On Conservative Integrity (David Emerson III)

This post by Babbling Brooks is as interesting as much for the comments as for the post. Those of you who have been following the David Emerson story will know that it has been perpetuated in part because the media loves controversy, and so far individuals on both sides of the debate have provided that controversy.

At this point, partisan Conservatives are now ticked at their more principled brethren and are starting to push back with comments like:

But if the Liberals are being a bit over the top, it’s in large part because they’ve been cheered on by largely conservative bloggers and columnists who, in my opinion, have the political sophistication of barnyard chickens.


Discipline is a virtue; it consists of putting off immediate gratification for long-term benefit. So too in Parliamentary systems: Garth should have fought off the immediate impulse to engage in his populist demagogy in order to present a united front for the party, which can only help to lengthen our stay in power. But there’s a catch: Only grown-ups exhibit discipline.

Peter Rempel, the individual who posted the second comment on Babbling Brooks’ blog, also asks the following:

If the Liberals are back in power in 12 months, what should we then think of Garth’s public musings and posts like the ones you’ve put up here?

Basically, what sort of damage are the dissenters doing to the Conservative party? Well, as a non-partisan Canadian, I’ll tell you.

When Emerson perpetrated his fraud on the voters of Vancouver Kingsway. When Harper accepted that fraud by bringing Emerson into cabinet. When partisan Conservatives ignored their own hypocrisies and tried to stifle dissent by deriding the more principled sentiments of individuals who have fought long and hard for the Tory cause, I can’t help come away with the sense that Emerson, Harper, and the partisan Conservatives are nothing more than Liberals in blue dresses. They will campaign to Canadians on the need for integrity and principle, and will throw that principle out the door as soon as they are elected. They stand for nothing but power itself.

In other words, like the Liberals, they can’t be trusted.

But when Conservatives like Brooks, Andrew Anderson, and Andrew Coyne break from the party line and speak out on poor Conservative policy, then I know that these Conservatives are not talking through a partisan shroud; that they are actually talking from their hearts and their heads. Their conservatism is based on deep-seated personal beliefs that they will fight hard to defend. Oh, they’ll argue with you. They’ll disagree with you on any number of things, but they’ll listen to you. And when you agree on something, especially if their agreement departs from party policy, you’ll know that they’ve agreed with you because they’re searching for the truth, just as you are. And there is an increased chance — slight but still there — that you are that much closer to finding it.

And when these Conservatives turn to me in a year’s time and say to me that, on the whole, Harper has given this country good government, and that it may be time for me to consider voting Conservative, I’ll listen to them. I may not agree with them, but I’ll give their arguments a fair shake, because I know it’s their principles, their personal integrity that’s talking, and not a blind allegiance to the colour blue.

Just as Calgary Grit’s refusal to tow the Liberal party line offers hope that the Liberals may regain their integrity, the real hope for the Conservative government comes if it is governed by the same sensibilities that power such bloggers as Babbling Brooks, Bound by Gravity and Political Staples. Anything else is just political claptrap, and I got my fill of that from the Liberals.

Hat tip to Sean at Urban Refugee, another conservative with considerable integrity.

Quick Hits

  • The latest Bloggers Hotstove is here. Greg Staples at PoliticalStaples.com is working on giving this podcast all of the accoutrements of regular podcasts, so stay tuned for more bells and whistles at the new official Hotstove site.
  • On children’s teleivision, I see that there’s a show called “Say it with Noddy!”. I remember the old stop-motion Noddy, but this is some cheap CGI knockoff. And the sole reason for this show’s existence is for Noddy to help young viewers say it… wait for it… in Swahili.


    But why?!

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