Ex-Liberal says she has no regrets over firing
Carolyn Parrish says she deserved to be fired for criticizing Prime Minister Paul Martin and his inner circle, but doesn't regret her ouster from the Liberal party.
- FROM NOV. 18, 2004: Martin dismisses Parrish from caucus
The MP for Mississauga-Erindale was dumped from the caucus Thursday after saying Martin and his advisers could "go to hell," declaring that she had no loyalty to the Liberal party.
She told CBC News on Friday that the prime minister had no choice but to sack her.
"When he phoned me, he said, 'I'm sorry.' I said, 'Don't be sorry, I'd do the same thing,'" said Parrish, 58, who achieved notoriety for her outspoken attacks on U.S. President George W. Bush and Americans.
Yet the MP told reporters she had no misgivings about the ouster. "I don't regret it."
She continued to attack Martin and his advisers, saying she has chafed under their leadership since they refused to intervene to ensure uncontested Liberal nomination races in several ridings, including hers.
"I've been very unhappy with this whole regime since the nomination process. It's a very brutal guerrilla-war type occupation of the prime minister's office."
Caucus rife with 'discontent': Parrish
Martin's team has hurt the party by shutting down discussion and forcing out experienced former cabinet ministers such as David Collenette and Herb Dhaliwal, she said.
"It isn't the same party we had even two years ago. There's a lot of discontent and there's a little bit of fear in there."
Parrish said Friday that she wasn't surprised by the ouster and had gone into an hour-long meeting with Martin Wednesday night expecting to resign.
- BACKGROUND: Carolyn Parrish
"My comments have been kind of like bricks through windows. I've been expecting something â either my departure voluntarily or his having had enough of me."
She dismissed attempts to pin the ouster on her repeated anti-American comments, saying that Martin would never have signed her nomination papers in June if that was the main issue.
Parrish said she doesn't see herself as a political foe of the government and expects to continue to vote with the Liberals 90 per cent of the time.
Constituents divided over firing
Meanwhile, Parrish's ouster provoked mixed reactions on Friday.
Some constituents in her Mississauga riding condemned the MP for bringing about her own dismissal.
George Winter, who said he has been friends with Parrish for about 20 years, said she will no longer be able to represent her riding effectively because she'll have no pull in the House of Commons.
"Her credibility is zero," Winter told CBC News.
- RELATED VIEWPOINT: Rex Murphy column
Other constituents rallied to her defense.
"I daresay that she will have more opportunity to speak up now," Azim Karmali said. "She's not tethered by the constraints of the Liberal party any more."
Brian Pallister, Conservative MP for the Portage-Lisgar riding in Manitoba, recited a poem in the House of Commons on Friday with each stanza using the line: "Carolyn, Carolyn, perish the thought."
Doll-stomping footage airs Friday
Parrish's dismissal came less than two weeks before the U.S. president was scheduled to make his first official visit to Ottawa.
Parrish, who has called Americans "bastards" and referred to Americans who support the missile defence program as the "coalition of idiots," was videotaped this week stomping on a doll of Bush for the television program This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
The episode of the show will be broadcast Friday night on CBC Television.