21 April 2011

Buckingham not only local Tory to buck Dunderdale line on Harper #elxn41

St. John’s East member of the House of Assembly Ed Buckingham is known to be thoughtful and frank in his views.

No surprise therefore that Buckingham told the Canadian Parliamentary Affairs Channel (CPAC) that he is sitting on the sidelines in the current federal election campaign.  As CBC quotes him from the CPAC interview:

"I'm not aligning myself with anyone, I'm just going to sit on the sidelines and let events unfold as they will," ….

Buckingham isn’t alone.

Other provincial Conservatives aren’t banging doors to get their federal cousins elected even though in pretty well all cases, the federal candidate is a former provincial Conservative caucus member.

Your humble e-scribbler’s had a few e-mails and tweets about local Tories who are changing the air in their tires or sorting their DVD collection rather than work for a Muskrat Falls loan guarantee via Stephen Harper’s pledges.

Anyone seen Fairity O’Brien out in Gander trying to unseat Scott Simms?

In the CBC story, at least one of the Tories who is playing along certainly doesn’t look very enthusiastic.  Tom Osborne, of the local Conservative powerhouse family, only says that he’s “lent a hand” and done “a little bit “ of campaigning with St. John’s South-Mount Pearl Conservative candidate Loyola Sullivan.  Now that’s not very much energy for a guy who reportedly thought about running for Harper’s gang at one point.

The real story here, though, is not about the number of elected provincial Conservatives who are not following Kathy Dunderdale’s lead and latched their lips to the federal Conservative leader’s hindmost regions.


The real story here is that, according to the only poll released thus far, rank and file provincial Conservatives are likewise not supporting Kathy Dunderdale’s direction. If they were, Sullivan, Jerry Byrne and Fabian Manning would be leading in their respective seats.  They aren’t. 

Sullivan isn’t doing well at all.  That’s nasty considering that two of the provincial seats in his riding are held by members of the Osborne-Ridgley machine and every seat on the northeast Avalon is currently held by a provincial Tory.  If they really could deliver the vote – or wanted to - surely they would.

Given the way Kathy tied the federal election and her Muskrat Falls obsession together, it’s going to be hard to avoid connecting the dots should the federal Conservatives fail in their efforts to gain a seat in the province.  And if they win only one seat by a slim margin, Kathy Dunderdale cannot claim to hold a marker for some future favour.

Odd as it may seem the real political story of the federal election in this province might wind up being the implications it holds for provincial politics.

BTW, have they had the nomination for Buckingham’s district yet?  Just curious.

- srbp -