Blair Lekstrom's decision to resign from cabinet and the provincial Liberal caucus was a matter of practical rather than principled politics. With the anti-harmonized sales tax petition receiving more signatures in Mr. Lekstrom's riding than he received votes in the last election, resigning was the only way he could keep his seat in 2013 - at least, that's what some have suggested. But, to my mind, such suggestions are wrongheaded. Here's why.
Let's assume Mr. Lekstrom had continued to serve as the province's energy, mines and petroleum resources minister. Let's also assume he ran and lost his seat in the next election. What would have happened then? Well, just a few weeks ago a major oil and gas company hired his top aide as a senior government relations advisor. So it's reasonable to assume Mr. Lekstrom's post-political prospects would be even better, earning him more pay and less headaches than he now has as an independent MLA.
After all, as an independent he'll be marginalized more than lionized for listening to his constituents and his own conscience over the dictates of the premier's office - a violation of the fundamental precept of our Canadian parliamentary system where solidarity is more important than democracy.
And that's why I believe Mr. Lekstrom's decision to resign can only be seen as a matter of principled rather than practical politics.