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What happens to a principled Conservative?

Why, he gets booted and no longer is a Conservative:

Maverick Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey has been ejected from the Conservative caucus for opposing a federal budget implementation bill. Casey says the bill – which sets the March 19 budget into action – breaks a promise by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to his home province on resource revenue. Conservative Whip Jay Hill says the long-time Tory knew the price of his defiance. Hill says Casey resisted a number of tries to talk him out of his stand.

Not unexpected, really. I was reading Garth Turner’s blog tonight, and he said that despite the Budget easily passing, Flaherty’s face was “ashen”. I guess he gets to explain to Deceivin’ Stephen how party discipline broke down on this, so I guess I can’t blame Jimbo for looking so glum.

UPDATE: 11pm – A Tory voting against his own government’s Budget and getting kicked out wouldn’t exactly be a no-brainer, but Darren in comments reminds everyone why in this particular case it is: Peter MacKay said no one would get kicked out of caucus for voting their conscience on a Budget Vote. From Darren’s site, here is MacKay’s exact quote on May 15:

“We will not throw a member out of caucus for voting his conscience,” MacKay said. “There will be no whipping, flipping, hiring or firing on budget votes as we saw with the Liberal government.”

MacKay either is a fool or a liar, or he got overruled. As said elsewhere, this should give Liz May new fodder in the election campaign in MacKay’s riding. Chalk up another misleading statement from Deceivin’ Stephen’s crew.

16 comments to What happens to a principled Conservative?

  • Er, I meant "That being said, I don't blame Harper for removing Casey, any more than I did Dion for removing Comuzzi…"And I see from the G&M that Casey is smart enough to refer to Peter's quote as well.  Still and all, the balance of the press coverage suggests that (again, to his credit) he knew what the very likely result would be if he chose to vote against the budget.

  • It was a foolish thing for Peter M to have said what he did.  That being said, I don't blame Harper for removing Casey, and more than I did Dion for removing Comuzzi.  McKay's pensee's notwithstanding, the budget vote is about as big a "confidence" measure as it gets. I'm all for more free votes, but on a certain limited number of items – and budgets and throne speeches belong on the list – you can't have MPs voting against the party line.  A few comments from anyone – including McKay – doesn't change a whole lot of Westminster-style precedent on that point. In Casey's particular case, he was, to his credit, under no illusions as to what the consequences would be for his actions, as just about all the media reports indicate.

  • “I didn’t criticize Dion either, but nor did I actively and publicly support it.”

    What a mighty distinction.

    “That was the point of the whole post, but as usual, Aaron tried posting a red herring argument to avoid talking about that particular point.”

    Oh, Scott, how did I know that this was coming? You are talking about that little addition to the end of the post once it had already been posted, right? The one that you remembered to add after reading Darren’s blog? That was “the whole point of the whole post”?

    Spin, spin, spin. Or, excuse me: Bad spin, bad spin, bad spin.

  • foottothefire

    Party maneuvers are usually never be more than peeping tom fodder for the press however, while Con's hard sell lack the lack of the other guys leadership, another of Steve's initiatives takes on his indelible "reform" 'rudderless ship' signature.  Bad enough Conservatives stick it to the oil producing provinces but when they have to kick their own members out of caucus after publically declaring….make that pontificating…that they wouldn't, is loud declaration that they don't have their finger on the pulse of their own party let alone the nation.    

  • Darren replied to Aaron:

    [quote comment="4820"]Well Aaron I didn't criticize Dion for kicking him out of caucus.  But I also didn't brag and puff my chest (MacKay's true style) about how my party would never ever be so bad as to do such a nasty thing. Spin spin.  Don't you ever get dizzy Aaron?[/quote]

    Of course he doesn't – that's Aaron's style. He does it over at Garth Turner's comment section as well.  I should be flattered I suppose, that he deems this blog important enough to carry on his drive-by-trolling here.

    I didn't criticize Dion either, but nor did I actively and publicly support it. However, I also didn't have my party's Deputy Leader say a month before the vote that no one would ever get kicked out of caucus for voting against it, only to have that exact scenario happen a month later.  That was the point of the whole post, but as usual, Aaron tried posting a red herring argument to avoid talking about that particular point.

  • Unruh's an idiot

    “Now Scott and Darren will have to show me where they criticized Dion for kicking Joe Comuzzi out of his caucus for voting against the party over a budget.”

    Still an idiot.

  • Well Aaron I didn't criticize Dion for kicking him out of caucus.  But I also didn't brag and puff my chest (MacKay's true style) about how my party would never ever be so bad as to do such a nasty thing.

    Spin spin.  Don't you ever get dizzy Aaron?

  • That's a fine tactic to take Aaron… If you are supporting the principle of 'politics as normal.' Of course, the song you were humming not long ago was 'the CONs are different.'Maybe you should stick with 'Off to see the wizard.'

  • Now Scott and Darren will have to show me where they criticized Dion for kicking Joe Comuzzi out of his caucus for voting against the party over a budget. 🙄

  • Gayle

    I take no issue with throwing someone out of caucus for voting against the party on a budget vote. However, the conservatives certainly made hay out of the fact Joe C was kicked out by Dion for voting FOR the budget. I specifically recall John Reynolds on MDL implying Dion was a weak leader for not allowing his "good friend Joe" vote his conscience. I will not hold my breath waiting for MD to confront Reynolds on that contradiction.

  • All MacKay’s statement proves is that he is an idiot. Nothing the Conservatives or Harper can do could fix that.

    I mean, even in the most populist of political parties (which the Conservatives ain’t), voting against a budget vote is a no-no.

  • Daniel: Yea.. except that as Darren just said and I just updated.. Peter MacKay assured everyone no one would… a bit of a difference there.

  • Daniel

    "What happens to a principled Conservative?"

    Why, apparently the same thing that happens to a principled Liberal :mrgreen:

    I've never been fond of the fact that members get kicked out of their party over budget votes, Liberal or Conservative.

  • On May 15th former PC leader Peter MacKay said no Conservative would be kicked out of caucus for voting their conscience on a budget. 

    Well, … here we are.  Talk about principled Cons eh?

  • I love the way the media portrays Red Tories within the CPC as "mavericks". Good on Bill Casey for sticking to his principles and standing up for his constituents.

  • knb

    Ashen? That man couldn’t look ashen in death…apologies for the insensitivity, but that is how I see Flaherty.

    Mortified…sure. He lost, big time. Oh, he’s got his pal’s like MacKay, but just how awful do they look now? It’s black and white…truth or lie. They lied.

    Good luck to those who did. In the meantime, I’m so happy to see a PC emerge from that caucus. There is hope.

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