Oops, Principles? What Principles?

Remember the recent crisis in the Legislature when the NB Liberals were trying to bring down the ruling Tories? Remember how definitive the Premier was about the October 2007 election date? Don’t forget he prefers fixed election dates. Remember Al Hogan and his ardent support for the Premier’s principles on this?

Ahh, it’s amazing what a poll or two can do to your ‘principles’. The Premier’s quote in the T&T today:

“My preferred date is Oct. 15, 2007 and, if things stay the same, it will be then. If things change, it could be before.”

Conveniently, as the story goes, Peter Mesheau will be stepping down this fall triggering a minority situation and ‘forcing’ the Premier to go to the polls.

Maybe I should be a soothsayer after all. Remember I recently predicted Lord would go to the polls before Statistics Canada releases its population data from the 2006 Census which will confirm that the population has declined for two straight Census periods -2001 and 2006 – the first time in the history of New Brunswick that we are in a sustained population decline. Imagine trying to rectify this reality with the ‘prosperity for all’ messaging.

No, it makes more sense for the Tories to go to the polls this fall, after a goodies budget and while Lord is rising a mini-wave. The logic is that he gets re-elected, the Census numbers get released. There will be anger for 35 seconds and then reality sets in and we get back to the comfortably numb position of ‘prosperity for all’ – as long as you actually stay in New Brunswick.

Wouldn’t it be neat to have a slightly alternative scenario? How about a politician tackling this issue head on? How about a politician clearly articulating the realities and their proposed solutions? How about a political party staking their electoral success on it?

Nah.

This is New Brunswick.

We prefer to be misled. It’s easier.

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0 Responses to Oops, Principles? What Principles?

  1. Anonymous says:

    A good call, but don’t forget one thing. How many people know anything about census data? How often do you hear ‘outmigration’ in the traditional media? Obviously that would be one of the issues, but here’s a couple more to ponder:

    1. New Brunswick, according to international investors, is now running a deficit. The feds are said to be mailing a cheque to prop it up, but what about next year? Crown stumpage fees will be cut in half, the more expensive hardwood is cut by 25%-thats a LOT less government fees.

    Looking at the statistics, that shows that next year’s budget is going to be far less rosy, and of course fellow conservative or not, Harper doesn’t like propping up deadbeat governments. In all likelihood, by 2007 they will have to openly be running a deficit with little to show for it. Not good.

    2. They’ve formally axed the power authority, which means power chaos. It means the government is directly on the hook for everything NB Power does. He needs either a new mandate to privatize further, or look for the liberals to change their tune as quickly as Lord did on election dates.

    3. The LNG issue in Saint John just keeps getting uglier. While essentially a different level of government, people don’t make too many distinctions when there is only three elections where they can actually influence government.

    4. Blogs. Yes, they are becoming a real threat. More and more are popping up almost by the day, and people are griping loudly, and seldomly in their favour.

    5. Atlantica. Yes, when big business starts changing its tune its not good. They want a government that will instill in a population a ‘need for change’. The liberals have already signed on, Lord is in the precarious position of being on the wrong end of average citizens AND big business lobbyists. Saying things are wonderful all the time doesn’t push any radical agendas forward. Like bloggers, the ‘atlanticans’ are getting organized as well.

    The minority government is weird. Why the heck would this guy be ‘stepping down’ a year before an election? Notice how these people are all on the soapbox about how they are ‘elected to serve’, but usually its just til ‘I don’t feel like it anymore’. But in a minority government it is LIBERALS who ‘force’ the election.

  2. David Campbell says:

    Read Lord’s quote carefully, he won’t be forced into an election. He’ll call one first. That’s a big difference. As for Mesheau, I’ve met the man and found him quite affable and quite knowledgeable. It would be interesting to know the ‘real’ reason why he is stepping down. The man was ostensibly one of the top members of Cabinet – then again, so was Elvy – and he’s gone. And quitting a year before the election, again that’s weird stuff but if Lord wants a pretext for an election, that’s as good as any.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That’s essentially what it comes down to – taking one for the team. “If things change it could be before” doesn’t exactly sound like a diehard claim to calling an election. Typically, canadians are increasingly wary of those who call elections early, thinking them a huge expense which doesn’t change much. He doesn’t actually SAY he’ll call it. In fact my reaction was that this Mesheau is stepping down simply so that they will be in a minority position which will make the liberals force the election.

    Think about it, you are in a government which is tied, but in most cases has a one person edge in presenting legislation. Can you imagine if one of your party members said, a year before an election, they were leaving? If I was party leader I’d be either begging, bribing or threatening that SOB into staying. I mean its ONE year, and he is an elected official, nobody elected him to represent them ‘just until the last year’.

    There is virtually no way at this point that they will allow another byelection, its too risky. Meshau could be quite popular, he got elected by one of the larger margins, but its a small riding, so who knows whether it was a party or individual vote. Until at least some story comes out this is all hearsay, perhaps trying to gauge the publics reaction to an early election. Perhaps Meshau’s wife is seriously ill or something, who knows?

    If the story comes out that ‘he thinks he’s done enough’, or ‘is moving on’, or something like that, then you’ll pretty much KNOW it was party planning.

    I seriously doubt that after all that talk about fixed election dates and going on and on about 2007 that Bernard Lord would turn around and call it early. That’s the flip flop to end all flip flops.