Monday, September 10, 2007

I don't believe it...

After one year since winning the popular vote but losing the election and nine months after the departure of Bernard Lord and after having seen their numbers in polls drop from 48% on election day, to 30% in August and seeing their caucus shrink by 12%... the New Brunswick Tories will be thinking about setting a date for their next leadership convention.

I am glad to see they were spurred into action by my demand that they do so last week.

I found the following a bit disturbing however. Though the provincial executive will have the formal power to set the date, Jeannot Volpe, interim leader of the biting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face party said: "As caucus, we will send a letter to the provincial executive to advise them of what we would like." I am not sure that sounds entirely fair, especially if there are candidates from outside of caucus running. One presumes those who are in caucus -- who have the luxury of being better known, having established relationships with the press and a wider audience of party members and having the ability to campaign fulltime without risk of loss of pay or jobs -- would favour a different date and campaign structure than those out of caucus.

One of those out of caucus who may wish to run will actually be the subject of my next up-and-comer piece.


nbt said...

We have a lot of work to do, both at the provincial and party level, when it comes to accessibility and democracy.

Jason Hickman said...

I wouldn't get too hot & bothered about this.

1. The NB Libs have a majority, so we're not looking at an election in the immediate future.

2. I was on the provincial executive for the NL PC Party when it was still in opposition (i.e., before 2003) and when the former leader resigned. At that time, the opposition caucus *and* the Party exec were involved, formally or otherwise, in setting the date, etc for the leadership convention.

And in fact, someone from outside caucus won that leadership race - a fella named Danny Williams; perhaps you've heard of him ;) - who did, I think it's fair to say, pretty well when the next provincial election was called.

I don't know the in's and out's of the NB PC Party, and of course, you and others can point out the many differences in the 2 situations.

But still, all of this is to say that just because (a) the NB PC's aren't killing themselves to have a leadership race right now, and (b) their caucus seems to be involved in the timing of the race, does not mean that the outcome of either the leadership race, or the next election, can be put in the bank just yet.

nbpolitico said...

The caucus involvement was a bit of an afterthought, however I would agree that, in general, it doesn't hurt to wait a while to get a leader, the problem the NB Tories are experiencing is that their interim leader is so awful that he is causing the party to totally meltdown and he needs to be replaced ASAP.