into that sort of scheme. Now that he thinks he is the most popular of all.

        • Are you capable of thinking of anyone other than trudeau?

          I really feel sorry for your friends and family. Any time some tries to talk about something, you find a way to make it about trudeau. I hope you never have kids, because all they will know is how to say justin trudeau and nothing more.

          • I do not have to worry about my kids. They are all responsible adults now, never needing to mooch off of tax payer;s dollars, being employed and being very capable. The two go hand in hand. I don;t need employment because I have been smart enough in my life to be able to do as I wish now.

            My kids are responsible citizens, because they have learned that responsibility and rights go together or not at all. My kids need no lessons from you. I would not want their minds to be turned into something empty and useless. You have never a decent comment to make. Never an idea. Never a debate. Always the Harper hate front and center for you, always has been and most likely always will be. That then, to have a closed mind, a blind hate, is your choice to follow. I will never make it mine and neither will my kids. That you can be assured of.

          • Sure they are, but all they can say is trudeau, trudeau, trudeau.

            How did you ever help them with their homework?

            “Mommy, how do I do factoring, in math?”

            “Don’t worry about it dear, justin trudeau is the most evil man in the world and because of that, you can’t understand factoring. Now be a good dear and say your trudeau curse before going to bed.”

      • Apparently not!

  9. Brent is not progressive… he is about as
    religious right as you can get without falling off the edge of the
    earth. I disagree with his politics, but I admire his ethics. It is a
    HUGE blow to Harper. I hope some more backbenchers follow suit.

    • You seem to have a problem with religious beliefs.

      • Not all religion is bad, but the corrupt and powerful, throughout history, have used religion to control the masses. Just look at the corrupt popes that ran the catholic church, in the past. They ruled Rome, as kings.

        Religion isn’t the problem, but when corrupt politicians use religion, it further compounds their crimes, possibly more so, than the crime itself.

      • Separation of church and state is essential to govern a nation as huge and diverse as this one. No churchies please: no people who think God is telling them what to do, or that they are better than the lesser folks like atheists and minority religions. Keep religion personal and in your home, and all will be better for everyone. Religion is not public, but government is.

  10. MPs should not pout when they dont get their way. Very immature.

    • He’s not pouting, he’s acting on his principles. I guess principles and integrity are hard for some to comprehend as they are so foreign to them.

      • Them cures words in the house of harpo.

    • Like the cons fighting campaign violations, or toews and his spy bill, or every time harpo prorogued parliament?

  11. “The people of Edmonton-St. Albert elected a Conservative Member of Parliament.”

    No, the people of Edmonton-St. Albert elected Brent Rathgeber. Today didn’t change that.

    • Yeah, and he was elected to represent his constituents, not the freaking party. Bill Casey got re-elected when he left Con caucus. By an even larger margin, I believe, but it’s tough to run as an indie — I don’t think you are allowed to fundraise the same way.

  12. I hope the good denizens of Edm-St. Albert realize that their MP is one of the rare specimens with integrity, scruples and principles in that otherwise hopelessly partisan-riven gong show called the House of Commons.

    • I’m not ure about that. First, he bought into harpo’s BS. To me, that shows lack of judgment. All one had to do, was a little snooping into a few of harpo’s friends to know, something was amiss. Look at arthur porter, bruce carson, nathan jacobson, tom flanagan and a few others. All of them had very public and very shady pasts. Second, the man still voted in favour of every provision in the omnibus budget bills. Those omnibus budget bills have done more to harm Canada, than any other scandal, the cons have created. They stripped us of rights, freedoms, essential services; costing people their sovereignty, jobs and even lives. Third, while preaching austerity, he managed to get himself fat pay raise, along with all the other MPs and senate. I think he’s just pissy, because his bill got gutted. Regardless, this is still a blow to harpo and the cons, so I’m happy, but I will not support brent rathgeber. his actions fall under the category of too little, too late.

  13. Maybe the PMs director of comms should try running for office himself against BR, since he appears to know so much about what BR’s constituents really want?

    • What? And give up his plum patronage appointment? The Conservative Party just nuked a bill outlining what public servants get paid to protect the likes of MacDougall and Dimitri Soudas.

  14. Once again Aaron, thanks for a great article.

  15. If there was any truth in advertising, the Conservative Party would need to be renamed the Hypocritical Party. They’re not even anything resembling conservative, but they are really good at trying to whine about things that they think are perfectly fine when it works in their favor.

    Hello David Emerson.

    • …and the Liberals…

      • Indeed, but the Liberals didn’t build their brand on the basis of “we’re not like the Liberals.”

        What we have now are the Liberals, and the Liberals with blue signs.

        • “We’re not like the Liberals” is SOOOO pre-2006.

          Today’s slogan is “What’s the problem? This is just what the Liberals would have done!”.

    • At this point, I’m getting the impression that referring to harpo and his cons hypocrites, is being nice. Calling someone a hypocrite, implies the person believes in what they say, but gets led astray. I think harpo has been lying since day one. More like Fraud Party Of Canada.

      • Personally I think most of them did believe it originally. But as they say, power corrupts, and the desire to win at any cost chips away at beliefs and principles.

        Brent said something like that himself in his blog post about why he quit:

        “I joined the Reform/conservative movements because I thought we were
        somehow different, a band of Ottawa outsiders riding into town to clean
        the place up, promoting open government and accountability. I barely
        recognize ourselves, and worse I fear that we have morphed into what we
        once mocked.”

        That sounds like a true believer disillusioned that his leadership has lost its way.

        • They were doing things long before the last federal election. It only took the guy how long to realize the corruption, right under his nose?

          • Seeing it, and giving up a cushy job with plum benefits over it are two very different things.

            I’m not sure we should lay a ton of criticism on him for doing the right thing because he didn’t do it before the last election. He’s in all likelyhood going to lose said job because of this, and that matters.

          • And I suppose he thought he was doing the right thing when he voted in favour of the omnibus budget bills, given how the cons use to criticize the libs for doing it. Let alone some of the provisions in the bill, like coast guard bas closures, food and safety inspection cuts and the TWF program overhaul. And he still took his pay raise, despite preaching austerity for the rest of us.

          • Last night on Twitter, Dimitri Soudas tore a strip off Rathgeber and said that he had already made up his mind on May 2, 2011, to leave the party. Of course, there’s no good reason to believe a lying, corrupt, tax-evading polecat like Soudas.

        • Well, some CPC supporters are cleaning up.

  16. Anyone interested in some background on public/private sector salary disclosure might find the following of interest. The Rathberger action is entertaining, though it distracts from one very real issue — does disclosure have the desired effect?

  17. Warawa tweeted this, “Brent, you are a man of integrity and will be missed.”

    I tweeted him back asking, “@MPmarkwarawa @brentrathgeber Would this mean that if you don’t resign from caucus that you have no integrity Mark?”

    Still no reply. But Mark should resign if he thinks it is a mark of integrity to do so.