Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day is Done

Stock follows Jim Prentice and Jay Hill out the door:

Day won't seek re-election

When the next federal election is called, Okanagan Coquihalla MP Stockwell Day will not be listed on the ballot.

On March 11, Day announced he will be stepping down from his role in federal politics at the end of this term.

“Now, after 14 years in provincial government and almost 11 years at the federal level it is time to move on. I hereby announce that I will not be seeking re-election at the end of this mandate,” he said in a news release. “Though there would be exciting and satisfying days ahead in public office, after prayerful consideration, Valorie and I feel at peace with our decision.”

In 2000, Day became a laughingstock (excuse the pun). There was the famous wetsuit press conference. He demonstrated some brain drain of his own when he got the direction Niagara Falls flows wrong. He was snickered at when he brought a "no two tier Health Care" sign to the debates. Warren Kinsella burned him, with a little help from Barney the Dinosaur. Rick Mercer burned him on his "Doris Day" petition, with a little help from 1.2 million Canadians. Day lost the election and, soon afterwards, his leadership.

But here's the thing. After being disgraced, Day stuck it out in politics. Over the past five years, he has become one of the quiet stalwarts of the Harper government. He wasn't an attack dog like John Baird. He wasn't at the centre of controversy like Tony Clement. He wasn't touted as a leadership heir like Jim Prentice.

Day handled major portfolios - Public Safety, International Trade, and Treasury Board. He avoided controversy, and he avoided scandal. He got the job done.

Stock leaves not as a punchline, but as one of the government's strongest ministers. No one would have predicted it a decade ago, but Day will be missed more by the Conservatives than by the political satirists.



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