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Turn the Fage

When I heard on the radio last night that Ernie Fage was involved in a hit-and-run last November, I'll admit the first thing that popped into my mind was that he might have had a few before hand. Otherwise, why run, right? At that time, I quickly posted what I had heard and read, but shortly thereafter more complete reports came out that witnesses smelled alcohol on him and captured the images of him and his car on camera-phone.

The premier said Fage told him of a "minor fender-bender" sometime before Christmas, but looked no further into the issue. For Michel Samson, the interim Liberal leader, this is not good enough; he maintains that the premier should have looked into the incident instead of dismissing it. When I first heard this, my immediate reaction was that Samson is merely trying to make a political issue out of something that has already been handled - Fage came forward, admittedly late, and MacDonald accepted his resignation.

However, David Rhodenizer makes an interesting point in this morning's Daily News:
why MacDonald accepted Fage's story of a "minor accident," knowing it happened following MLAs' traditional session-closing piss-up at the Old Triangle.

I don't believe that a premier, or any leader for that matter, is responsible for the personal behaviour of members of his party, provided everything stays legal and it doesn't affect their actual job. That was why I initially thought that MacDonald did what he had to do - a member of his Cabinet said he had a fender-bender, big deal.

Conversation 1:

"Hey Rodney, I, uh, got into a bit of a bump with the car a couple of weeks ago."

"Anyone hurt?"

"Nope."

"Good. Much damage?"

"Nah, just a dent in the bumper and fender."

"Cool. Cream in your coffee?"

Conversation 2:

"Rodney, I, uh, had a few pops one night a couple of weeks ago and got into a bang-up in an intersection."

"Whoa, any damage? Were the cops involved?"

"Not much. I reported it a few days later, it all seems cool."

"Phew, this would look really bad if anyone found out."

As of right now, there is no indication in anything that MacDonald or Fage has said to this point that indicates which conversation occured. However, the only way we're actually going to find out is if we don't take these guys' word for it. Michel Samson is doing the right thing; where is Daryl Dexter?

For me, the next question is when does MacDonald kick Fage's sorry ass out of caucus - before or after the trial?

My guess for when Rodney'll kick Ernie out of caucus is - never. With a minority government, Rodney needs every warm body he can get. As for the NDP, I don't know about Darrell Dexter, but the NDP House Leader, Kevin Deveaux has commented on it.

Kevvy:

This may be an issue that Darrell Dexter will want to be very careful about...

Devin: Why, because of the history with Robert Chisholm? On the contrary, I think the smart thing for Dexter to do would be to acknowledge it and go after the Tories with a 'more in sorrow than in anger' vein. OTOH, since the booze-up was for the end of session, was it an all-party affair? If it was, both Dexter and Samson should look into which of their respective MLA were at the affair and how they got home, it wouldn't do to have an embarrassing story break in the media.

Dan,
I don't believe it was an all-party thing. What happened with Chisholm, by the way. He disappeared sometime while I was living out of the province.

Dan,

Belay that, I just found an article on Chisholm's woes. Dummy.

Kevvy and Dan:

I am not talking about Chisholm.

So then you are talking about what? I don't understand the reference.

I'm with Flash here, what exactly was the point of your statement?

It's another strike against this gov't & another reason for me to be disillusioned w/ this gov't. My thoughts can be summed up here

http://socialistgulag.blogspot.com/2007/01/another-year-another-headache-for.html

Fage seems to have taken a page from the Crusher Boudreau/Billy Joe MacLean playbook: "continue to screw up as often and as embarassingly as possible until you can (in B.J.'s case) set up your own private fiefdom in some small town." His main problem is that it seems to be the Cape Bretoners who will shake their heads and say, "Oh well, boys will be boys" as the latest fiasco hits the news. Maybe all Rodney wanted all along was to be King of Mabou?

Kev: According to this article the piss-up in question was an all-party affair.

Flash: Personally, I think Rodney's part of a cunning ruse by the Cape Bretoners pushing for nation status - at this stage, if it got rid of Rodney, I think a goodly portion of Nova Scotia would be happy to let CB go its own way.

Devin: Why so coy? Is there a closet drunken hit-n-runner in the NDP caucus of whom we are unaware? Please do spill, if there is anything worth spilling.

If you are simply suggesting that the NDP should stick to the business at hand during this extra legislative session (finance reform?), I kinda agree. They probably should spend more time on actual provincial business than charbroiling Mr. Fage. I'd limit the Fage-fest to a half-day session, at most.

Here we go, Bri - apparently Dexter's got a drinking and driving conviction from when he was 19. If that was an attempt on Devin's part to appear coy and insider-like, it's pretty pathetic since he told the party about it in 1998 and admitted it in public back in 2002.

You mean the adult Dexter took responsibility for his serious lapse of judgement as a teen? No wonder Devin hasn't responded.

Very interesting fellas. The NDP double standard rears its ugly head...again.

Very interesting indeed. I'm surprised that a lawyer can't discern between the two incidents. Maybe I shouldn't be?

Briguy:

I am not comparing Fage and Dexter... You are correct in saying that the incidents are different, maybe not very different, but different. I am no Ernie Fage apologist. I called for his head over Potato-gate and do the same now.

Mr. Dexter has apparently fessed up to his DUI, which is commendable (and more than can be said for his predecessor). Although I must say that the fact that it took so long for you guys to figure it out is an indication of the level of disclosure Mr. Dexter has made concernining his crime.

