Tuesday, November 22, 2005

An Effordless Election

Well, it's not like people didn't see this coming:

John Efford, who represents Newfoundland and Labrador in Prime Minister Paul Martin's cabinet, announced Tuesday that he will not run in the next federal election.

Efford, 61, had been away from Ottawa for months while he tried to control his Type 1 diabetes. There was heavy speculation late last week that he was about to clarify his political future.

The two-term MP for Avalon finally called a news conference in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, to confirm he was leaving federal politics.

To understand what Mr. Efford is facing, have a look at this page describing Type 1 diabetes. Note that it's not just the disease itself, but the cardiovascular effects that he has to deal with. There's also the fact that a cabinet ministry is a high-stress job, and stress does have a bad effect on diabetes management. Which means there was no way Mr. Efford could have accepted the additional stress of an election campaign.

It's unfortunate that Mr. Efford has to leave politics under these circumstances--I haven't seen anything decrying his efforts either as an MP or as a minister. (I've already indicated I'm not going to blame him for continuing to draw his ministerial pay.) All that remains, then, is to wish him well.