Last night I had the honor of meeting a real life MP. Well ...large on the Me and....well....I don't want to get into the p.
But hey...it was fun. As it turns out there happened to be a hardass biker and self professed purveyor of the unvarnished truth riding into my berg. How could I resist. With this in mind I ventured forth to meet this Garthacle warrior.
Unfortunately the hardass turned out to be a candyass, the seasonable weather in Alberta had nixed the thundering Hogs for Democracy symbolic ride. I must admit I had visions of Garth roaring into the room ala Paul Tuetle Sr. but such was not the case. Instead we got a rather crappy Al Gore knockoff with half the sophistication and twice the hyperbole.
There is no need to take my word for it....a lovely pic of me and my camera man can be found at Garth.ca.
On the other hand the raw video of the whole event will be posted here in sections as youtube allows. I must apologize for the poor content as the biker fella seemed a little off his game.
For those of you who don't have the time for the whole Garth Turner experience I suggest the last two minutes of Part 3 along with Parts 4,5 and 6 for maximum viewing pleasure.
Anyways, part one of A Lost Tory Tours or Garth Turner Unedited.
Sorry about the snickering in the background. My bad. I will be updating this post with the entire video as I get it uploaded. Trust me it does get better/worse based on your political leanings and how well developed your sense of the ridiculous is.
Here we are folks...Garth Turner Unedited Part 2 Enjoy!!
I will be adding some commentary as soon as I solve all my technical issues. I must admit I really suck at the technical aspects of all this but I am learning.
Garth Turner Unedited Part 3 is now available. This is where things get interesting.
Garth reports the outing of the con agent provocateurs (Chris and I) on his site as follows:
As usual, I did a 30-minute opening presentation, then we went open mic for the next hour. It’s seldom I get heckled during my formal shtick, but this is Calgary, home of the ugliest emails that this poor little defenseless blog receives. The fact there were two Con operatives lurking in the corner of the back row, one carefully taping my every move, became immediately obvious.
I started to feel all tingly. Finally, protestors. Be still, my heart.
Jeez Garth....immediately obvious...wha... According to the tape it was some 29 minutes into your schtick when I blew my cover.
I had been given some well reasoned advice to play it cool and attempt to trap Garth with a softball question during the Q&A and intended to do so, unfortunately I reacted to a particularly specious rhetorical question thrown out by Garth.
Once again don't take my word for it....Garth Turner Unedited Part 3
Yep...Garth's spider senses were tingling. Although I must admit it takes a skilled orator to connect the collapse of a bridge in Minnesota, an overpass in Quebec and American military spending in Iraq.
Huh...You ask. Watch the last minute again. BTW, I meant what I said...A hell of a show.
More to come.
Garth Turner Unedited Part 4
In this segment we get to the Q&A portion of the dog and pony show. At this point I would like to clarify a few things.
First, I am a member of no political party although I do blog sporadically under the Blogging Tories banner. I consider myself a small c conservative.
Secondly, all the Liberal Party functionaries were sitting on the right side of the room and the less enthusiastic amongst us on the left. Go figure. This does become pertinent once the softballs start getting tossed.
First up is a member of The Mount Royal College Liberal Association (self identified). Can anybody explain to me what the hell his question was? Anyways, I hope nobody gets hurt as Garth knocks the high hangers out of the park.
Back to our previously scheduled entertainment.
Up next...Part 5..or Garth Vader Falters.
More as it's loaded.
The penultimate edition of our little mockumentary. Garth Turner Unedited Part 5.
Garth describes the action this way:
But the big issue to hang around my poor neck once the comment period arrived? That mailers were sent out to people in Calgary, advertising the meeting, and that this was done from the office budgets of more than a dozen of my colleague MPs. As I explained, the mailings were printed by the House of Commons, stuffed into envelopes and mailed by the House, according to rules all MPs must respect. The point was also made that the prime minister uses this technique more than any other MP, flooding other ridings (like mine of Halton) with pro-government material. Like, yawn.
I left it to another person to bring up the current scandal about Conservatives laundering national election money through local ridings. Then the crowd shouted the guy down. And that was it. The two sat and grumbled for a while. Shot more videotape. But when a CBC television cameraman started mousing around their corner of the room, the ops fled.
Now is it just me or is a theme evolving...."my poor neck"..."but this is Calgary, home of the ugliest emails that this poor little defenseless blog receives"...
But I digress.
Things get a little feisty and according to my understanding of the difference between 10%ers and franked mail...well let's watch Garth explain.
The final segment soon to follow along with a few observations.
Done and done. Garth Turner Unedited Part 6
The stirring finale to A Lost Tory Tours.
