Lord to decide by Christmas

I don’t mean to be rude but…..

Does it really matter?

In the aftermath of one of the shortest terms for an elected Premier in history – one that was almost lost after one term – why does it matter what the ex Premier does or doesn’t do?

I suppose it’s a little bit about curiosity. I have to admit being blow away by how far a politician can fall. From the proposed saviour of the Conservatives to failed NB Premier in a couple of years.

I say in all sincerely, I hope they find a nice appointment for Lord. The fate of many past Tory Premiers would not be desireable. We all know what happened to Hatfield not long after leaving. And then there’s Grant Devine, former Tory Premier of Manitoba. From Wikipedia:

In 2004, Devine announced his intention to return to politics and run for the federal Conservative Party of Canada, but the party ruled he was an undesirable candidate, and denied him the right to seek a nomination. On May 7, Devine announced that he would run as an independent candidate in the 2004 federal election for the riding of Souris—Moose Mountain. Consequently, Devine was expelled from the Conservative Party on June 8 by the executive council of the Conservative party.

David Peterson ended up doing alright for himself. But the problem is that most people would say that our boy Bernie is no Frank, or Peterson or Tobin or any of the other strong personalities that ended up with success post-Politics. There’s a laundary list of ex-Premiers across Canada that just faded back into private life. The problem with Lord is that he’s just 40 years old.

Probably in the back of his mind, he is hoping to be rehabilitated. Brought back to the national stage as the saviour of, well, something.

As for Bernie’s claim to be making his decision by Christmas? I’ll bet he sticks around. For at least a couple of years. Here’s a guy who’s #1 weakness was an almost pathological inability to make decisions and he is expected to leave by Christmas? Nah. Unless there’s some diplomatic post or other serious position in the wings, he sticks it out until Jody Carr turns 30 and decides he’s old enough to be Premier.

The Good Lord help us. I sincerely hope the Tories are smart enough to recruit an actual, proven leader to run their party next time.

Or at least someone not just getting over a bout of acne.

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0 Responses to Lord to decide by Christmas

  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s a little harsh dude. After all, McKenna was the ‘great next hope’ of the liberal party and what exactly did he do? The shortest stint of ambassador ever known.

    Just because somebody didn’t make the decisions you like certainly doesnt mean no decisions were made. Go back and read what was accomplished during his first two months as compared to Grahams, he was like Solomon in comparison.

    Frank likewise disappeared into private life, what’s wrong with that? People assume that all politicians are glory hogs who only think of themselves, its just as likely that Lord was as surprised as anybody that he was suddenly party leader and Premier.

    As for decisions, as many of those were made as under Frank, but conditions were different. Just because he was ideologically different from this blog is no reason to be heavy handed. Health care cuts were made, the attempt was made to convert to orimulsion-NB Power was a disaster under McKenna. While McKenna enjoyed great press and federal funds to EI-which he squandered on brush cutting and make work projects, Lord held the first ever New Brunswick referendum, fulfilled an election promise to stop tolls on the highway, and on and on.

    And again, when a politician gets more votes than they did last time, and a higher percentage of votes than a sitting Premier, that is hardly grounds for sounding a death knell.

    Lord may be ‘humbled’ by this, and a little humility is never a bad thing in a politician, but from the way things are going, in four years Lord could very well find himself in the drivers seat again. Churchill, Trudeau and Clinton all lost elections and then returned for bigger things, so comparing him to Devine, who oversaw one of the most criminal administrations the country has ever seen is hardly fair.

    Whether he wants to deal with all the crap is probably the biggest question. But more people support him than Graham, that’s a pretty big caveat.

    I hope somebody associated with him reads this blog, if he wants a return career I can tell him a good way to get it. Simply get up every day that the legislature is meeting and ask the Premier whether he will honour his referendum on proportional representation. Another blogger mentioned that Graham ‘requested’ that media no longer ask him that question, which doesn’t bode well.

