Harper loses another Conservative MP

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He couldn't stand being a

Here\'s the door...

Edmonton backbencher Brent Rathgeber said he resigned from the Conservative caucus - but is staying on and will sit as an independent MP.

He said there is not enough "transparency" in the Harper government and he doesn't like the youth gang in Harper's office "who treat backbenchers like trained seals" and are always telling them what to do, what to say, and how to vote.

Rathgeber says he still respects Harper and may vote with the Conservatives from time to time. But he will most definitely be taking orders from Harper's office.

Rathgeber is the kind of guy who always wants to know how much someone is paid. Last year he sponsored legislation to require all union leaders in the country to publicly disclose their salaries. It did not pass.

This year Rathgeber wanted a law to require all MPs, ministers and senators as well as all the high public service officials who earn more than $ 188 000 a year to disclose their salaries publicly. There are thousands of people in that salary bracket.

Conservative MPs on the committee debating the Rathgeber's legislation ganged up on him and amended the base salary figure to $ 444 000 a year, of which there are very few people in government earning that much.

So why did Rathgeber choose $ 188 000 as the base figure?

Was it merely coincidence that $ 188,000 was the base salary of Nigel Wright, Harper's former chief of staff, the guy who gave a $ 90 172 cheque to Senator Mike Duffy?

Harper was not happy yesterday to learn of Rathgeber's departure.

Harper told Rathgeber to keep going out the door and will  have to get re-elected to be allowed back into the party

Harper does not like MPs who contradict him.



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