I really was going to give the Newfoundland election a pass on writing for a day or two. I do have a couple of other things that need to be brought up on the blog. But today's story out of the province of former Auditor General John Noseworthy's decision to run against the NDP leader in the districting of Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi is too good to pass up.
It's not without prescident that an auditor general would pursue political office. Hell, Elizabeth Marshall did it back in 2003. But this one feels a bit weirder and the circumstances are a little different.
I stand to be corrected, but Marshall had completed her term as AG and had been out of office for a few years. Nobody expects an AG to retire and live as a hermit once they complete their term. They're often very smart, very driven people, so a life of retired leisure isn't going to cut it. I get that.
But Noseworthy quit his term as AG a year before it was up, and a few months before an election. So clearly politics had been on his mind for quite some time, even when he was doing his job of checking into the books. Although there's only one non-Conservative seat in the St. John's area - the one he's running in - several of the MHAs declared their intention not to run again. So he could have picked one of those seats.
I really do remain conflicted over it. He's clearly a smart man (probably smarter than 95% of the current Conservative caucus) with an idea of what he would like to bring to government. And someone who wants to get in there and bring better fiscal management to the place and actually has the skills to be able to do this is worth taking a serious look at and a worthy contender for your vote.
On the other hand, quitting his AG job earlier to run for the governing party he was charged with monitoring is just begging for screams of conflict of interest accusations to taint his campaign. Running against the leader of the NDP...well, there's nothing wrong with it. It just feels....tacky.
There's also the matter that if he got elected, there's no guarantees he'll be able to do anything. Least we forget when Marhsall got elected, the first time she challenged Premier Williams on something, she found herself relegated to the backbenches watching people not as clever as she was getting appointed ahead of her because they knew which ass to kiss.
Somehow, I get the feeling Noseworthy isn't much of an asskisser. Also, how welcome is he going to be in a caucus when he has made many of their lives difficult in the past?
So we'll see. One more weird and wacky development in this election.
Next blog post - something other than Newfoundland and Labrador politics, I promise.
1. I wish I was in New Orleans - Tom Waits
2. Into the white - Pixies
3. A thousand suns - Hey Rosetta!*
4. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (live) - Paul McCartney and U2
5. World of wonders (live) - Bruce Cockburn