    Do that every day they sit, and he’s got good grounds for a repeat seat. While New Brunswickers don’t know anything about proportional representation, they aren’t so keen on governments who go out of their way to deny New Brunswickers the opportunity to make decisions, particularly one like this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I should add that its also a hell of a lot easier to make decisions when you hold a massive or total majority in the house. Dictators are well know for making dogmatic changes-because they don’t have to be politic. Taking an activity that was currently illegal and making it into an ‘industry’ which made millionaires out of criminals is a great way to bring in some cash, but its hardly something somebody with a bare majority can undertake.

  3. scott says:

    Though a leader is important to a political party, in the case of the NB tories, I think it is more important that they build their party machinery from the ground up.

    They have a chance, as a strong opposition, to reshape and hammer together a strong ideology that they are comfortable with moving forward [i.e. Gingrich’s 1994 Contract with America]. Unfortunately, this was not the case prior to moving into government in 1999.

    And in the end, having a lack of loyal supporters and party workers during election campaign [that stood behind strong tory values], really really hurt their re-election chances IMHO.

  4. Anonymous says:

    anon 11:52am…well said and well written…I’m impress!!! I think Campbell is way off on this one…David, I thought you were smarter than that… you dissapoint me today with this blog…clearly you do not see bigger picture….I’ve dealt and talked to Lord many times…I can assure you that in 15 to 20 years this guy will be on the world stage…the people from the Big Team who have met him see the potential and the intelligence…so Dave…advice for you…never say never…may bite you one day!

  5. scott says:

    Btw, I don’t mean to be rude, but Grant Devine was the Premier of Saskatchewan. 😉

    As well, the fact that his nomination was denied was more about Stephen Harper than it was about Devine. No matter what, I believe that the riding members and the people should decide who will be their candidate, not dictators from the top.

  6. scott says:

    Again, why ‘reshape’ when the majority of New Brunswickers support your vision and party members?

    Because instead of eking out a razor thin victory in 2003 and a loss in 2006 to a bumbling, visionless Liberal leader, they could have been organized and made mincemeat out of his lack of clarity on a host of issues.

    However, since our party machinery never built itself into a viable fighting election machine, we were never able to take full advantage of important trends that existed in the New Brunswick political lanscape that could have worked in our favour.

  7. scott says:

    If you’re interested, I spoke to this in more detail here.

    And btw, much of the content may put to rest anon [3:10 pm]’s statement above about Charles Leblanc being the only blogger who was part of a party.

    For the record, Charles is a political bandwagoner as he has admitted to being a part of both the tories and the liberals in the past five years, so I really don’t get yourpoint there? Especially since nbpolitico and I were also very strong volunteers in our perspective parties.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Bernard Lord should consider taking Tanker Malley with him when he goes! After all, Tanker managed to pull Lord’s chain and remain in the Legislature as Speaker!! Also, he might prove useful as his chaffeur as he has bus druving experience!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t remember Charles ever saying that he was a member of the tory party. My ‘point’ was what I said, that he was the only blogger i was reading. You can go through the list and very few are involved in party politics. I didn’t say there were NO others, I said ‘virtually’ none. And obviously like everyone else I don’t go to them all. NB Politico was clearly a liberal but I remember few ‘activist’ posts or places where he said he was a member of the party.

    But the charge was symptomatic, take a look at a place like Vermont with a population smaller than NB, there are virtually hundreds of blogs and organizations coming out of every place.

    However, the NDP had fewer than 1000 people vote for their leader. The liberals had a nominee elected in Saint John, an urban area, also with less than 1000, in fact far less.

    While NBers have among the highest voter turnout, they have among the lowest political involvement. So its pretty hard to get ‘grassroots’ support. A look at the last election proves this. Both the liberals and conservatives ran members of the youth wing because they couldn’t find anyone else. There is such a feeling of anti politics out there today that its considered a plus when voters know nothing about you. In fact, there is virtually no place online or in print that NBers can even find out which way their local MLA voted in the house.

    However, how exactly to make ‘mincemeat’ out of a leaders policies isn’t exactly known. Numerous criticisms were made during the campaign, however, thats more up to the press to push those themes.

