Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Why Garth's Move To The Liberals May Have Been Smart

Everybody knows that Garth Turner has joined the Liberals. Now, I'm going to skip the utter hypocrisy of this on Turner's part (other bloggers have been doing just fine on that front), and say why this may have been a smart move politically.

Now, I assume that most politicians want to get elected again, and that Turner is the same way. I seems that Turner made the proper calculations and realized that he was not going to get re-elected as a Independent. How come, you ask? It's quite simple: Turner would have split the Conservative vote and allow the Liberals to come up the middle. While it is true that Turner was trying to reach out to the progressive vote, I would say that those types of people would have stuck with the NDP and Liberals, even if they were generally all right with Turner.

So, what does Turner have to do to get re-elected, if he can't be an Independent?

Go with the Greens? No, they only get around 4,000 votes, so it would be the same situtation as running as an Independent. But if would be an option if Turner wanted to go out with a bang.

The NDP? They get about 2000 more votes then the Greens. Besides, could you imagine Turner in the NDP? Not really.

The Conservatives? He's kicked out forever.

The only option for Garth to survive the next election was the Liberals. And considering that the Liberals have consistently held the seat for years, it is possible for Turner to get re-elected under that banner.

But can this plan go horribly wrong for Turner? Yes, the Conservatives tend to be real close in taking this riding every election. So, it would depend on who the Conservatives nominate. If they nominate somebody that is a social conservative, the voters will get scared and the Conservatives can kiss Halton goodbye. But, if they nominate somebody that does not have a social agenda, then Halton may be a possible win for the Conservatives.

Was it a smart move by Turner? I guess the electorate will decide.


Miles Lunn said...

Good posts. Halton is in fact a swing riding. Whenver the right is united it has generally been really close and never gone too strongly for either party. If they choose a social conservative like Charles McVety, Garth Turner should be fine, but if they choose a moderate then he could run into trouble. Ajax-Pickering, North Vancouver, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, and Richmond are all centre-right ridings like Halton, but all went Liberal last election and all nominated religious fundamentalists.

As an independent his chances of winning were zero. As for the NDP, I doubt they would take him when you consider how many issues he disagrees with them on. Heck some even question if he is too right wing to be a Liberal.

Dennis (Second Thoughts) said...

Ah yes, targeting social conservatives — a staple of the left. Demonizing people based on their association with a religion or political movement is considered intolerable until, of course, exercised against those with whom you disagree.

Brian in Calgary said...

Northern BC Dipper - I could be wrong, but I don't think he was kicked out forever, or at least he didn't have to be. Apparently, he was suspended from caucus for putting confidential caucus information up on his web site. If that is the case, he could have apologized to the other CPC members, and they may have voted him back in, depending upon how long it went on. After all, Carolyn Parrish (I hope I spelled her name correctly) was allowed back in after her suspension from the Liberal caucus.

At any rate, with Garth joining the Liberals, I am reminded of something that the late Tommy Douglas said after MP Ross Thatcher (the eventual last ever - so far - Liberal Premier of Saskatchewan) completed his political defection (CCF to Independent to Liberals):

"We had him yesterday. You have him today. Heaven help who has him tomorrow."

Northern BC Dipper said...

Ah yes, targeting social conservatives — a staple of the left.

Well, I'd hate to say this, but Harper's also brought into the idea of, let say, minimizing the influence of social conservatives in the Conservative Government. And this will continue in a Harper majority, if it happened.

In some places in Canada, being a social conservative is an asset. Southern Ontario, however, is not one of those areas. I would argue that the citizens of Halton might be interested in Conservativism, but not really interested in forays into the social policy arena.

Northern BC Dipper said...

Northern BC Dipper - I could be wrong, but I don't think he was kicked out forever, or at least he didn't have to be.

Now that you mention it, I'm not exactly sure.

Yeah, it's properly likely that Turner burned some bridges in the CPC.

Turner claims that he was barred from running for CPC nomination anywhere.


The CPC letters that Turner posted merely state that he was not kicked out of the party, but that he could not run for the nomination that he was removed from.


Suffice it to say, going back to the Conservatives was not an option for Turner.

Erin Sikora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin Sikora said...

I have to say that I disagree with you here NBCD. Turner had a number of options to keep his morals and reputation intact and help his electoral chances. He could, as Brian in Calgary points out, have made an attempt to rejoin the CPC. Or, he could have sought a by-election as a liberal. Either way, his chances would have been decent.

This was a clear case of mutual opportunism on the part of both Turner and Dion. Turner wanted to be back in the spotlight, and Dion wanted to upstage the PM's mini-Throne Speech. I think it will come back to haunt both of them.

Northern BC Dipper said...


I don't disagree with what you are saying (well, except for Dion, who like Martin and Harper on this issue might go scot free), and I think it is Turner's actions and hypocrisy that can possibly doom him to lose the next election.

What I've really tried to have a look about here, without say, personal exprience in the riding, is the electoral dynamics of the riding and how it might have factored into Turner's decision.

There are many reasons why Turner should go, and I think those have been stated on other blogs (I try to not repeat everyone), but it is kinda all a moot point unless there is a candidate other than Turner that can possibly win that can pound Turner's actions into the minds of the riding's electorate.