Everybody has heard of Liberal MP Wajid Khan becoming the Mideast foreign policy advisor to Stephen Harper by now, and of Khan's plans to remain a Liberal MP.
Some Liberal Bloggers claim that by Harper doing this, Harper and the Conservatives are admitting that they have no knowledge of foreign affairs. Uhhh, no.
Another Blogger, Big Mac Political Hack Attack, claims that Khan is actually floor-crossing by stealth. It's possible, but I don't think that was Harper's goal either.
I think what actually happened is that the Liberals just fell into another one of Harper's traps.
For a little bit now, people have been saying that Harper's foreign policy has been one of his weaknesses and has been the cause of the recent drop in the polls for the Conservatives. This weakness in foreign policy could be exploited by the Liberals at election time.
However, the appointment of Khan changes of all this. Now, when the Liberals try to oppose Conservative foreign policy on the Mideast, the Conservatives can say "well, it is one of your caucus members that is advising us, after all." Basically, the Conservatives will use Khan to "prove" that Liberal foreign policy is exactly the same as Conservative foreign policy. Well, heck during an election, the Conservatives could "imply" that the Liberal MP Khan was involved in all of Harper's Mideast decisions. I mean, the majority of the public is not going to know when he was appointed.
But could the Liberals do anything else other than agree? I mean, if Bill Graham did not allow Khan to become Harper's mideast advisor, how long would it be before a headline such as "Liberals don't want to make Parliament work: Graham says no to bipartisan opportunity" appears, probably leaked by the Conservatives.
Even now, if the Liberals kick Khan out of caucus, they will look like a party that is unwilling to cooperate in the setting of a minority parliament, giving Harper more fuel to say the statement "minority parliaments don't work; we need a majority!"
So I think that what the result of the Khan affair will be is that Harper has just removed foreign affairs as a offensive weapon for the Liberals in the next election. Harper has pulled this type of stunt before, too.
So, if I were a Liberal, I'd be doing this right now.