Monday, September 18, 2006

Lord's Day Passing?

Remember when Bernard Lord was supposed to be the saviour of the Conservative Party?

You'll remember how the media gushed at the possibilities his leadership might bring:

Young, telegenic, not Stephen Harper, bilingual, culturally ambiguous name, not Stephen Harper, supposed record for moderation in government, energetic, ambitious, not Stephen Harper, etc, etc.

Those days seem far gone now. And they may be even further gone, if New Brunswick voters decide it's time for a change:

New Brunswick voters will begin casting ballots Monday morning, as they decide whether to give Bernard Lord's Progressive Conservatives a third term after a campaign fought neck-in-neck with the Liberals.

Lord called the election in mid-August when it appeared his fragile majority government could collapse into a minority before the fall session.

Liberal Leader Shawn Graham's team has spent the past four weeks snapping at Lord's heels in a two-way race that several opinion polls throughout the campaign have suggested is a statistical dead heat.


The election has focused mostly on the leadership abilities of Graham and Lord, with no single issue catching fire with the electorate.

Graham was elected leader in 2002, and brought his party from 10 to 26 seats in the 2003 election, mostly due to voter anger over high car insurance rates.

The parties have similar platforms, although Lord pledged to cut personal income tax and Graham promised to create a public auto insurance system if the industry failed to bring rates down within 60 days of a Liberal government winning the election.

If Bernard Lord loses tonight, a lot of pundits will be eating crow tonight, and wondering just why they were trying to excite Lordmania in the first place.

Of course, a decade out of politics can rehabilitate the image of even the most despised premier, as Bob Rae is discovering to his benefit.

So there may be hope yet for a second round of touting for Bernard Lord.

Source: CBC

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