This shouldn't come as a surprising development for anyone, of course - it was painfully obvious watching the man over the past year that he didn't want the job of Opposition Leader. And who could blame him? Personally, I wouldn't want to meet the man who was eager to play the part of Judas in what is very much Danny Williams' passion play. That, and his decision to step down should have been obvious to anyone who heard his concession speech, during which his emotional display ranged somewhere between "winning the lottery" and "holding your child for the first time."
Speaking of passion plays, the Premier, in his infinite mercy and compassion, doled out praise for Reid in his performance as the Moriarty to his Holmes; apparently underneath the vendetta politics and accusations of being a totally incompetent, ineffective and useless Opposition Leader who would destroy the province if elected Premier, there were actually no hard feelings on Danny's side of things and Reid really wasn't as bad as previously depicted. If I hadn't decided at twelve that the only appropriate emotional response to my first breakup was to become cold, detached and dead inside, this display of
Reid's accomplishments (or lack thereof, depending on your political orientation) as Opposition Leader aside, his decision to step down is a pretty intelligent one. Personally, as alluded to, it not only allows him to be done with the thankless job of criticizing the most popular Premier since Joey, but also to finally enjoy the pension that is the raison d'etre for most of the PC backbenchers elected a month ago.
That said, the downside to Gerry Reid throwing in the towel is that this allows the rest of the old guard to step into the ring again for another shot at getting the blood money entitled to Judas. Not surprisingly, John Efford is still jumping at the opportunity for
And therein lies the true brilliance of Gerry Reid's curtain call - say what you will about him, but he's not stupid. The "New Liberalism" theme was thrown around alot on the campaign trail, but in the end it was little more than a cheap air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror of a campaign bus reeking something fierce; Reid is fully aware of this, and is equally aware of the fact that no one in this province will want to ride the Liberal bus come next election if they try to cover that stench with a few spurts of Febreeze.
No, the only way the Liberals will get rid of that smell is to take out the trash once and for all.