Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Garth Turner Story Seems Familiar To Me

It seems that Garth Turner's top secret, all-revealing announcement ended up being a tirade about how not free MP are in the House of Commons. Hate to be cynical, but Turner's actions are not going to have an effect; only reform to Canada's executive structure could really do anything.

Turner's story, interestingly enough, reminds me more and more of the story of a local Prince George MLA, Paul Nettleton.

Paul Nettleton was elected as a BC "Liberal" MLA in the constituency of Prince George-Omineca in 1996. At the time of the Great "Liberal" Sweep of 2001, Nettleton was one of the more experienced BC "Liberals" in the Legislature, and the most experienced BC "Liberal" in the Prince George area.

Before we go on, it is interesting to note that Nettleton was relatively unique in his views among the BC "Liberals".

Anyways, despite his experience and location, Nettleton was passed for a cabinet position. So he ran for Speaker of the Legislature (in anger for not being selected for cabinet, the BC "Liberals" tended to say later). He didn't get elected for that.

In November of 2003, Nettleton wrote a letter to the media accusing the government of planning to privatize BC Hydro. Of course, the BC "Liberals" were not too impressed with this and kicked him out of caucus. (I do suspect, without proof, that he might have stopped plans to private BC Hydro. Sorta. For now.)

Let's stop for a minute and look at Turner. He was a Conservative with unique views who was experienced but passed up for cabinet. He got kicked out the Conservatives for revealing too much information. Now you know how Turner's situation sounds like Nettleton's to me.

But, for interest's sake, let's end Nettleton's story. In 2005, he ran as an independent, but in a different, but nearby constituency (Prince George - Mount Robson) in a thinly disguised strike against Deputy Premier Shirley Bond, the occupant of that seat (Some people also thought that he knew somehow that he'd lose big-time in his old constituency). He lost: 2,158 votes compared to the NDP's 4,994 votes and the "Liberals" 5,885 votes.

Let's apply this to Turner. While I don't think that he is going to run against Harper in his seat in some type of revenge scheme, I do think that if he runs as an independent in the next election, he'll lose. He may get a respectable showing, but ultimately, he'll lose.

I'll collect any bet after the next election.

1 comment:

Shawn Rennebohm said...

I never gave pause to the Nettleton similarities until you mentioned it.. To be honest, I have actually thought about pulling his link off my site as I thought his latest stunt was a little over the top for me. If you have something valid to say, fine. If not, why do you need a press conference? I don't know if what is true in BC would be true in Ontario, but generally speaking - BC seems to be more receptive towards independants in contrast to Ontario. If he was a BC MP I could see a possiblity of him winning (I come from Cadman's riding), but the riding he represents.. will probably go Liberal after this. He'll probably get a good showing, but will split the vote with the Cons.

I seen one post mention that he might be doing this because without a party to fall back on to, any new legislation that comes out he can't claim to be a part of it. So he has to make himself relevant somehow, via the news conference, to have a chance to get re-elected. And he doesn't want to go Green yet, because he would have to do a by election, or appear hypocratical for critizing Emerson.