Sunday, March 26, 2006

Meet Ya Outside at High Noon, Garth!

Halton M.P. Garth Turner and I have been having a little feud over on his blog, the Turner Report. Things were getting heated - I called him 'disloyal' and he threw a few words like 'absurd' and 'dysfunctional' in my direction. Well, the fur was flying, and then he finally asked me to take it outside (the blog, that is). He goaded me with his phone number and even suggested I call collect.

It's easy to hide behind a computer and criticize, but to actually make a phone call and talk to the real person requires a bit more courage. I thought about it for a while, and then decided to take him up on the offer. After all, how often does an M.P. beg me to call? (Usually, I'm the one chasing them, and in the case of my own M.P., I've pretty much given up because she either ignores me or sends form letters. Thanks, Karen. I've got them all memorized. No need to bother anymore.)

Now, back to Garth. He's been characterized by the 'radical right' as we've been called, as everything from a maverick to Harper's worst nightmare. I remember Garth back when he wrote terrific financial columns for the Sun I believe, so I knew that he couldn't be a total write-off.

He answered the phone very politely and thanked me for calling. Then he proceeded to give me his perspective on life as an M.P., and his frustrations trying to deliver his constituents' ideas to the higher-ups. He explained that a public forum seemed like a reasonable alternative.

While listening to Garth explain his side of the story, I went from wanting to lynch the guy to wishing that I lived in his riding so I could vote for him! This is an M.P. who does actually care, and believe me, he wants the best for the party too. Winning the Toronto area vote is key and voters there will need to feel that they are being heard.

So if anyone out there is still upset with Garth, I suggest you give him a call. There are always two sides to every story and Garth will give you his with a candor you won't likely hear from many politicians.


HearHere said...

However Joanne - is not Garth's experience of trying to influence the higher ups or not been listened to in caucus possibly from his past experience with the old Progressive Conservatives. That was many years ago.

Since there has only been one caucus meeting since Harper became PM and this government is barely two months old Garth cannot be basing his antics for attention on the presenet government.

Don't you think he should at least give them a chance? Maybe see if things have changed? This is truly proof that Garth is from the old school and has yet to see how politics plays out in a new century. His "old school" media pandering ploys really do take him back to the ego maniac days of Mulroney and Clark.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, Herehere, I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and I am willing to give Garth a chance, along with the rest of Parliament. Let's just sit back and see how things go. We can do our arm-chair quarterbacking after the session begins.

Candace said...

Wow, did he hypnotize you or something? Is he The Amazing Kreskin™ of the CPC?

I'll take your word for it & cut him some slack, but he's still a media whore IMHO.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, that's pretty scary, eh? But just talk to the guy. He talks like a real person - not a politician.

Believe me, I've had lots of experience talking to politicians and the worst ones are the Liberals. They never really answer questions; they just dance around the issue and recite platitudes til you want to throw up.

Candace, you should call him and find out for yourself!

HearHere said...

Question: Would Garth then reccomend that all 125 Conservative MP's use the same media tactics to get attention for themselves and their pet projects?

Would this not be chaos?

At the same time that all of the Liberals will be out trying to get media attention for their own pet leadership candidates?

And the NDP are all out there trying to get media attention for their pet "disadvanted unionist?". And the BLOC are all out there getting attention for their own pet Quebec issue?

Mr. Turner's attitude, which somehow makes sense to him and you Joanne, would be far better suited in organizations where there are no partys -just individual members out getting attention for their personal issues.

Like a City council. Does not seem like a process that would allow the Conservative government to move ahead with any sense of meaningful direction when one of their own has to lobby the public through the media to save us from his own party policies.

Seems weird - and I have been around politicians for more than 40 years.

Platty said...


He may be very personable and I'm sure he truly wants what is best for his constituents, the problem with Garth is the way he goes about it, he can still get the same results behind closed doors without having to go through the media.

Brian said...

I just wonder if Garth's routine is all more intentional than is let on. The party knows he has one of the most read blogs on the internet, the party knows that blogs are key informational tools. For a party that is doing so much work to control the message, I'm suspicious that Garth is not such a maverick - more a trial baloonist.

Candace said...

I don't see any point in talking to him, Joanne. I'm in Edmonton, he's in Halton. There is no value; I have a CPC MP I can talk to if I need to (finally, thank God). I feel your pain of having a Liberal MP - I got those same form letters from Anne McLellan's office all the time.

So I started sending emails to Rona and Rahim with "help, I'm stuck in McLellan's riding & can't get an answer" & they'd usually respond. You might try that (unless Halton is close to you & it makes sense for you to "adopt" Garth - eww I just shuddered).

