BTC: Garth’s world


Two inevitabilities.

1. Whenever discussion turns to popular disenchantment with the political process, everyone will agree that there need be greater freedom for MPs to speak their respective minds.

2. Whenever an MP loudly attempts to assert his or her freedom of thought, said MP and/or said MP’s leader will be vilified.

This is hardly meant to defend Mr. Turner. For one, he’s hardly shy about defending himself. For another, it’s possible his error was more grammatical than moral—poor paragraph structure perhaps to blame for his equating Albertans with “losers.”

(If the concern is his reference to separatists as losers, perhaps we should merely ask ourselves when we became so sensitive to the feelings of those who would rather this country be split. Indeed, this government’s primary line of attack on the Bloc Quebecois is that they’ve not yet, and never will, amount to anything. For that matter, by the strict measure of referendums won and lost, Mr. Turner’s assessment is not inaccurate.)

It is perhaps, though, worth noting the shock (put-on as some of it is) that follows any MP so much as passing gas in this country. In Mr. Turner’s case especially. His every utterance tends to send the Prime Minister’s loyalists to their keyboards, each eager to broadcast new insight into the MP for Halton’s failings. At one point this weekend, Turner was being compared with the late Republican senator Jesse Helms. With Helms—once declared “the last prominent unabashed white racist politician in this country”—deemed the better man.

In this case, Mr. Turner made it a bit too easy on his detractors—typing rather nastily at the precise time his leader’s touring the country, vowing a respectful debate. And of course now there are demands that Mr. Turner be “reined in.”

It is testament to the profoundness of wisdom within official Ottawa that as Mr. Harper is most often criticized for gagging his caucus, Mr. Dion is most often slagged for not being more like Mr. Harper. Indeed, in that Mr. Baird offers only good advice.

Mr. Turner has said something mildly interesting. And for that he must be reined in—just as he would be if he voted differently than the rest of the party, publicly disagreed with the party’s official position or otherwise differentiated himself from the team.  

That’s how this works. Even if everyone agrees it should be different.


BTC: Garth’s world

  1. If you’re not defending Turner, then what are you doing? Maybe I just don’t get your blog posts.

    Are Layton and Dumont now part of your mind-numb conservative mob, too?

  2. I don’t think Aaron particularly needs to agree with Turner’s post to suggest that the outrage it has elicited it is phony and unhelpful.

  3. And Dennis needs to get a life, or get lost. If you don’t like Aaron’s posts, go elsewhere, to SDA for example.

  4. Is this country so great that everyone in it should just darn well be happy with it? Is its greatness owing to the configuration of its borders or the spelling of it’s name, such that any change threatens its greatness? What is it about desiring autonomy that makes one worthy of your scorn and ridicule? Is it the accents?

  5. This is just too funny. I love the tobot like usual anti-Harperites out there who take something on one issue then twist it way out of context to the point where any logic or point disappears. The part of this article I find particularly amusding is : It is testament to the profoundness of wisdom within official Ottawa that as Mr. Harper is most often criticized for gagging his caucus, Mr. Dion is most often slagged for not being more like Mr. Harper. Indeed, in that Mr. Baird offers only good advice : A classic example I have heard of late from poster in this forum that I as a obvious conservative only indulge in talking points but then again the very same people who accuse me of such turn around and post the usual LiberalNDP or Green or antiharper for the sake of anti-harper talking points. One man’s talikng point is anothers principle or even opinion.

  6. My, my, I agree with a comment written by the infamous Wayne. That being said, the amount of contempt directed towards the man from Halton Ont, is quite remarkable. Call them Anti-Tunerites, right Wayne.

    “worth noting the shock (put-on as some of it is)”

  7. Dennis really doesn’t seem to have a very refined reading comprehension level, if he can’t see that the whole point of the post was to demonstrate the schizophrenic response of media and partisans alike to independent-minded party members. When the glass is half full, it is declared half empty and when it is half empty, it is declared half full, all for supposed partisan gain.

    Leave it to Wayne – and his ilk – to only see the point of the article from his side of the prism and to fail to see the entire forest. Partisanship is an important element of political life, but not when it cripples your ability to discern what is before your eyes.

  8. Here we go again an example of my example : Brad – me and my (ILK) that are conservative are only able to discern according to my partisan etc etc etc . More blather as usual the reality is that my ilk or better yet me : I was a long time Liberal Supporter, fundraiser and party worker from Trudeau on for quite a few years then Ed Broadbent came along and I was NDP then Mulroney and party earned my respect – then Chretien got my services – then I joined the Conservative Party because of my boy Stevie I must be one of those Harper moonies – I love that term! so where is this blind partisanship with no discernment did you ever stop to think it might be because at the time my political views were in line with those I voted for in otherwords my principles led me.

  9. You gotta love people like Brad who start off by trying to insult their opponents, then go on to deliver poorly structured arguments. It’s very amusing.

    Look, Garth Turner is in trouble AGAIN because he said something to piss people off AGAIN.

    He’s not a victim. He’s not in it for the principle. Anyone following his shenanigans should know that by now.

    But, hey, get yourself noticed by hating Harper 24/7 I guess buys some MP’s a whole heck of a lot of street cred, or whatever.

  10. If you’ve gone to see Garth Turner in person (as I have), I think you’d find he’s a pretty genuine, reasonable guy. He’s also a bit of a hothead and appears to work under the impression that his long writing career protects him from making rookie mistakes that an editor would catch.

    I think all that’s needed to avoid him saying stupid things would be a second set of eyes on his posts prior to posting them. Not necessarily someone from the LPC, but at least someone who knows him and his foibles.

  11. Good grief – the reactions were so over-hyped it was silly.

    Just read some of the CPC supporters comments on any given day if you want to be bigotry. Or, the Blogging Tories – talk about depressing people. Their whole lives revolve around looking for negatives.

    At least on the Liberal, NDP and Green blogs you find some intelligence.

    Time to move on. Pathetic.

  12. Scott M., my impressions of Garth Turner are based solely on his public record and have very little to do with his apparent lack of editorial sense.

    He has shamelessly flip-flopped on just about every position he’s taken — from floor crossing and nomination procedures to the independence of MP’s and even gay marriage.

    A lot of people want to ignore this. Why?

    And it’s funny reading a commenter like Sandi. She claims to be an expert on intelligence, but decided not to display any of it with her post. Fascinating.

  13. Oh, and I might add that it’s Stephane Dion who appears to think that Turner’s comments matter. Is he a part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, too?

  14. Hah! Denis of 2nd tots made a funny one. Just replace ‘Turner’ with ‘Harper’ and you’re right on about all the “shamelessly flip-flopp(ing) on just about every position he’s taken — from floor crossing and nomination procedures to the independence of MPs…”
    Yep, while we should make sure to whip those tiny, besotted MPs about these matters, let’s look away -AVERT your eyes children!– when it comes to the so-called leader.
    You Blue Bonnet guys are hilarious.

  15. You know, it’s funny. The Garth bashers are accused of being mindless robots, while it’s his defenders on here who act as such. Interesting.

  16. Wayne, I thought my comment was clear; by ilk, I meant partisans of any stripe, not one stripe.

    Dennis, thanks for proving my point.

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