Once again to clarify. We did not run from the room. I approached the LPoC functionary who offered to explain the nuances of 10%ers and franked mail to me.
According to Garth this would be the fella that shouted me down. While I admit the right side of the room offered enthusiastic applause in response to the party operative's offer to shut me up, I hardly thought I was shouted down.
Chris continued to film and I took my seat and watched as a few more softballs were tossed. The most interesting was the one from the fella in the red and white jacket. Something about a looming LPoC leadership convention. I wonder who he might support?
Next up was the local riding president to pose her second question of the evening. Two out of eight, obviously a lady with much on her mind. As I listened it occurred to me that the next move was to take the fella from the LPC up on his offer.
I approached him politely (kneeling at the edge of the aisle and getting the attention of his pretty escourt who gave him the heads up) and asked to speak with him in the hall. Being an earnest and lawyerly young fella he agreed. You can see us leaving the room on the right side of the screen.
Outside he agreed to an on camera interview to explain how Liberal Mp's communications budgets were co-ordinated to make the Lost Tory Tour the resounding success it obviously is.
Unfortunately, Chris miscued on the camera and only a few seconds at the end of our discussion are caught on tape. Considering we bought the camera at Best Buy yesterday afternoon, Chris did a fine job.
As we taped (well not taped but I explained that) outside the hall we were joined by three older gentlemen who stood off camera. Two of the three were clearly unimpressed. The third who had a decidedly sunnier disposition asked to take my picture with the young lawyer and can be heard commenting at the end of our tape, something to the effect that I asked good questions.
Regardless, that image of me is the one that appears on Garth's blog, although my lawyer friend appears to have been deleted from our photo-op. Sad really, he was a nice fella.
Garth also makes reference in his blog to the CBC cameraman. Chris gets sufficient shots of him over the duration. Here is the interesting part. The picture of Chris that appears on Garth's blog must be directly from the "CBC" camera. At no time that we were aware of did anyone other than the cameraman approach us to take pics in the meeting hall.
Now this poses a number of other questions. I'll pose those at a later date but I do encourage you to let your imagination run amok.
And finally watch the body language of Garth under questioning and the greazy eyeball he shoots at Chris when I was leaving the room.
Nuff said....Garth turner Unedited Part 6
Some final thoughts.
Chris is a young man from Cape Breton who came to Alberta to work because there in none there. On the way home he commented to me as follows:
"We don't have enough problems back home in Cape Breton that these guys have to come out here to create problems or to fix something that aint broke."
And that Mr.Turner is the real essence of what this was all about. You can wax poetic on your blog all you want, hell you can even piss our money away to promote yourself....these things are apparently all legal.
Just don't expect these two citizens to like it.
I speak for myself and Chris does the same. No conspiracy here sir. Unedited is the way to go!
I meant to do this earlier but got distracted with the tech angle of all this. Here is mypersonal invitation to last nights event as it appears on Garth.ca
I have been taken to task on Garth's blog by a number of commentors who faithfully defend his honor and have casted aspersions on my motives. Fair enough.
Unfortunately I have been unable to respond due to unforeseen technical gremlins that will not allow me to post to Garth.ca.
If anybody out there is familiar with any of the denizens of Garth's blog I would appreciate if you could direct them this way.
I would seem that I've been outed by a regular reader at Garth.ca. This of course would not have been necessary had I been able to post at Garth's site but the aforementioned technical difficulties are still in effect. It seems Digital Democracy has some limitations and challenging Garth on the facts seems to be a big one.
Regardless, my outing :
Sadly, Geo neglected to provide a link to my site. It might have been edifying for other readers of The Turner Report to get access to some Garth Unedited video.
Now it would seem that informed reader Geo and Steve before her (who in an earlier comment states he was at the meeting) take issue with my attire. Although Geo does mention my "con style witty jabs", which I assume are much different than "lib style witty jabs".
Garth offers one here in response to a commentor:
Geo, I'm sorry my wit doesn't meet this high standard.
Now onto my leather jacket. Did you happen to notice the Canadian flag embroidered on the left chest? That jacket was given to me by my Grandfather and was bought through The Royal Canadian Legion. He wore it with pride and I choose to wear it the same way.
If it doesn't meet your fashion approval, so be it. I do also find it interesting that this was your biggest complaint, but then again in some quarters fashion probably does trump fact.
And finally Geo, I stand by my statement that I have never been a member of any political party. As you may or may not know The BT's is a blogroll in the same way Liblogs, Progblogs and Libertyblogs are. Given my self identification as a small c-conservative the Bt's is my obvious blogroll home.
Then again, perceptions are funny, no?