Is Tom Osborne’s resignation from the PC party of NL the tip of the iceberg?
For staunch party supporters it’s a question that will rile the hairs on the back of their necks, and one they will criticize for even being considered.
Mr. Osborne has been a very capable MHA and Minister in the past 15 years of his political career. He was a minister in the Danny Williams’ cabinet and a valued one.
Surely these staunch party supporters are not going to suggest Mr. Williams – their revered former Premier – did not recognize the talent and ability Mr. Osborne brought to his Cabinet table in the Justice, Environment and Health portfolios?
The self deposed MHA claims he was forced to vote for the recent controversial Bill 29, limiting the public’s ability to access government documents and increasing the voters’ belief government secrecy continues to be a priority in governing, for whichever party is in power.
He suggested he voted for the legislation fearing inferred repercussions for his constituents by the government. Perhaps his conscience is worrying him as he suggests.
The other, and more likely scenario is Mr. Osborne’s stated lack of support for Premier Kathy Dunderdale and her administration. He did not reveal whom he supported in the party’s almost leadership race, but he did say it wasn’t Mrs. Dunderdale.
Thus the reason likely for his relegation to the backbenches, and removal from the spotlight.
Politicians of all stripes enjoy the limelight, for the most part, and want their constituents to know they are having an impact on decisions being made in Confederation Building.
Mrs. Dunderdale’s drop like a stone in the CRA polls since she assumed the Premier’s role from her predecessor Mr. Williams, and the party’s own slide, was likely a tipping point for Mr. Osborne.
He plans to sit as an Independent at the outset, and not resign his seat, and alluded to being open to approaches from both the Liberals and NDP. A switch to the NDP would move that party closer to its coveted official Opposition status in the Legislature.
In the end Mr. Osborne is a politician who wants to have an influence in today’s politics. Sitting as a government backbencher put him in obscurity, and after serving as minister of three government departments he wants to return to the status he once held.
When you’ve sampled power, in any fashion, you want to keep it. In the end, though, politics is a game!
George Macvicar, Editor/Manager