Consider this: Warren Kinsella is a man of strong convictions, who has never held public office, but who has provided considerable services to the Liberal Party in the past. He objects to incidents in the aftermath of Paul Martin's election as leader of the Liberal Party and is relentless in his criticism of the prime minister's governance these past four months. He has certainly done his part to undermine Paul Martin's expected landslide, despite remaining (so far as I know) a member of the Liberal Party.
Now consider Joe Clark, also a man of strong convictions, a former Prime Minister and twice-elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. He is currently sitting as an independent, the party he once led now a dream of history. His opposition to the Progressive Conservative's self-destruction is well known and, when asked of his opinions on the next election, he gives Paul Martin a "resounding" endorsement over Stephen Harper as being the lesser of two evils.
The result of Warren Kinsella's long agitation against Paul Martin, and Joe Clark's twenty-four hours of saying what he thinks? Warren Kinsella has been derided and attacked but he has never been called a traitor to the Liberal Party. Joe Clark, on the other hand, has had the traitor label tossed at him with impunity by a party to which he has never belonged.
I think this illustrates just how much of a big tent the Liberal Party remains, and how intolerant the Conservative Party leadership is to differences of opinion.
What Part of 'No!' Do These Folks Not Understand?!
From the CBC comes word that the Toronto Port Authority is again thumbing its nose at the democratic process after sending a letter notifying Toronto mayor David Miller that they could start construction on the bridge to the Toronto Island Airport, despite having no environmental approvals, and despite a very clear decision by Toronto council against such construction.
To: the Right Honourable Paul Martin (Martin.P@parl.gc.ca)
CC: Dennis Mills, MP (Mills.D@parl.gc.ca)
David Miller, Mayor of Toronto (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It is with considerable dismay that I hear that the Toronto Port Authority continues to consider construction of a bridge to the Toronto Island Airport, despite a very clear decision by Toronto City Council against such construction following a very clear decision by the people of Toronto in the election preceding this decision.
Over and above the damage the Toronto Port Authority's plans will do to the Toronto waterfront, I am offended as a Canadian citizen and taxpayer that this unelected organization could act with such disdain to the democratic process. Torontonians have made it very clear what they want on the waterfront, and the Port Authority's board of directors, appointed by the Minister of Transport, should respect the wishes of the people.
Torontonian and Ontarian taxpayers -- indeed, taxpayers across this nation -- have waited for years for politicians to finally come to an agreement on what to do with the surplus land around Toronto's waterfront. Unfortunately, by pursuing plans to expand Toronto's Island Airport, the Port Authority threatens to thwart these initiatives. The controversy surrounding the new ferry service across Lake Ontario suggests that the Port Authority is an impediment to necessary change on Toronto's waterfront.
If the Toronto Port Authority can not function while losing $1 million per year on Toronto's Island Airport, then I propose that it is time for taxpayers to cut their losses, liquidate the Port Authority and transfer the lands and the responsibilities to the City of Toronto. Therefore, I call upon you to close down this organization and replace it with something that is more responsive to the needs of the people of the city of Toronto.