Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why didn't Chong go earlier?

What I found interesting about Michael Chong's resignation was not that he did so - it was clear he had been marginalised in this matter in a way Stephane Dion would never have been in a matter so clearly in his jurisdiction - but why he did it just before the vote, had his press conference and then didn't even record a nay vote as Garth Turner and the fifteen others did but absented himself as several other Tories did.

If Michael Chong had a principled objection to this vote his resignation should have come immediately after Harper's announcement of the government's motion on nationhood for Quebec - what made him pause a while? Perhaps he was urged to wait and see what happened on the Liberal benches and if they were in disarray some alternative strategy was planned.

Michael Chong may have shown principle in refusing to go along with Cabinet collective responsibility but he has shown more proof that we currently have a one man with one vote Cabinet and also that he was willing to live with that reality for some time.

If Elizabeth May had won the London North Centre by-election it would have made for three seismic events in the federal politics of southwestern Ontario in a fairly short period - perhaps some might have wondered about a three-strong Green caucus!
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