The double standard I am referring to is the one that describes one person's transgressions as a long forgotten "lapse of judgement" and another's as the crime of the century (see the NDP's recent manufactured outrage over the Lioberal trust fund)

All my original comment was intended to say is that Mr. Dexter needs to tread lightly on the issue of drunk driving, lest the media jump all over him about his past. You'll note that Kevin Deveaux has done most of the talking on this one -- demonstrating that the NDP understands the delicacy of the situation.

Has it occurred to you that the reason that Darrell Dexter's letting Kevin Deveaux handle this is because Deveaux's the Justice critic and this is properly his perview?

'So long for you guys to figure that out'? Whatever are you talking about - that took me 10 minutes. If you're under the impression that myself and the rest of the 'Kloggers have nothing better to do with our lives but leap into research mode every time you make some cryptic comment, then I heartedly apologize for my previous comment of 'pathetic' - I must amend it to add self-centred, egotistical, and far too full of himself

Or, if you were under the impression that we were going to fall all over ourselves going 'OMG, Devin, you're so smart!', just because you think you're the only person on the planet that can use Google and Wikipedia - then I'm doubly sorry, this is a site for debate, if you're looking for Ego Masturbation, might I suggest this site?

Polite, Dan, be polite...

To be honest, I did not know about Dexter's previous DUI, but when I looked it up I discovered that he was above-board with it with the press and it was not an issue because of it. The Fage affair is far different, so I'm not sure where Devin finds it necessary to talk of an "NDP double standard".

Point taken, Kev. I do apologize for going over the top. I find it odd though, that neither the Liberals or the Tories choose to make this an issue during the last election - evidently they also felt this was a simple 'lapse in judgement' - personally, the fact that someone was an idiot at 19 is not exactly a big surprise - most of the troops I work with are that age, and it's a source of continued amazement to me that some of them survive to see 20...

Dan:

I have not called any one here any names or insulted them personally. Nor have I said anything that is untrue. I'd appreciate it if you could at least control yourself long enough to do the same. You come off like a fool and your defensiveness betrays your sensitivity to the existence of an NDP double standard.

Also, your claim that you were able to find out about Dexter's DUI in ten minutes by doing a simple Google search is a lie.

Kevvy:

I did not intend to say that the Dexter and Fage incidents are the same, or even comparable. I thought that I made that clear in my last comment.

I don't think it's the crime of the century. Fage should have his licensed suspended, take the mandatory rehab course, and pay the $366 fine if he gets charged and convicted of a DUI. He's already admitted to the hit-and-run, so whatever penalty applies there should get levied (license suspension? fine? slap upside the head?).

I do think the mishandling of it is one of the stupidest political mistakes of the century. Except possibly the "You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie!" statement by Bush in the midst of the New Orleans disaster. Fage-gate runs a close second.

Devin: actually finding this took me less than 1 minute - so we'll just call that untruth no 1 you've said

Also, for someone who's 'laying low' - Darrell Dexter does seem to be rather rather prominent - untruth no 2

Dan:

That article was written AFTER I made my initial comment suggesting that this might be a subject that "Dexter will want to be very careful about". I also note that your initial response to my comment was to write:

Devin: Why, because of the history with Robert Chisholm? On the contrary, I think the smart thing for Dexter to do would be to acknowledge it and go after the Tories with a 'more in sorrow than in anger' vein. OTOH, since the booze-up was for the end of session, was it an all-party affair? If it was, both Dexter and Samson should look into which of their respective MLA were at the affair and how they got home, it wouldn't do to have an embarrassing story break in the media.

Then, a day later, you wrote:

I'm with Flash here, what exactly was the point of your statement?

Finally, four days after my initial comment, you wrote:

Here we go, Bri - apparently Dexter's got a drinking and driving conviction from when he was 19. If that was an attempt on Devin's part to appear coy and insider-like, it's pretty pathetic since he told the party about it in 1998 and admitted it in public back in 2002.

Coincidentally, the day you finally figured it out was the same day the article you have linked to was posted. Before then, had you Googled <"Darrell Dexter" conviction> you would have come up empty except for a brief vague reference to it in an archived Coast article. I know because I checked.

So, as Judge Judy would say, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining. You had no clue about Dexter's DUI until it was written up in the Chronicle Herald on January 9.

It is also interesting to note from the article that it took an anonymous emailer to expose Dexter's conviction. Telling the party something is very different from disclosing it publicly. That would seem to contradict your statement that he admitted it in public back in 2002. Before you go around calling other people liars, you should make sure you aren't one yourself.

This is getting out of hand, gentlemen. I suggest you retreat to neutral corners or exchange e-mail independently. This is descending into personal attacks, which are unnecessary and unwanted, at least from my perspective. There's nowhere to go except
1. apology or
2. name-calling,
and I suspect my guess on which one is more likely would be correct.
Funny, nobody who knew me years ago would consider me in any way a 'voice of reason'. I apologize if I stepped on any toes here, but I'm getting tired of the tone that's being generated on this topic.

Devin, Dexter told the party about the conviction before initially running for leadership in 1999. The press had access to the information at that time. It says so in the same article. The "anonymous e-mailer" came to the story a bit late (as did the papers, I assume).

Point taken, Flash - I apologize for my part in the way this has degenerated and I'm dropping the subject.

Me too. Sorry guys. But for the record, I never called any names or made any personal comments. Let's move on.

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