Friday, July 29, 2005

Step by Step: Tim Murphy on Principles and Ambition

I picked up Steve Paikin's The Dark Side from a remainder table at Indigo and while leafing through it came upon this interesting passage, which was Tim Murphy's reflection on the same-sex benefits imbroglio in 1993/94, when Lyn McLeod was Ontario Liberal leader and Tim was the MPP for St. George-St. David. It is particularly interesting in light of the past few months.

"Every politician comes to the point where they know when they're making the decision to compromise their principles for ambition," Murphy says. "The danger in politics is not that you get to make that decision all at once. You have to make it a thousand times, step by step by step. And the challenge in politics is when you finally get to the one thousandth decision, is there anything left in you? That's the truth of politics. You don't make one big compromise in politics. You make a thousand little ones."
--The Dark Side, p. 253

Murphy insists that the NDP deliberately framed the same-sex benefits issue to trap McLeod (though Rae and Lankin deny it). As reprehensible as Murphy thinks that was, he nonetheless seems to have learned from it.

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