"Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God." - Exodus 3:1.With the recent announcements by Alberta Conservative caucus members Ted Menzies and Diane Ablonczy, plus Senate Majority Leader Marjory Le Breton all stepping down soon or later, does this constitute the beginning of an Exodus against Prime Minister Stephen Harper, or simply many have served so long they thought it was time to go?
Let's have a look-see:
Diane Ablonczy -- She's been through it all! Part of the Western Canada Concept back in the 80's, she then was elected as a Reform MP in 1993, then years later, absorbed with the Canadian Alliance. She ran for the leadership wanting to unite the CA and PC parties, but Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay did that and the Conservative Party was born. Her resume in Parliament is impressive--twenty years as an MP and on committees and junior cabinet roles. I think this is a milestone for her and not part of any Exodus. She'll stick around for two more years. This is a pretty standard heads-up announcement to give potential replacements candidates time to organize.
Ted Menzies -- Since 2006 he's been appointed Parliamentary Secretary for La Francophonie (despite not speaking any French), and Parl. Sec. for Finance. He's announcing he's not seaking re-election. Again, another heads up move two years out from 2015.
Marjory Le Breton -- She's been around working in the PCs since the Diefenbaker years. Appointed to the Senate under Mulroney in 1993, she was originally opposed to the CA-PC merger but then saw the inevitable and came on board. Harper then made her the Government Leader in the Senate and she's sat on a zillion committees and boards. With the recent senate scandals, her being 73, now is probably a good time to step down as senate leader and let someone else do the job and transition with him or her in the next two years before she must retire.
So all in all, I don't see anything out of the ordinary. All three have been quite supportive of Harper. I think it's all typical media hype regarding a so-called "exodus". Parliament is not in session. It's summer. All three have legitimate reasons for not continuing in their roles after 2015--primarily giving time for others to step up in the next two years.
Now whether Harper has led the flock to the far side of the wilderness is another story.