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The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial - Bob Wake­ham has spent more than 40 years as a jour­nal­ist in New­found­land and Labrador. He can be reached by email at bwake­[email protected]

And if Par­ti­san Paul is not your cup of tea in the Chase the Mem­ber com­pe­ti­tion, you might want to con­sider two other pos­si­ble par­tic­i­pants, two mem­bers with­out a cau­cus, with­out a po­lit­i­cal fam­ily, the out­casts Dale Kirby and Ed­die Joyce.

Granted, nei­ther is in a high­est-bid­der cat­e­gory, hav­ing fallen heav­ily from grace, the Lib­eral cabi­net (some peo­ple’s idea of grace, I guess), af­ter say­ing and do­ing some cere­brally chal­lenged (see stupid) things, mak­ing amaz­ingly thought­less

moves while play­ing a po­lit­i­cal type of Growl (120s for the non-Newf read­ers).

And, yes, Kirby, in par­tic­u­lar, was al­ready car­ry­ing a cer­tain amount of bag­gage, hav­ing led the re­volt that de­stroyed the NDP’s chances of form­ing the gov­ern­ment a few years back.

But, hey, let by­gones be by­gones — a strict rule in Chase the Mem­ber.

As for Joyce, he was the dar­ling of the Grits for quite a while af­ter sur­ren­der­ing his seat for Clyde Wells just af­ter the ‘89 elec­tion brought the Lib­er­als to power but left the premier a tem­po­rary loser on the west coast.

But Joyce’s even­tual re­ward for his po­lit­i­cal mar­tyr­dom, a seat in the cabi­net, is now a thing of the past, and he, too, is a prize in Chase the Mem­ber.

What a lineup, ladies and gen­tle­men: Paul Lane, Dale Kirby and Ed­die Joyce.

No one is quite sure — I would ven­ture to say — what Lane brings to the win­ning ta­ble, ex­cept, as I’ve im­plied, a leg­isla­tive vote, a seal flip­per thump on his desk when­ever some­one from his party so much as burps.

But Kirby and Joyce could pro­vide some deco­rum to mat­ters both in­side and out­side which­ever cau­cus they might hap­pen to join.

And, hell, even if they are glued for­ever to those in­de­pen­dent seats, they can still de­liver a run­ning com­men­tary of the dos and don’ts of in­sider pol­i­tick­ing; (for ex­am­ple, no tok­ing with per­ceived en­e­mies, no lob­by­ing for jobs for friends).

Sure, their apolo­gies in the House of As­sem­bly re­cently for their be­hav­iour con­tained about as much sin­cer­ity as you’d find in an elec­tion-time press re­lease.

But that’s all over and done with.

And, now, along with Lane, they are — the key word here — AVAIL­ABLE.

Let the game be­gin.

Chase the Mem­ber.

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