Sunday, January 07, 2007

Harper woos Khans, cons, and Muslims? And my thoughts on turncoats.

Liberal MP, turned Conservative advisor, turned turncoat, MP Wajid Khan of Streetsville/Mississauga, over a year ago took up the bipartisan role of advising Prime Minister Stephen Harper on cultural issues, in particular the all important Muslim-sensitive issues.
What are my feelings on turncoats? I think they should at least offer to run in a bielection, or there should be a confidence vote by their constituents on whether they still want the MP in question to continue to represent them under a different banner.
The difference between Stronach, Emery, and now Khan, is that Belinda, when a conservative MP, stole a Liberal stronghold because of her personal star power. Belinda then chased after and lost a conservative leadership bid to Harper, who treated Belinda as a threat, causing her to cross the floor in frustration. Note: she went on to win again as a Liberal despite loss of Liberal support elsewhere in the country. Emery's defection, which can loosely be tied to his desire to close the Softwood Lumber dispute, was much less noble. He was basically a nobody constituent riding the local Liberal popularity. His personal appeal had nothing to do with winning the election and he left his Liberal-majority voters feeling angry and betrayed.
Khan is something in between, a gradual defection ending with an stay-or-go ultimatum by new Liberal leader Stephan Dion. I wonder how much influence Khan's actually had over Stephen Harper, whose biggest Muslim-effecting decisions are - 1) Unflinching support for Israel at the expense destroying Lebanon 2) Rejection of democratically-elected Hamas thus by contributing to "railroading" the peace process in Israel/Palestine; 3) Wasting tens of millions of dollars in a largely unnecessary evacuation of Lebanese-Canadian citizens; and 4) Sending Canadian troops to the front lines in the fight against the Taliban.
Number 4 being the only decision I can agree with, even though his no-debate method left hard feelings on the other side of the floor.

What else should Khan be known for? Being the Muslim MP of the area where a failed Muslim terrorist plot was hatched by youth predominately from the same country of origin (including the intended beheading of his now friend Harper.)

We'll see how much star power Khan has after his gamble to cross the floor. While Harper's gay marriage stance and various other conservative views may strike a chord with generally-more-conservative-minded Muslims, I doubt too many will forgive his carte-blanche support of Israeli aggression. From what I hear, very few Canadian Muslims vote in federal elections anyway.

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