I do not personally know lawyer and potential political leader Ches Crosbie. Like most people I know ‘about’ him. He was the first lawyer in the province to really get aggressive with advertising himself to the public. He put a picture of himself in his newspaper ad and we thought it was a scandal then. Now I watch legal ads on TV, in the movie theatres, everywhere. It turns out Ches was simply ahead of his time. Fast forward to today and he is the lawyer marching forward on class actions; the chap writing chap books for the public about the types of law he practises; and of course he is the leading ambulance chaser; I mean personal injury lawyer; around. Some style, some substance and a lot of drive.
But does that make him premier material? Dwight Ball is also a professional and businessman and his premiership for all of its policy driven nature has been a bit of a disaster throughout; with his open wide and swallow the bitter medicine mentality expected from a pharmacist. An argument could be made that Crosbie would be more of the same. He is older now and possibly bored and wants a new challenge, but why the top job? Why does he not instead enter a regional race as an MHA? In any event should we give it to him? After all we have at least one world known example of a fellow who entered politics for the first time ever and who now sits as the American president. Be careful what you wish for.
Another parallel here to recent American events can be found between them and our budding provincial PC leadership race. Think of Hillary Clinton as Steve Kent. Hillary was seasoned in politics while Trump was a novice. People argued for new blood then, even if was in the form of a 70 year old man. I don’t know how old Ches is but he’s a lot older then Kent. However Crosbie never held political office, while Kent has literally been an important politician since his late teens. He has had every job but the top one in his career, however as with anyone who has been in the game for so long, you have to wonder what passion drives Kent besides getting elected?
And that to me is what it comes down to; who has the fire in them and who doesn’t; who has a vision that is about Newfoundland and Labrador and who just wants the corner office in the Confederation Building? I don’t know if Crosbie is passionate about this potential role he could play, or not. But he has been passionate in the past over other things. Maybe he would. Right now government here is a snore fest.
Even if Crosbie exudes what President George H W Bush once called “that vision thing” that may not be what we want of course? Again look at America and Trump. But even if he injected a little life back into the game that would be a start.