    Hopefully as the internet gets more popular and political, then this will change and politicians will be brought closer to the people, but there has been little movement there apart from Charles’ occasionally featuring an MLA.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind also that as far as volunteering goes, this election took just about everybody by surprise and was an extremely short election run. It was also at a very bad time, people on vacation or just returning. So certainly not all of it was policy related.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well, David, I for one agree with you completely. Also, upon reading the Telegraph Journal this morning, I see someone else does as well.

    “Geoff Martin, a political scientist at Mount Allison University, won’t be surprised if Lord decides to stick around.

    According to Martin, a number of factors will limit Lord’s opportunities outside of provincial politics.

    A jump to the federal Tories would be difficult now because that party is struggling and looks headed toward defeat in the next general election. As well, Lord’s value in the private sector is limited, especially compared to someone like McKenna – now a major player among the country’s financial elite in Toronto.

    “Being leader of the Opposition may be his best option right now,” Martin said.

    But Martin also noted Lord has a real shot at being premier again should he remain in the legislature – especially considering the Liberals hold the province’s slimmest initial majority in 50 years. “

    So–good job on your post.

  12. David Campbell says:

    Wow, lot’s of varied content there. A couple of replies. To the poster that talked about Lord’s first two months compared to Graham’s. Lord had a list of to do’s in the first 200 days and he did them. Graham said he would do a few things in his 60 days and he has (as far as I know).

    To the poster that was highly offended by the piece and thinks “in 15 to 20 years this guy will be on the world stage” I hope you are right. New Brunswick needs more high profile national and international leaders that also have a passion for NB. My own opinion is that while Lord has some of the attributes necessary to achieve ‘the world stage’ he has a few fatal flaws that will hold him up.

    As for Scott’s comment: “Btw, I don’t mean to be rude, but Grant Devine was the Premier of Saskatchewan.” You just proved my point about ex-Premiers fading away. Not even getting the province right – tisk tisk.

    Scott’s desire for the provincial Tories to ‘rebuild’ is a good one – in my opinion. The best political parties are the ones that tackle the main issue (s) of the day head on and in my opinion the Lord government didn’t even realize there was an economic/demographic/fiscal capacity problem in the province. A new firebrand leader claiming to ‘fix’ New Brunswick’s economic problems is what the Tories need.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’d be interested to know what exactly Graham has done. Certainly nothing that will bring policies ‘from worst to first’. In fact the opposite, breaking a promise on home heating rebates right away and sitting idly even on the bad rebate idea while government workers all get to buy new cars. How exactly that will combat greenhouse gases is anybody’s guess. Postponing the legislature until february has NBers on the pike for about 6 million dollars this year for a government that has actually worked for about one quarter of the year.

    Who knows or cares about the world stage, Lord is a sycophantic lawyer that sucks up to the right people just like Frank did, so he’s never going to want for his daily bread. He played the conservative card close to the vest and rolled over everytime big business came knocking, so he’s ‘earned his stripes’ as they say. No doubt if he wants he can sit next to Frank at the Carlyle Groups Board meetings.

    I suspect he will step down at christmas, or at the very least before the election. That’s more because of Irving than anything else. We’re now past the ‘everything is wonderful’ mode, Irving wants a refinery and theres still the gaslines to work out, and its hard to do that when people think ‘everything is fine’. Its hard for a leader to flip over that much, however, if he sticks around for four years he can blame the policies of those four years.

    So now we’re seeing all the ‘everything is hell’ reports from all sectors-even from those who were previously stating how wonderful everything is, like most of the various boards of trade, and by most accounts things haven’t changed all that much from a year ago.

    But its going to take awhile for that propaganda to sink in. There’ll be many accounts of gloom and doom, at least until Irving knows there isn’t going to be much public protest. You can see the parrallel to that, just read last weekends paper where they had a thoroughly nauseating piece on the gas terminal. The place looks like a disaster zone with all the construction but its spun in veritable Orwellian terms in poetic language talking as if its a work of art. By all means just go read it, its thoroughly disgusting as a news piece and only in NB could they get away with it.