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Possible reasons: (i) taken at face value, he's tired; which seems eminently (sp?) reasonable to me, (ii) the PM has asked any government MPs and particularly cabinet ministers who are not running again to say so now, so they can nominate replacements in time for a snap election call, (iii) some people are speculating that he could get the vacant New Brunswick Senate appointment, but if he really is tired of travelling, I would tend to doubt that.
Note that Lethbridge M.P. Rick Casson announced his retirement last week, as well. Inky Mark announced his retirement last summer. There's another Bloc M.P. who's stepping down as well.
It also makes an opening for a Cabinet shuffle.
At any rate, considering that Thompson is as about as straight up as they get, and that he is very loyal to Harper, I don't think there is any chance this as a sign of dissatisfaction.
He told the CBC he is 62 years old and running out of steam. Who knows? Maybe as "straight up" he has a conscience? He wants to "do my best for veterans."
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Although there are always the Bill Clinton exceptions.
This is the guy who hired Bev Desjarlais after her overdue defeat at the polls. Anyone know if she's still working for him, or for the Cons in general?
She sure has been keeping her head down. Not a single Google entry since she was trounced.
I think I saw Desjarlais working behind the scenes for the Conservatives in Ottawa awhile back. Not sure if that's what she's still doing.
If my memory serves me correctly, Thompson also had treatment for cancer a few years ago. He says he isn't interested in the Senate. The local rumour mill is suggesting MLA Margaret Ann Blaney who ran against Lord for the NB PC leadership.
That was my guess. In other words, all but sewn up.
Given the circumstances, an announcement in plenty of time even if there is an election in March.
I think the timing may be very simple-- with the house prorogued there is an opening to make an exit when there is no chance of an election for a time-- since there is no House. I would not read any more in to this.
It's a pretty safe Conservative seat, so I don't think they have to worry too much.
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