IF he ran his "poll Canadians" plan past Fortier before doing it, and Fortier agreed that it was a good idea, that's one thing. However, since he announced his plan on Mike Duffy Live while in the midst of his Emerson media debacle, I doubt it. Because IF Fortier thought it was a good plan, I doubt he wanted Garth to provide the results to the media instead of caucus.

As Platty says, it's the WAY he does things that puts me off. And I doubt a conversation with him would change that.

Mac said...

So what, exactly, was Garth's objection to the caucus meetings? I can't imagine the caucus runs differently than any other meeting... an agenda with a certain amount of time dedicated to each presenter & subject. Is Garth twisted up because he doesn't rate more time than any other Conservative?

Chuckercanuck said...

I do not know, my Harper-sense tells me he wants to wear the crown and take Harper down.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Help, help! I'm being swallowed into the 905 vortex!!!

leatherhands said...

The 905 vortex is underrated. There are some nice, swirly colours here..
I agree with the thrust of the comments gathered herein.Garth has to learn how to shut-up and pick his battles. To think he can singlehandedly stir up the pot and make big changes belies a kind of arrogance, disguised as "little guy" persecution. That leather sport jacket says it all..reminds me of that "metal" album Pat Boone did.
Know your place, Garth, you're not helping any of your constituents right now.

molarmauler said...

Joanne, don't become a Garthist.
Sure, these charismatic types can sound smooth and promise you happiness and contentment, but in the end you wind up on the floor in a church in Guyana holding a dixie cup full of bits and bytes of media whoring gibberish.

We can deprogram you if you let us....

Gerry said...


I've been disappointed in Garth as well. I thought he used poor judgement in his criticism of Harper. However, I'm glad you had a chance to hear where he was coming from. I too had respect for him as a previous MP and Finacial Analyst, plus he won one of the only seats in the Greater Toronto Area. I have no trouble giving him some slack based on your comments.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

LOL!! How do you guys know I'm not the other Joanne in disguise?

Seriously, Molarmauler, start the intervention now! I'm so close to Liberal Land that I'm being sucked in!

Candace, having the Liberal Whip for an M.P. is like not having a voice at all. I have to rely on the indulgence of nearby Tories. I don't know if I would ask Garth, though. He's got his own problems.

Gerry, I honestly think Garth has good insight in how to win over more than the 905. On the other hand, his methods are not going over so well in the PMO. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Joanne don't get sucked in by Garth. He's been pulling this crap for 25 years. His interest is self absorbed promotion. I asked a simple question.

Garth how does pissing off the people you are trying to convince a good strategy? He won't answer. You know why? because he doesn't care about the report, he cares about getting his name in the paper. Period

Surecure said...

Funny thing about Garth's stance that he wants people to be allowed to voice their disapproval... he has started to delete posts on his weblog.

There was a guy called Acunuck there asking a series of quesions about whether somebody has a better idea for ordinary citizens to have their voices heard than how Garth has handled things... I said straight up that my suggestion was that if somebody disapproved of something they should tell their MP, and if their MP agreed, their MP should voice disapproval to those SPECIFIC issues outlining what must be done, not play media games.

I also said that Garth was sabotaging the issue by pulling his little stunt that has made many people in the CPC very upset over him, and that politics is about making friends, not enemies, and that his stunt has only worked against his proposals.

If you go and look for that post at his blog... you won't find it. I think that post struck a chord with him and he has since deleted any post I have made.

And as we all know, any blogger who chooses to delete civil posts that they simply disagree with are nothing more than cowards who are afraid to face the possibility that they could be wrong. Garth has admitted this whole thing was just to generate curiosity about his position so people will be eager to report his position when he releases it.

I hope it backfires in his face... like it always does with Garth. I doubt he'll take responsibility for that and will cry martyr. But what can you expect from a blowhard.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Surecure, you make several good points. I think maybe Garth should spend a little less time on his blog.

Surecure said...

Yeah... between his time making TV and news appearances voicing his disapproval over the Emerson affair (I agree with his sentiment there, not his methods) and getting ready for parliament to begin, it's amazing he had time to do this "Canada's biggest pre-election consultation".

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I think it's time to turn up the heat on Garth.
A little pressure wouldn't hurt. I know as a fact he will pull the media thing over and over again. He will always put himself before the party. I'm sure you've read my posts I sign as John G......He seeks support from Grits and Dippers...Also, I could have predicted his post today...its a pattern...after a beating by Tory's on his blog he always follows that up with a poor me just trying to do my job blah he'll do it everytime....the opposition love the twit!!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yes, Garth is a centrist. But maybe his centre is a little more left than ours.