Goodbye, Randy White...

There's no question that this guy had the firm support of the people in his riding (I wish that all CPC MP's had this level of support). It's also quite likely that he enjoyed the support of many socially conservative members of the CPC, and perhaps he even had some supporters amongst people who are concerned that decision-making power has been taken from - or abandonned by - Parliament in favour of the courts.

But while I can commend his service, and while I can - to at least some extent - appreciate his point of view, the fact is that his infamous "to heck with the courts, eh" interview did the Party a lot of damage. Not just in terms of its content, but because it demonstrated that at least some high-profile, long-serving CPC MP's continued to see themselves as an opposition party, rather than a government in waiting.

The whole issue of freedom for individual MP's to speak for their constituents is something I do feel strongly about, and I don't have time to do it justice now. But I also believe that there has to be a certain amount of discipline and restraint. Yes, I do think the whole interview was a set-up, but an experienced politico should have seen it coming, and acted accordingly.

Even if you do honestly feel that socially conservative values are worth fighting for - and I have a lot of respect for those who do, even if I disagree on a particular issue - the fact remains that you need to be able to persuade people, not scare them or put them off.

So, speaking solely as a grassroots CPC member, I can say "thanks" to Mr White for his service to his constituents, while still offering a much more grudging "thanks" for reminding us what happens when we shoot from the lip without thinking it through. Too bad the latter lesson had to be paid for with more Liberal seats.

- Jason.


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