A Tory win in the next election is not ‘automatic’

A Progressive Conservative win in the next provincial election is not “automatic,” says former premier Bernard Lord.

This is the opening line in a TJ story this morning. I had to rub my eyes are read it again. This must be the TJ’s version of comedy.

I must be so far removed from reality on this issue. I thought the Tories would need to go through a sober reflection on itself and how it would reposition the party in the wake of the Liberals co-opting small c conservative themes like flat taxes and economic self-sufficiency. And when I saw there were only two people running to lead the provincial Tories and one has boldly stated he didn’t want to put a platform out for people to consider – I just assumed that Tory insiders were settling in for a long Cochrane/Valcourt like time in the wilderness.

And now I read that a Tory win in the next election is not ‘automatic’.

I am a non-partisan guy. I criticized Tories when they were in and Liberals now that they are in. I have voted for both parties (provincial/national) – depending on which candidate was running.

But I don’t get this attitude. Maybe it’s just Lord trying to rally the troops or something. Maybe it is delusion or maybe I just don’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong – I said on these pages that if the Tories had put up a leader with a broad-based appeal in both English and French New Brunswick, they might, might have had a chance. Two years is a lifetime in politics after all and I do believe the French Immersion and Uranium mine issues are ‘carbon tax-like’ concepts that the opposition can just hammer over and over and over.

But, please Tory partisans tell me, how MacLeod or Alward can transform into a charismatic provincial leader that will bring along a wide swath of the electorate? Give old Bernie his due. He could talk the talk and engage people in both official languages, anyway. Plus, he had 12 years of belt-tightening, amalgamating, forced RCMP, toll busters, etc. etc. etc. to pivot off.

New Brunswickers are very conservative in the sense that we don’t like change. We don’t change our politicians very often, we don’t change our telephone provider and we tend to buy from the same car company (that is changing with the young uns).

It is true that Lord almost lost after one term – but I think the auto insurance issue became a serious wedge issue in that election. I am not sure right now that there will be a similar one for the Tories in 2010.

Instead of this faux confidence, Bernie would have been far better off saying it will be a hard slog to win in 2010. He should have said it will take a massive effort to overturn the Libs. By telling the base that it is not ‘automatic’, he is not doing the new leader any favours.

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0 Responses to A Tory win in the next election is not ‘automatic’

  1. Rob says:

    I’ve also had my issues with the Shawn Graham Liberals, and I believe they are on cruise control. I don’t think they are living up to their talents.

    That being said, given the slow floaters that the Liberals have thrown over the plate, the Tories have struck out looking. I can’t recall a single solid punch that the PCNB landed on the sitting Government.

  2. nbt says:

    I don’t think they are living up to their talents.

    Talent? Huh? As my old football coach used to say, talking like your talented and being talented are two different things altogether.

    One puts points on the board, while the other gets splinters in their ass while looking good.

  3. mikel says:

    The tories don’t HAVE to say a word. Let’s look at the facts. First, the tories got MORE votes than the liberals in the last election.

    Second, let’s be honest, that’s hardly true about politicians. Virtually nobody knew anything of Shawn Graham, in fact nobody had heard of Bernard Lord. ANY politician can ‘talk’, there is little evidence that people actually listen.

    French immersion and uranium are just the start. Like the conservatives these guys came in with a surplus, then blamed the tories. Then raised taxes, with the least increase going to the wealthiest, plus a tax cut in the capital gains tax which only helps out maybe ten percent of the population.

    In fact Graham has become like a puppet now, he rarely talks, and when he does he parrots the ‘self sufficiency’ line with no roadmap on how to get there.

    That is of course WHY the tories don’t say much-why would they? In an election all they have to do is say “we’re not liberals”. At this point they could even point to the federal liberals and the carbon tax.

    So like the federal liberals it would be a HUGE mistake to come up with a platform-platforms give people reasons to vote against you, rarely for you. As for winning, that all depends on how much ‘face time’ the new guy gets. I posted a study awhile back that showed that the more people ‘see’ somebody, the less hostility they feel-even in BAD people. Coincidentally, that was when a blogger in NB started a tally counting how often Graham’s face was showing up on the front page of the Irving papers.

    IF the new tory guy remains anonymous, then perhaps you are right and they’ll have a hard slog. But all things considered equal, I think they have reason to be optimistic. Alward I’ve heard is a small woodlot owner who has been to several protests, so Irving may not like him, which will affect how he is portrayed. In politics, presentation is everything.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Disappointing result with the leadership today.

    McLeod showed some potential to critique policy (with facts and strategy not just smart ass quips) and his business background may have resulted in a leader truly interested in advancing the province rather than the pure politics we have been getting in recent times.

    Instead, we get a ‘good old boy’ who is a nice guy but has shown no signs of strategic capacity, leadership nor charisma.

    Was this a good old boy issue or do you think he was selected because he went off and learned to speak french? Of course we should have multi lingual leaders but have we reached the point where language capability overshadows leadership ability?