Nowadays, it takes a lot to drag me to the keyboard to bother to write about politics. For one thing, there are other bloggers out there who, given the terrible shadow that has been cast over this country, do a better job than I, with more rhetorical and emotional force (which is exactly what is called for now). For another thing, I am emotionally spent for now concerning politics. With the gradual rise of a new fascism in many countries, the return to adventurist militarism (despite the lessons of both the Vietnam era and the disastrous Iraq war), and the erosion of basic democratic rights and processes, I am feeling rather bleak about the future now.
But occasionally a little event occurs in the upper echelon of politics in Canada that is just so amusing and depressing at the same time that it is just worth talking about, if for no other reason than to vent a little spleen. Just such an occasion came today with the crossing of the floor of one of the darlings of the Conservative Party, Eve Adams. As everyone now knows, in a surprising move the woman who once seemed to have a great future in the Conservative Party (but had gradually fallen from grace) crossed the floor and joined the other conservative party (ie., the Liberals).
The reason that this event is so interesting is that it demonstrates so many things at once. On the one hand, Eve Adams, though one of the most dim-witted souls in the current Conservative caucus (and this is saying a lot given how collectively dim-witted that caucus is), said things in her news conference that hit the political nail on the head. She said that she can no longer support the "mean-spirited" politics of the current Conservative Party. Though she may me entirely disingenuous with this claim, it is finally a Conservative MP telling truth to power and it is right on the nose correct. The worst indictment of conservative politics in this country has been the unwillingness of conservatives to criticize the poison politics of the current Conservative Party leadership. This silence on the part of party members and fellow travellers demonstrates that conservatives are perfectly willing to abandon democracy, rights, and integrity for the sake of power. I believe that Conservative Party policies are terrible and dangerous to our future, but it is their willingness to abandon basic principles of democracy and fairness that really prove that they are an evil force in Canada. Because your politics can be misguided, but your actions demonstrate your real political spirit.
Eve Adams also hit the nail on the head when she said (and I am only paraphrasing) that she can no longer support a Conservative Party that has become the party of the rich. Well the conservatives have always been the party of the rich and Eve Adams was blind if she couldn't see this, but that doesn't take away from the truth of what she said.
But of course, all of this comes against the back drop of Adams' past (and present). She was an ardent supporter of Conservative Policy for years and not only did she never voice these concerns publicly before, but she was often just as mean-spirited as those she now claims to oppose. But more troubling is the fact that she continues to be engaged to Dimitri Soudas, a guy who was more or less the back-room representative of Harper's mean-spirited, and sneaky politics.
But what makes the whole thing both amusing and depressing, is the fact that it highlights better than anything could the hypocrisy at the heart of present-day politics in Ottawa. Last week, for the Conservatives (despite her nomination troubles etc) Adams was one of the gang and represented the principles of the party. The PMO distanced itself from her to a degree because what she was doing was garnering bad-press, but she had long been one of the Party's darlings and they defended her many times despite her hopeless dim-wittedness. Now the CPC will unceasingly criticize Adams, suggesting they never really liked or trusted her. Then the CPC will say that Trudeau's new support of Adams demonstrates his political ineptitude, despite the fact that they themselves supported her last week. Meanwhile, the Liberal Party criticized her roundly for years and now suddenly they will laud her as a woman with integrity and political savvy. It is a terrible demonstration of the worst aspect of politics - blatant hypocrisy. Political parties will defend (or even praise) a person or action from their party that they vociferously condemn from another party. And sometime it just gets sickening.
So the two lessons of the Eve Adams defection are 1) The truth of a message is not determined by the integrity or intelligence of the messenger, and 2) the hypocrisy of the Ottawa gangsters knows no bounds.