MacLeod loses to Alward

One thing you can always count on when it comes to this blog. Bet against my position on elections. I had thought that “Rootin’ for Hootin” was going to win that by-election in Saint John by an easy margin. I suspected that Bernard Lord must have had internal polls in 2006 that showed him with an easy win – after all he personally triggered an early election when he didn’t have to.

When it comes to the current Tory leadership race, I predicted that MacLeod would win hands down. But he lost hands down.

I didn’t follow it closely but Alward didn’t have put forward any kind policy platform saying he preferred to wait until the party had developed its own or something like that.

Talk about a steep learning curve. But one would think that Alward at least won’t have that weird, angry hostility that we have seen out of Volpe the last two years. It was almost like he just couldn’t accept defeat – two years out. At least the new guy will be forward looking (one would think).

Now he has a maybe 18 months to flesh out a real platform – that differentiates the Tories from the Libs. All the complaining coming out of the Tories won’t be enough. The people won’t turf a one term government unless there is a serious alternative. The kind of resentment that built up leading to Lord’s win in 1999 will not come about in the next 18 months. And a wedge issue that nearly killed Lord in 2003 is not likely to come around. Even if there is a major economic downturn, it will be impossible to blame in on the governing party. McKenna actually strengthened his position during the last time we had a real recession in Canada.

You know me by now. Here’s hoping the Tories develop a serious economic development strategy. One that is broad-based and is focused on building the kind of industries here that will not only keep our talented young people but attract many back that have left over the years.

Unless you are a hardened partisan (and I don’t particularly have a problem with that), you will appreciate the need for a sitting government to have an active and professional opposition. You will see the need to have serious counterpoints to the government’s points. A good opposition is a very healthy thing – it should lead to more effective governing over time.