Sunday, October 02, 2005

Lord Not The Tory Saviour

Greg Weston is beating the drums for the Bernard Lord leadership bandwagon:

The dynamo from Down East would be a formidable contender. Bright, young and infinitely engaging, Lord has a no-nonsense approach to politics and government that will surely resonate with both Conservatives and other Canadian voters.

Fluently bilingual, he inherited the best of two vital electoral worlds, born in Quebec and raised in Acadia.

To Quebecers, he is a native son. To the rest of the country, he is not a Quebecer.

Sources have told us Lord has already been promised the crucial support of the provincial Conservative election machinery in the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and parts of the West.

The theory is that a Conservative party led by Lord would be popular in the Maritimes, make gains in Ontario, and at least hold the West that isn't likely to turn Liberal or NDP anytime soon.

On top of it all, Lord holds the promise of giving the Conservative party something it has not seen in a very long time -- substantial seats in Quebec.

Everything that is being said about Bernard Lord now, was said about Jean Charest ten years ago. We all know how his PC leadership failed to bring the party back into contention. If a native Quebecois as charismatic and effective as Charest could only win five seats and eventually lose his four caucus mates to the Liberals, will Lord have a much better chance against a Bloc that has never been stronger?

Bernard Lord nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2003 election with his flip-flopping on public auto insurance and public outrage on health care funding and proposals to privatize NB Power. He is currently trailing in the polls in New Brunswick.

On the off chance that Stephen Harper lost the next election and decided to step down as leader, Lord's departure for the federal Conservative leadership would turn his government's one-seat majority into a minority ripe for collapse and a likely Liberal victory.

The media's hypersensitivity towards social conservatism would be triggered by Lord's refusal to publicly fund Henry Morgentaler's private abortion clinics in New Brunswick, the one issue upon which socialized medicine's defenders also turn into the most rabid advocates of two-tier care.

They'd also remind voters of Lord's personal opposition to same-sex marriage and New Brunswick's position as one of three provinces whose courts had not legalized homosexual unions before Parliament did.

The media is building up Bernard Lord's leadership potential now, so that they can tear it down should he succeed.

All this will be moot anyway when Stephen Harper moves into 24 Sussex Drive.

Source: Ottawa Sun

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