Here we go

Lord will visit the LG and call an election – for Sept. 18.

There’s something I still can’t figure out. The only thing that has changed between the spring (several months ago) and now is that one CRA poll. And in the spring, Lord made Tanker Speaker in order to keep his job and now he is willing to risk it all? Just based on one poll?

The average Joe Q. Public would have to be a moron to think that Peter Mesheau wouldn’t have stayed around another 12 months. Nobody in their right mind would bring down their own government unless asked to do it by the Premier (notice the TJ story this morning – 17 Tories could lose their pension and if they had stayed one more session it would have beens secure).

But why now? Just one poll?

I know I have said in the past that the Census next year, mill closure, blah blah blah but ultimately, politicians are about self preservation – let’s face it. Either Lord knows something the rest of us don’t (and that is usually the case) such as some doom and gloom coming down the pipe or their internal polls give him such a lead that there is virtually no chance of losing.

Remember 1999. Camille Theriault had strong poll numbers and actually called an election a year or so before he had to because he thought he had the headwind required to get elected.

Of course there are some that have speculated that Lord’s caucus is in disarray – that several of his Cabinet members have threatened to resign or revolt. But discontent is normal and if there was a real revolt underway, Jacques Poitras or someone else would have picked up on it, I’m sure.

No, I’m sticking to my original speculation. Lord wants an election. Now is the time. Six weeks later and we’ll all know.

I’m not sure how much blogging I will do on the election per se. Beyond my own biases, I’m not sure I have alot to contribute. I could evaluate the economic angles of the various party platforms but they are usually so obscurely written, I’m not sure of the value (however, here’s a prediction look for Premier Lord to work the term ‘self-sufficiency’ into his language this time around – you won’t find it in the Prosperity Plan or any of his written stuff but I think he could be vulnerable on that point – NBers are a proud bunch and if they think they are being led by a welfare Premier that could hurt so mark my words, self-sufficiency will work it’s way back into the public space – at least for six weeks). Don’t get me wrong. NBers know we are a poor province and many of our kids will leave. But we still want a leader that at least pretends not to be the welfare Premier.

So, we’ll see. If something strikes me, I’ll blog it but I feel that I could set up a separate blog just to criticize everything written on the election in the Times & Trashscript – but where’s the value to the reader in that?

But a few of you readers send me emails on topics from time to time. Keep sending those along most of them make it into the blog as they usually have relevant issues to the public.

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0 Responses to Here we go

  1. MonctonLandlord says:

    We will not see a majority, yet again, here is why:

    Too many attempts from red and blue to discredit the other, is a result of weak parties.

    We need a drastic change in policy, to have a clear winner (aka majority). Unfortunatly, drastic changes in policy are easily attacked by the media, therefore become unpopular with the public, and the party would risk loosing the election.

    We need a tipping point in policy writing (in all parties) to turn this ship, and become a leading province, as is, we will still have another minority government, which clearly shows that the people are undecided. More than ever.

    Can not wait for the first piece of good solid policy that makes me smile and say “didn’t think they had it in them to go ahead”.

    Already, I am making a list of questions and look forward to the opportunity to ask my local candidates to share their position and vision for NB. This time, I hope someone impresses me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My sources tell me that Mesheau made an agreement with his new wife to leave politics ASAP. He was feeling the pressure.

    The other thing is that Lord wanted/needed to pass his election budget in the spring so he could position himself better for a fall election.

  3. to it and at it says:

    Graham doesn’t inspire confidence, but Lord has got to go.

    David: you’ve spent a couple of years hammering Lord’s economic record. If you had to boil everything down to 3 or 4 easily digestible facts, what would they be?

    Everyone else: are there other good forums to talk about NB politics?

  4. Anonymous says:

    An excellent forum is “http://nbpolitico.blogspot.com” The guy is a liberal and makes no bones about it, but many of the posters are not, and the guy clearly knows his stuff.

    As for the above point, I don’t think its possible to have a minority government in New Brunswick. THere are only two viable parties. Without Weir Doherty took that riding in a cakewalk, and the other left to sit as an independant, he wasn’t elected as an indepandant.

    My personal opinion is that the blog works great simply as a foil to Al Hogan. At least the contribution of economic content is good

  5. David Campbell says:

    David: you’ve spent a couple of years hammering Lord’s economic record. If you had to boil everything down to 3 or 4 easily digestible facts, what would they be?

    1. First elected Premier in New Brunswick history to preside over a declining population – and he didn’t even bring the issue into the public discourse. The average NBer knows nothing about this trend.

