I wish more MPs were this principled

I wish more MPs were this principled

Check out Garth Turner’s latest.

Speaking of offices, after today I’m expecting the Whip will be assigning me a renovated washroom somewhere in a forgotten corner of a vermin-infested dank basement in Ottawa. That should go well with my seat in the House of Commons that will be visible only during lunar eclipses.

Uh-huh. That kind of a day. This one MP came face-to-face with the party machine in a series of unhappy meetings including one tonight with the prime minister. I think it is now safe to say my career options within the Conservative caucus are seriously limited. If you would like a course on how not to be popular in Ottawa, then take a seat…

Going from door to door turns a politician into a democrat. At least, it did for me. By the time I got to Parliament Hill, I was infused with the spirit of a new era in government, sated on the belief we would see freedom reign in the Chamber and that the days of subjugation of MPs by the prime minster’s office were numbered. I had swallowed with gusto promises of more free votes, more powerful committees of free-thinking MPs, more listening to the voters, and an elected and responsible Senate.

And, most importantly, I had taken that to the people. Change. The election was about change. I asked people in Halton to embrace the Conservatives as a modern, inclusive, mainstream, principled party of honest people committed to changing the system for the better. Finally. Something worth knocking on doors for in the dark and the cold. Something to believe in. Something to run for. Something on the Hill worth coming back for with a passion…

Did I know the potential consequences of speaking my mind, or sticking with the principles that brought me to this cold hill? Yeah, I did. I have been an MP before, and a leadership candidate and a cabinet minister. I have the hide to prove it. I know the PMO has a song sheet it wants all caucus members to sing from, and I know what happens when an individual chooses to go his or her own way. I was just hoping this time I would not be asked to choose – between party and principle.

I chose principle. My deepest loyalty is to what I believe, what I told the voters and what I want Parliament to become. The Emerson affair may indeed blow over. The minister may decide not to take the heat. David may turn into a cabinet star and a national asset. But he should still have the conviction to get elected a member of the team he chose. The same team that I chose, and fought like a warrior to join, helped by hundreds more and supported by tens of thousands of others. How could any member of caucus not privately feel the same?

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