In countries with a parliamentary system, prominent members of the opposition will take up the roles of cabinet ministers and issue plans and statements that compete with those of the government. This presents voters with a clear idea of what the opposition wants, and what it would do if in power. These opposition members are called "shadow ministers."
Right now, Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy is trying to act as the shadow governor, issing two statements in the last 24 hours about the actions (or lack thereof) of the governor, and giving us a clear idea what, exactly, would be different if Malloy were in charge instead of Rell.
On Contracting Reform
"I applaud the State Senate for once again passing much-needed comprehensive state contracting reform and am confident the House will follow suit. I strongly urge Governor Rell to drop her continuing opposition to this bill and sign it into law.
"It seems that the Governor's real problem is with the privatization standards themselves, which do place some common-sense restrictions and guidelines on the Governor's ability to privatize state services. There were virtually no standards during the Rowland Administration, and we all know how that turned out." (Press release: "Malloy Calls on Rell to Sign Contracting Reform Bill." Dan Malloy for Governor. 27 October, 2005)
Malloy would be signing the bill, because he believes that the privatization of state services ought to be better regulated. Rell sees this bill as legislative encroachment on the executive branch's power.
On CDA Disclosing Company Information
Dan Malloy, Stamford Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor, today called on Governor Rell to order the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA) to release the names of companies that have defaulted on state loans or have had their loans written off as uncollectible by CDA employees and its Board of Directors.
"Governor Rell should order the immediate release of this information. ... The Governor has said that disclosure might need to be weighed against the interests of the businesses and their employees, but that does not serve the interests of the state's economic development policies, or that of the taxpayers who unwittingly shell out millions of dollars to these private corporations. ... I'm not suggesting CDA release proprietary information, but, at the very least, we should be entitled to know the names of those companies who can't meet their financial obligations to the State." (Press Release: "Malloy says Rell Should Order Connecticut Development Authority to Release Info on Companies that Fail to Repay Their State Loans." Dan Malloy for Governor. 28 October, 2005.
If Malloy were in the governor's chair, he would order the release of some information. Rell and her party seem to be in favor of keeping the information under wraps for economic reasons.
While these releases aren't surprising in any way, they do start to highlight actual differences between the candidates, and what we could expect from a Malloy administration, should one ever come to pass.
Issuing a statement for every action the governor takes (or doesn't take) may seem unnecessary, but the eventual goal for the Malloy campaign is to clearly define what a Governor Malloy would be like, as well as showing why the current administration is lacking.
Expect both the DeStefano and Malloy campaigns to be very active at shadow governing next year during the legislative session.