    2. Cutting funding to economic development (it’s about half now as a percentage of the total budget).

    3. “We’ve cut funding in all areas except health care and education”. Jeannot Volpe. Nuff said.

    4. No incubating of new industries. Name me one industry that Lord said we are going to grow – and actually went out and did it.

    5. The famous ‘made in New Brunswick’ solution to economic development. Still haven’t seen it after seven eyars.

    6. Assuming tax cuts for small business would be some form of panacea. We’ve had a 7% decline in the number of small businesses in this province – the worst drop in Canada since Lord came into office.

    7. eNB – still not even sure what they are doing here but this was supposed to ‘extend the benefits of the Internet to all New Brunswickers’. Since 1998, we have dropped from 7th to last among the provinces for households using the Internet.

    8. R&D – said in the PP we would be third in Canada for R&D spending per capita (at that point dead last). As of the latest available data, we are still dead last – maybe one reason this is never mentioned by anyone.

    The bottom line is simple. This government has learned that New Brunswickers are gullible. You don’t actually have to do anything – just say you are doing something and that will suffice. Take the 5 in 5. Five wildly ambitious goals – but almost no new money to put towards these goals – no new initiatives – almost nothing. Just a new slogan so that every time they make an announcement, they have a tagline. “We fixed that pothole, part of our 5 in 5″. “Peter Mesheau is quitting, throwing the government into a minority position and destabilizing the political landscape in New Brunswick because he can’t wait 12 months, that’s part of our 5 in 5″.

  6. David Campbell says:

    I forgot one of the most important failures – export performance. New Brunswick’s exports – less the Irving Refinery – have been dismal – declining by hundreds of millions of dollars and exposing serious challenges in our export-oriented industries – mostly forestry and manufacturing. But instead of being honest with the public, the government chose to brag incessantly about the ‘record exports growth’ that points to ‘the positive economic environment created by the government’. If they hadn’t been so obsessed by spin, they would have had a candid discussion with New Brunswick about our exports challenges and how they are going to address them. But instead we got more spin – on steroids. This is unforgivable. The people have a right to know the true economic picture.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Excellent stuff. THeres a liberal brochure if I ever saw one. Perhaps its time to do a “non partisan” website with “just the facts”. I suppose thats what this website is though. Although poverty advocates and people in those other areas of cuts, and even education and healthcare, have beefs of their own. Joining together wouldnt be a bad thing.

    The one thing that would make it interesting is to find out if JOB GROWTH at the Irving Refinery actually matched the export growth in oil. Just because Irving makes more money, doesnt mean that benefits accrue to New Brunswickers. I found a story from a couple of years ago that said something like 2200-2500 worked at the refinery, Im not sure if thats accurate, but if jobs havent been growing as profits do, it kind of defeats the purpose anyway.

    Plus its not like the government has anything to do with it.

    Dave, would you be willing to either recommend somebody or contact somebody to hand out flyers and posters around Moncton?

    Here’s the facts. In his own riding Lord only won by 1000 votes, that’s one twelfth of voters. However, in that riding, 6000 people didn’t vote! That’s HUGE. Some door to door canvasing could well play a significant difference. A “show up to vote” campaign could well be the answer-with a few actual statistics thrown in . Perhaps a link to this site (could you maybe do a chart to keep those “talking points” at the top of the home page?)

    Usually its pretty easy to get other groups involved in a ‘get out and vote campaign’, because it sounds quite non partisan. Since the last election had a lot to do with public insurance, I’m thinking there is a danger here of voter apathy, which usually falls in the favour of government. Anybody know a good map of Lord’s riding?

  8. David Campbell says:

    Not to be a party pooper but economic issues rank (as I have pointed out before) somewhere between 6th and 10th in the list of priorities for New Brunswickers in the polling data. So at the end of the day, I don’t think that Premier Lord will win or lose based on economic issues. He can, rightly so, trot out his 30,000 jobs created during his time in office and an 8.9% unemployment rate. If the Tories hammer this over and over again – that might be enough for the average citizen. The next layer of discussion about where those jobs came from (+$2 billion in government expenditures is a good place to start) and why the unemployment rate is declining (out-migration) and the importance of economic development will fly well above the average NBer. Not because they are stupid but because they don’t have the time or inclination nor the understanding of the ultimate impact on their lives.

    My neighbour will be voting against Lord. Why? Something to do with nursing homes. Another neighbour will be voting for Lord. Why? Because he works at the expanding hospital.

    As I said before, people that are not working and therefore more in touch with the economic challenges are increasingly moving to Alberta where they won’t vote in New Brunswick.