Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wacky Wednesday

So I received a news release from the Liberals announcing nursing home administrator Gwen Cullins-Jones as a candidate in the strongly Tory riding of Carleton. That is fine but I found the following passage in the release a little bit fishy:

Gwen also announced today that former Lieutenant-Governor Margaret McCain has agreed to be honorary chair of her campaign. Other members of her campaign team will be named at a later date.
I am not sure how comfortable I am with this in principle. But, I suppose, if another former LG can be a senator, president of a riding association and key supporter of a federal leadership candidate and a former Governor General can run for parliament, there is lots of precedent. However, to me, this sort of thing isn't "cool". If you are to represent the Crown, you should keep that in mind. I can't imagine Edward VIII, after abdicating, would have ever been allowed to run for or act in support of a candidate for some partisan office.

I digress....

Liberal leadership candidate Micheal Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton were both in NB yesterday for la fĂȘte de l'Acadie. Both took time to criticize Lord.

Ignatieff seemed to have hit a nerve based on Lord's response to these comments:

I have it on good authority that prime minister Martin offered Bernard Lord a considerably better deal than he's taken from Stephen Harper.

The voters of new Brunswick will have to ask tough questions about the premier's judgment.

I don't want to intervene in a provincial election except to say that is the question, whether the premier has exercised good judgment in federal-provincial relations.
Layton went after my favourite issue-du-jour:

As far as I know an official election call hasn't been made.

It's interesting to see that lots of public dollars are being spent by elected officials travelling around in anticipation of an election that hasn't been called yet.

I find that rather peculiar.

Candidate Watch:

Jack Carr, twin brother of cabinet minister Jody Carr, defeats Steve McCready, son of former speaker, minister and Queens South MLA Bob McCready, by a margin of 358-212. Big nomination and good sign for the Tories in Grand Lake-Gagetwon. They've picked the stronger of the two candidates at least in terms of name (and face!) recognition.

Heather Hughes, who I've never heard of but whose resume doesn't sound spectacular, is running against Kelly Lamrock in Fredericton-Fort Nashwaak. I would say has a snowball's chance in hell.

Other News:

Coverage of yesterday's Liberal release and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation on my favourite issue in the TJ and Gleaner.

Gas prices down 10 cents (through an emergency clause in the regulation, gas stations have not received notice and this comes 5 days after it would have dropped in a non-regulated market and 2 days after it dropped in the regulated markets of NS and PEI... yeah great system for consumers)

Absolutely no coverage of the election in the Times & Transcript. Probably because it was the 4th or 5th consecutive good news day for the Liberals with Lord continue to play catch up.


Anonymous said...

I just watched Pee-Wee Bernie on CTV. What a mess when it come to gas regulations? He won in 1999 on tolls and he is looking for Deja vu all over again. It ain’t going to happen.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a tendency to see 'strong candidates' as meaning 'get good and often press'. Jack Carr's riding is a rural one, and just because Jack is always hanging around with Jody and getting his picture in the paper means little in a rural riding. Whether the PC members 'made the right choice' can't be proven, because there is no 'right choice'. One can assume they know their own riding, but there's no guarantee. It certainly wasn't a slam dunk, and whats scary in New Brunswick is that with such strong party rule, just how few people are choosing the people who run for government. If you count up the numbers, you have less than one percent of the population choosing the people who make up the political choices. That's pretty scary, and I think the term 'oligarchy' fits quite well.

nuna d. above said...

Kings East PC's selected Bruce Northrup to run against Liberal incumbent Leroy Armstrong. Northrup lost the Liberal nomination to Armstrong in 95. Also running for the PC nomination was the NDP candidate for Kings East in the last provincial election. With all this party-hopping, maybe only the political dinosuars think the actual party is important anymore.

nbpolitico said...

anon at 6:39...

I don't really think Jack Carr is a great candidate in general, nor do I think Jody is for that matter. However, of the two candidates running for that nomination - Carr and Steve McCready - I think Carr was the better choice because his brother has been on the ballot in 1/3 of the riding for 3 elections and has done very, very well there the past two. Name recognition helps, if people are used to voting for a J. Carr, it doesn't hurt to be named J. Carr, especially if you are his twin brother and look like him too ;)

Anonymous said...

Again, that doesn't help when you are in a different riding. Jody Carr is quite popular, my folks voted for him and my dad used to be a liberal riding party president. This time will be quite different though, unlike the poster above, I think party has a lot to do with it. One thing becoming increasingly clear is the irrelevance of backbenchers, the power grabs of the cabinet and the tyranny of the Premier and his staff over his own party. Several insiders at many economic blogs are talking about how effective Mesheau could have been if Lord weren't so autocratic.

However, that's a low opinion of voters that I don't share that people are going to walk into a voting booth and say "well, he looks like Jody Carr and Bob over in Geary is voting for his brother"

Name recognition can be a good thing or a bad thing, or an irrelevant thing. Again, it comes down to the riding, and unless somebody knows some organizations there and what they are saying, its impossible to say.

That leads to the central question, perhaps a point by point list of what exactly makes a 'strong candidate', and what makes a 'secure riding'. As people should remember from 1987, New Brunswick holds the record for showing that anything can happen in politics.

Anonymous said...

"As people should remember from 1987.." Deja vu all over again, indeed. Hatfield was more popular than Pee-Wee Bernie.

Spinks said...

Was Hatfield in '87 really more popular than Bernard Lord or is that personal opinion anon? I don't believe it frankly. No one (in public) would shake Hatfield's hand. That's not the case with Lord. Sorry, I don't buy that analysis at all. I remember '87 well. Hatfield was about as popular as a toothache. While Lord may be that way for you and arguably lots of others depending on the riding, it is nowhere near the same scenario.

Anonymous said...

Hatfield was well respected especially for socially progressive policies as a Premier. There were some conservative ridings, bible-belt type, who despised him. His own riding is within the bible-belt boundary. Then some English ridings did not like his bi-lingual policies which was progression of what was started by Louis Robichaud. All in all his achievements were many when in case of Bernard Lord no one can remember, when asked in a survey, as to what his achievements are as a Premier.

Hatfield was in power far too long and that was part of the problem. That is when people do vote against and not for a certain candidate.

In case of Bernard Lord dislike is universal throughout the province whether French, English, rural or urban areas. Then of course, just like Hatfield, the 7 years legacy or lack of it. Actually he has no legacy .

I believe he will be dumped but we will see. I am fairly certain of that but then nothing is certain in politics.

nbpolitico said...

I would note for some commenters that I point I am trying to make about Jack Carr is that we are using new ridings. The riding of Grand Lake-Gagetown contains all of those parts north of the St. John river that have been in Jody's riding for the past three elections. Not sure if people realize that.

Anonymous said...

No, that wasn't clear, good point.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if someone can elaborate a little bit more on there thoughts about jack carr so i can understand.Thanks!