A Conservative MP quits the Conservative caucus

Last night, after watching his private members bill get gutted by his own caucus colleagues, Edmonton MP Brent Rathgeber quit the Conservative caucus and announced he will sit as an independent MP. This morning, on his blog, he indicted his former colleagues…

Clearly, the Government’s decision not to support my Private Member’s Bill on CBC and Public Sector disclosure and transparency in Committee was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back; however, this decision and my comfort level in caucus has been evolving for at least a year when I first spoke out against Ministerial opulence in a blog entitled “Of Orange Juice and Limos.”

Recent allegations concerning expense scandals and the Government’s response has been extremely troubling. I joined the Reform/conservative movements because I thought we were somehow different, a band of Ottawa outsiders riding into town to clean the place up, promoting open government and accountability.  I barely recognize ourselves, and worse I fear that we have morphed into what we once mocked.

My constituents demand better.

My constituents simply do not care what somebody, who they hope will never become Prime Minister, did or didn’t do seventeen years ago. They do care, however, about the relations between a sitting Senator and Langevin Block PMO.  For a government that was elected on a platform of accountability, my constituents are gravely disappointed.  They appreciate human frailty but when a group misses its self-proclaimed standards, a little contrition and humility not blust and blunder, is the expectation.To say that we are somehow better than the other guys is similarly woefully inadequate.  If we are measuring our ethical performance against the Sponsorship Scandalized Liberals, perhaps we need to set our ethical bar a little higher.I have reluctantly come to the inescapable conclusion that the Government’s lack of support for my transparency bill is tantamount to a lack of support for transparency and open government generally.

Read the rest: Brent’s Blog | Brent Rathgeber | Member of Parliament for Edmonton -St. Albert.

One thought on “A Conservative MP quits the Conservative caucus”

  1. Sounds like MP Rathgeber has adopted NDP talking points.

    Rather than huff & puff and try to tear his former house down, why doesn’t he use his powers of persuasion to try to get his colleagues to support his POV?

    While I agree that the Conservative Party should be guided by & adhere to a higher standard of behaviour than their opponents’ standards, I think MP Rathgeber is wrong in saying “My constituents simply do not care what somebody … did or didn’t do seventeen years ago.” I believe that goes to Mr. Mulcair’s character and illustrates his hypocrisy in demanding rectitude from the PM while demonstrating his own lack of it.

    Also, Mr. Rathgeber has apparently caught the double standard disease, which I thought was the sole domain of the “progressive” side of the political spectrum. The only thing that side hasn’t brought up about Stephen Harper is what he said in the sandbox in kindergarten, so if Harper’s “archives” can indeed be rummaged through, so can the “archives” of other political leaders.

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