Monday, August 21, 2006

Tidbits which have spun me into a prophesy on the NDP

  • T.J. Burke says that both he and Kelly Lamrock will be in cabinet following the election. Assuming that the Liberals form a government it would be almost certain that Greg Byrne, Eugene McGinley and Les Smith would be in the government caucus. Not all 5 could be in cabinet all being from greater Fredericton. One wonders if T.J. should be so certain? He has proved himself a very intelligent and effective MLA but that is a very talented and experienced caucus for the capital region. Somebody who should be in, won't be.

  • Bernard Lord is mocking Shawn Graham's plan to hire a key group to advise the premier and cabinet on broader policy issues. Lord's criticism is two-pronged: (1) Graham must not have faith in New Brunswickers if he feels he needs to bring in outsiders for ideas; (2) local MLAs will have no authority if the premier and cabinet are simply guided by these "top dogs". Fairly weak and superficial attacks in my mind but that may be effective. In resposne to point one, a lot of New Brunswickers are wary of "outsiders" but a cabinet secretariat is an idea used in many provinces, including New Brunswick under Tory hero Richard Hatfield, and could easily be structured to include top New Brunswickers, top ex-pat New Brunswickers and true "outsiders" who would bring new and unique perspectives tempered by the New Brunswick reality imposed upon them by New Brunswickers in the secretariat and the whole-New Brunswick cabinet. Point two is just silly and immature. Ministers already receive most of their policy advise from top bureaucrats in their departments; this would just allow for a more solid and consistent vision from the centre. It would not in anyway change the role of the local MLA to stand up for their communities in the policy development process.

  • Brian Gallant, the candidate running for the Liberals in Moncton East is interestingly enough a former Mr. New Brunswick and current president of the UdeM student union. The UdeM SU presidency is of course the only office to which Bernard Lord was successfully elected (after which he lost bids for Dieppe town council, MLA and PC nomination for the 1997 federal election) before winning the PC leadership in 1997. Perhaps we should not underestimate Mr. Gallant, 24, considering that he is just like the premier in having been a young student politician who surprised many by defeating the establishment. However, if history is to be our guide, Mr. Gallant needs to become a loser a few times over first.

  • Chisolm Pothier, the former press secretary to Premier Lord who took the fall when Lord leaked a letter containing personal information about a constituent to tarnish the reputation of Liberal MLA Carmel Robichaud (rather than answer the substantive and unrelated questions she was asking) has made a triumphant return representing the Tory campaign to the media during this election cycle.

  • Rick Miles, a early 20s student as I understand it, is the Liberal candidate for Fredericton-Silverwood according to various reports. This surprises me, but apparently not many others as it hasn't been mentioned that he defeated Anne Bertrand, in my mind a sure bet for cabinet, for the nomination. This could really change the race for Fredericton-Silverwood. It is presently marked too close to call, and I'll keep it there for now, but will this guy: a) prove to be a strong candidate despite his youth and inexperience; b) give Brad Green a surprise 4th election victory; c) allow Dennis Atchison and strong and well now local guy running under the NDP banner a sneak victory? Option c may sound silly but Green managed only 38% of the vote in 2003 against 2 relatively weak candidates. If dissatisfaction with Green is high, as it would seem to be, Atchison could become the consensus opposition candidate. This would spell for an interesting scenario down the road if Atchison were to win a seat and Allison Brewer were to lose in her bid (as is expected). Atchison was promoted as a potential leadership candidate and is very much a Robert Chisholm-type of charismatic moderate (by NDP standards) who could lead the NB NDP down the road that the NS NDP went in 1998. Very interesting.


Anonymous said...

It says here that Eugene McGinley is a nice man, but more likely a Speaker than a Minister. Lamrock and Byrne are locks for Cabinet. T.J. is a bit of a loose cannon, and I see him behind these three and maybe Les Smith, too. Although I don't think Smith will beat Ashfield.

I don't know who Rick Miles is, but I suspect there's an interesting story behind his defeat of the "establishment" candidate, Anne Bertrand. Liberals are not short on lawyers in caucus, but women are in short supply, and I think they wanted thios one bad. Wonder if Ms. Bertrand is for some reason unpopular in the riding, or if she was too unmotivated/disorganized to get out her vote, or if there was a major effort by Ms. Miles...

nbpolitico said...

Betrand actually lives in the York North district but practices law in Fredericton-Silverwood. That may have something to do with it.

Miles is the son of a local bar owner so, completely hypothetically speaking and with out bias to Miles here, it is possible he could have organized a good youth sign up with the promise of an enjoyable after party.

It indeed will be unfortunate for the Liberals as they were hoping to get 15-19 women candidates nominated but both 2 women vying for nominations over the weekend were defeated.

Agreed with your other comments re: Lamrock, Byrne and McGinley.

Anonymous said...

nbpolitico, here are some tidbits for you:

1)Lord has new a job as in Telegraph:

"After winding up the brisk stroll with a visit to a Tim Hortons, Lord went behind the counter to shake hands with several employees. While their smiles showed they were pleasantly surprised to meet the premier, one thirsty customer didn't seem to catch on, attempting to order a coffee from Lord as he walked past the cash register.

Without missing a beat, Lord smiled and offered the man a donut to go with the coffee."
2) As in Gleaner:

"When we need expert advice on education we are going to listen to our teachers. We need expert advice on health care we will listen to our doctors and our nurses," Lord said.

Oh really. Does he listen to teachers and doctors? What a double-faced man.

Anonymous said...

I should have my own blog named: Lord bashing is fun. We have another mini Richard Nixon at our hands.
On the above post I meant: Lord has a new job. "a" got misplaced.

Cooker Boy said...

I think it's pretty premature for the Libs to be talking about cabinet already. Boyz, these guys are arrogant.

It's like planning the Stanley cup parade 3 days into the regular season.

Spinks said...

You're right cooker boy. Look when Harper started musing about Cabinet in 2004. It's fine to do that kind of planning behind closed doors so you're prepared for any eventuality but not in public.

Anonymous said...

Did Shawn Graham talk about Cabinet? If not then it is immaterial.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the latest press conference by NDP leader Brewer was a great success. Votes are going to fall like cats and dogs for NDP.

There was a big picture on the front page of Gleaner of one of such voter - a feline.

Cooker Boy said...

No he did not, but if Fowlie did the same as TJ, I would be saying the same thing. Just linking the rich history of Lib entitlement of power.

Anonymous said...

TJ is one MLA. It may impact his riding if any, as he is not the leader.

Fowlie? Loose lips sink ships. She has proven that time and again.

Harrap said...
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