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April 1, 2019 | The Shunning

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

On Wednesday two women with balls will be punted from the Trudeau Liberal caucus. And while this pathetic blog tries not to steer into the ditch of politics often (the Trump-loving deplorables taught me that), sometimes it’s best not to hush. Not when it’s happened to you.

Being a populist and a blogger is dangerous when combined with being elected. So my last stint in the House of Commons went badly. Actually, it was a disaster. As a team player, I sucked. Harper hated me. He despised that I conducted online polls from the floor of Parliament asking my constituents for input on votes. He bristled at my daily summary of events that veered from the official party talking points. He was appalled that I started a video stream and interviewed MPs and leaders from every party, not just the one I belonged to. And, in the end, it was too much for the PMO.

So one day I waked into national caucus, noted the PM’s chief of staff at the back of the room (that was unusual), and was ambushed. After some anti-Garth speeches delivered by the finance minister and the deputy prime minister there was a quick vote and I was out. It was orchestrated and efficient. As I sat in my chair, soaking it in, the caucus chairman was in the hallway in front of microphones accusing me of breaching party confidentiality and being a generally untrustworthy dude. “Garth Turner is not running an alternative government,” Jim Flaherty huffed.

That was a political death sentence, of course. Stripped of party affiliation, losing the next election was a certainty. I did that well.

This week some reporters were calling asking about Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, wondering if they’d receive the same fate and how it felt to be squished by a prime minister. Of course, I said. They’re history. At the end of the day all leaders are the same. Dictatorial. All parties are the same. Questioning isn’t tolerated. All caucuses behave the same way. They disgorge, then shun, dissenters.

Over the last few days the PMO has fronted several Liberal MPs to say JWR is unethical because she taped a phone call with the chief civil servant urging her to go light on SNC Lavalin, which stood accused of fraud and bribery. The content of the call is ignored. Instead party members say anyone who’d tape without disclosure is untrustworthy. It’s clever and effective. But then, character assassination has to be. Wounded people are dangerous. It’s a line I heard as I was shunted to a seat in the very back row of the House of Commons where they keep the search animals.

Maybe JWR and her bud Jane were truly appalled that a criminal organization was being coddled for blatantly political reasons. Maybe JWR wants to be PM. Perhaps they both decided being a minister in a cabinet devoid of debate and dialogue was not why they got into public life. Or, possibly, the leader has lost their respect. Could be they’re both disturbers. Or democrats.

Regardless, throwing them to the curb will prove the Liberal way is no more enlightened than the Conservative way. It will be as illegitimate an act for Jane & Jody as it was for my sorry ass. This is because (a) the leader did not elect them and, (b) the caucus didn’t either. Rather the voters picked these two women to represent them and, if the voters made a mistake, then they can correct it in the general election this October.

The fact all MPs in a party have to think exactly the same way about every single issue is why the gap between the public and politicians is growing. The world is not black and white. Every constituency is not identical. Elected folks should not have to check their personalities, beliefs and brains at the caucus room door along with their iPhones. Leaders are not divinities. Everyone has a contribution to make, and the boss’s job is to find consensus amid the conversation.

Imagine if the US operated that way – preventing a John McCain, for example, from ever having raised his voice. Instead of throwing the bums out in every election (as we love doing), Americans have a tradition of supporting free-thinkers, mavericks and independents for term after term in Congress. Nobody is punted from a party caucus for speaking what they feel is truth. The result may be messy, sometimes distasteful, but it’s far more democratic.

Doubtless, JWR and Philpott know what awaits them. Stripped of the Lib brand, their political futures are toast. Colleagues who used to grovel for their ministerial attention will disparage them daily. The wagons will circle as the leader insists on blind loyalty and unwavering support. The message from caucus will be clear as two heads are hoisted on sticks outside Centre Block. There, but for the grace of the PMO, go thee.

Stephen. Justin. Peas in a pod.

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April 1st, 2019

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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