Friday, September 22, 2006

Lord Over

Bernard Lord has just received the dreaded vote of confidence from his Tory caucus colleagues, following the party's recent defeat in the New Brunswick election:

Premier Bernard Lord has received the overwhelming support of his Progressive Conservative caucus, despite losing the New Brunswick election earlier this week.

Conservatives met in Fredericton on Thursday for the first time since the general election Monday, which they lost to the Liberals in a tight race.

Not all of the Tories were gracious in defeat.

Several of them suggested the new Liberal government, which will be sworn in Oct. 3, will quickly lose the confidence of the public.

"It might be a short-term government, very short-term," said Tory Finance Minister Jeannot Volpe. "We'll see by this fall what kind of job they do. I think when people realize what they voted in, they might change their minds."


"I stand for the premier staying here, the premier doing his job and the premier is going to come back," predicted Percy Mockler, Lord's wellness minister.

"People will compare. This present government, its honeymoon will be over quite fast."

Lord did not make any public statements Thursday. He has said that he will take some time to decide his next step.

Earlier this week, Lord said that switching to federal politics was an unlikely option, despite growing speculation in Ottawa that he will be courted to become a Conservative candidate in the next federal election.

"Everyone in the caucus is with him to stay on as leader," Deputy Premier Dale Graham said after the caucus meeting. "He was thrilled that the caucus supported him all the way. But he needs time to assess his options."

In other words, he'll be shown the door as soon as the party rights itself behind an interim leader.

All this bravado about a quick return to government is just that. Sure, the Liberals might be two by-election losses away from opposition, but so were the Tories, and they held on for just over three years and if not for one MLA's early retirement, could have made it to four.

There will be no quick return to office under Lord's leadership; once a leader talks about his options in public, he's already on his way out.


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