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Andrew Younger's path to redemption in Nova Scotia politics

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You wish he would stop. For his sake. But he doesn't. Andrew Younger seems constitutionally incapable of not hurtling down the same, self-immolating highway to the hell of political oblivion paved over -- and then over again -- by gone-but-not-forgotten former NDP MLA Trevor Zinck.

Less than a week after Younger was ceremoniously tossed from both Liberal cabinet and caucus as "untrustworthy," he popped up briefly in a no-longer front bench seat at the legislature Thursday, seeking vindication… and vengeance.

That same day, he leaked what is probably the first of his stash of surreptitious recordings. This snippet was from a conversation Younger had last February with Kirby McVicar, Premier Stephen McNeil's chief of staff.

The two-minute-and-39-second recording purports to show that the premier's office orchestrated Younger's whole sorry leave-of-absence/personal-matter/criminal-case/affair-assault/parliamentary-privilege/chronological-misstatement/not-my-fault mess, and that Younger and his wife were merely following orders from on high when they did what they did, and didn't do.

That may be true -- it rings true -- but the tape itself proved… well, nothing. There wasn't even the whiff of smoke from a fired gun.

There was definitely not enough meat on the bones of that recording to justify Younger's opposition enablers devoting Friday's entire Question Period to appearing shocked and appalled about who knew what when, or who told whom what, when and why.

Can you say teachers' union and public sector contract settlements? Medical residents' arbitration? Privatizing Un-Service Nova Scotia? That perilous 82 per cent plummet in local film production? Nova Scotia's new Toronto-based, tourism-promoting contract? Surely there was more for the opposition to get exercised about than parsing the word "tossed."

For his part, McNeil dismissed the tape as doctored and excerpted, and declared his continuing confidence in McVicar. (Memo to McVicar: See Andrew Younger.)

Younger may indeed have more -- and more damning -- insider information to offer about the Liberals.

I for one hope he doesn't share it. His only -- and perhaps it's already too late -- chance to salvage his once-promising political career is to stifle his need to set the record straight, then to hunker down and focus on being the best constituency politician he can be. That's a more hopeful path to redemption.

Otherwise, Younger just gets older.

This article first appeared in Stephen Kimber's Halifax Metro column.

Image: Twitter/@AndrewMLA

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