WHAT DOES THE NEW LEADER DO NOW?

With the first week of Stephen Harper’s government behind us, there are calls from within the Conservative Party to move on from the hard decisions that were made, and to get on with governing. I am afraid that it isn’t that easy. There were certain promises made during the election campaign and unlike Liberal supporters, Conservative voters expect the promises that were made to them to be kept.

For the last 13 years, we have had nothing but self-serving spin from Ottawa, and most of us will not tolerate another minute of it. If I were able to lend a few words to Mr. Harper, I would implore him to come forward and apologize to Canadians. Lest he does that, he is out of gas before the race even starts.

I get the feeling that the upper echelons of the Conservative Party truly feel that they have done nothing wrong. Let’s presume they haven’t. It really doesn’t matter at this point. In politics, as in many other areas of life, perception is everything and if Canadians perceive a disingenuous leader, then he will never earn their trust. That spells defeat in the next election, and for the Conservatives, for a long time after that. That would be a horrible thing for our country.

I have had a few emails condemning my stance in Tuesday’s column. I don’t apologize. I am not turning my back on the party that I believe in, but at the same time, I cannot support decisions that I truly believe are not good for the country or for the many conservative minded Canadians who live in it. If I were to ignore how I felt, that would make me as bad as the bunch that I happily saw defeated on January 23.

Have I ‘turned’ on Stephen Harper? Of course not. Is my last name Jamieson? No, again. However, governance of our country is a two way street; the door swings both ways. I don’t expect my elected representation to turn on me, either. I expect to get what I was promised.

Canadians have been looking for a leader with quality and substance for a long time. It is with great disappointment that our newest one has found it necessary for whatever reasons to do the things he stated that he felt so strongly against, those things being appointing someone to the senate un-elected and allowing the appearance of the kind of shenanigans that the Liberals were so infamous for, including the famed floor-crossings.

For his part, I am truly ashamed at the arrogance of Mr. Emerson, who sees no wrong in his actions. That, in my opinion, speaks louder than his betrayal of the people who voted for him. He has come across as belligerent and arrogant, two qualities that a former Conservative Prime Minister was famous for, and two qualities that destroyed him and his party.

Garth Turner was told this week that he was “not being helpful.” I strongly disagree. It is, in fact, voices like Mr. Turner’s that Mr. Harper had better heed, lest he quickly be as despised as Paul Martin became. We need our leadership listening to steadfast principled voices, the one’s who will demand accountability should we stray off course. Anything else is simply towing the line, or even worse, blatant pandering.

If the voices that demand accountability are silenced in any way in the Conservative Party, then it will cease to be the voice of integrity and of accountability. It will be just another party of political hacks with no real convictions.

One cannot simply discard the principles that one believes in. If you can, then you truly didn’t believe them in the first place. I think that there is nothing so vile as political expedience, and it leaves a horrible taste in one’s mouth.

This parliament could be one of the greatest in our nation’s history. I sure hope that is what we are saying a year or two from now.