Michael (Tanker) Malley has gone from disgruntled backbench MLA to potential kingmaker...
Chisholm Pothier, Lord's press secretary, said putting together a cabinet in New Brunswick is a delicate balancing act.
There are gender, language and geography issues to be taken into consideration, he said.
"I can understand Mr. Malley's disappointment," said Pothier on Friday night, adding other MLAs were also unhappy they didn't ascend to cabinet.
"Everybody who gets into this business eventually wants to make it into cabinet. But the reality is, not everyone can."
The arguments put forth by Malley are probably sincere, the Tory cabinet does lack regional balance. I also take Malley at his word that the Miramachi region has been neglected by the Lord government. However, despite these legitimate issues, I still think it a bad precedent to essentially say, "give me a cabinet post, or I'm out". Malley's move is the ultimate powerplay, he essentially holds the balance of power.
I don't think anyone's interests are served when politicians use strong arm tactics to promote their personal agenda. Malley should have stayed in caucus and continued to argue his case from within. It is Lord's decision to pick his cabinet. The fact that Malley was left out, despite the regional need, may say more about Malley's shortcomings, than it does blatant neglect. Lord's criteria may simply have been a question of competence, period. The voters can decide how too interpret Lord's decision, but Malley was elected as a Conservative and should remain one.
Switching parties and becoming an independent strike me as the same scenario. Malley should offer to run in a by-election to allow voters the opportunity to pass judgment on his decision. Apparently, Malley is set to met with the Premier to discuss the regional snub, which could possibly conclude with his re-entry into the Tory stable. If this scenario happens, it will serve as further proof of opportunistic politics.
The fact that Malley is a Tory shouldn't make his decision anymore attractive to progressives. Emerson had his "reasons", which his apologists speak too. Malley has his "reasons", which I won't support just because the political implications favor my personal preference. I think Malley sets a bad precedent, the timing stinks of cynical calculation.