Neutralize the opposition

Just a quick note on Bernard Lord’s appointment today of Lizzy Weir to some marginal quasi-governmental entity.

I may not like the Lord’s economic development policies but you have to admire some of his political moves. After the last election, he was hanging on by a thread in the Legislature and now after Paul Martinesque moves, he has eliminated probably his two biggest opposition critics. Bernard Richard was a savvy and well spoken adversary. And every one knows the role that Lizzy played. And after he ‘saved’ Lepreau recently, he literally walks on the proverbial polluted water for Saint Johners. He should win Lizzy’s seat easily in a by-election.

Now both Bernard and Lizzy are gathering government paycheques and doing what, again?

After 15 years of watching this stuff, I have concluded that New Brunswickers don’t vote on big picture issues like economic growth, social programs, education, etc. We pick one thing that really grinds our gourd or makes us happy and we base our vote on that. Consider toll highways or auto insurance or RCMP or amalgamation.

And Lord has given just about every constituent in the province something (a bone) since the last election. Saint Johners get Lepreau and LNG. Monctonians get a phantom ‘Med school’, a
French high school and a bridge (and don’t forget Molson’s). Frederictons get thousand of new public sector jobs (look at the labour force survey). The odd constituent out is the North but, does he really need them? He didn’t last time.

Unless somebody can catch our imagination, I suspect the Lord can stay in office as long as he wants.