Chomping at the bit

James
James McLeod
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Buoyed by the party’s gains, NDP leader Lorraine Michael vows she’ll run again in four years

Lorraine Michael — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

It was a great year for NDP leader Lorraine Michael — so good, in fact, that she’s already excited about 2012 and beyond.

During a year-end interview with The Telegram, Michael said she’s already making plans and laying the groundwork to run again in the next provincial election in 2015.

Michael is 68, and will be 72 by the next election, but she emphatically says she’s looking forward to it.

“Why would I back down when we’ve reached this point that we’re at?” she said. “This point can go higher.”

A year ago, Michael said she was expecting modest successes in 2011.

With the general election on the horizon, she said she was hoping for “a couple more” NDP members in the House of Assembly.

The turning point for her, though, was the federal election.

When the NDP swept through the country, capturing more than 100 seats and earning official Opposition status federally, Michael started to increase her hopes.

“In my own thinking, that was a turning point,” she said, but quickly added at that it was the result of a lot of groundwork.

“I think, for me personally, and for the party provincially, it was a culmination of four years of careful planning.

“We began planning for the election right after the general election of 2007 and we put a clear plan in place of what we were going to do with regards to building the party through new district associations, through membership, through fundraising.”

Michael said that aside from the party’s strategic efforts, this year’s breakthrough was simply the fact that the NDP was talking about issues that seemed to resonate with voters.

“That was part of why we did so well in the general election, that we were speaking about the issues that people were talking to us about,” she said.

Heading into 2012, the party will have more MHAs and more prominence in the House of Assembly to push their issues.

Michael said her top concerns right now are making sure there’s a more equitable sharing of wealth in the province, and making sure the health-care system works better.

“Our health-care system is not working for the people who need to use it, and it’s not working for the people who work in it,” she said. “We continue to hear story upon story upon story about that.”

Probably the hardest part of the year for Michael and the NDP was the death of federal leader Jack Layton. But at the same time, Michael downplayed the significance of Layton’s death.

“I think what’s important now is not what Jack did himself, but what we’re going to do based on what Jack built,” she said. “Jack took the values and principles of our party and pushed them forward and stood on them. And that’s what we have to continue doing.”

jmcleod@thetelegram.com Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: NDP, House of Assembly.The

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  • Duffy
    December 29, 2011 - 16:27

    Here we go again for another year of her "poor everyone" attitude where nothing is right and everything is wrong. The most negative person on radio and tv.............she must be miserable and unable to say anything nice about anyone other than the NPD folks.

  • Phoebe Tilley
    December 29, 2011 - 15:13

    In spite of everything our beloved Premier Dunderdale REFUSES to open the House of Assembly to answer any questions about anything. Great job if you can get it.

  • Joe
    December 29, 2011 - 14:58

    Ms Michael, do the best thing for the NDP and resign your leadership so Mr Kirby can form the opposition in the next election, If you soon don;t step down your party will be in the heap come Oct 2015

  • martin harty
    December 29, 2011 - 13:19

    there was a leyton factor in the last federal election.also quebec abandoned the bloc and could not support harper thus giving the ndp so many seats. the federal ndp are already losing support and its only a matter of time and it will trickle down to the provinces. i honestly think the provincial liberal will regroup over the next 4 years and form a respectable opposition, not to take anything away from the conservatives as i think they are doin a great job to date.forget the ndp as their approach will only leave us with a massive debt and an anti business climate to say the least.

  • yah
    December 29, 2011 - 12:29

    Two words: Jack Layton

  • Edmund
    December 29, 2011 - 10:21

    Ms. Michael is dreaming. The NDP provincial results had absolutely nothing to do with her or her planning. In true politicfian style, it did not take her long to take the credit and try to bask in the glory others have created. The true facts are: Only for Jack Layton (RIP) and the Quebec PQ party pulling a fast one to bolster their own success (never trust them), the NDP would still be non exist. It will be a different result in both the next Fedeeral & Provincial elections and Ms. Michael will be looking for something else to do. And yes, like Randy says, she should leave. Let some young person lead the NDP. We do not need some 72 year old representing this youngest, coolest province in the country.

  • Ann
    December 29, 2011 - 09:37

    Ms Michaels.................Please let poor Jack rest Ms Jones is saying that Muskrat Falls is a bad deal Mr Dean Macdonald is saying it a good deal...a long with the PC Mr Dwight Ball...New leader for the Liberal...really don't comment on it...His main concern is paying the the Liberal DEBT. THIS IS WHERE POVERTY STARTS...WITH OUR SO CALL LEADER. BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO SOLVE THE SIMPLES LITTLE PROBLEM

  • Joe
    December 29, 2011 - 08:47

    I think Ms Michael is seriously underplaying the effect Jack Layton had on voting in the last election both federally and provincially! Without this effect, all Ms Michael;s planning would be for naught. A fact that will become abundently clear in the next election.

  • Randy
    December 29, 2011 - 07:29

    Most NDP members I talk to are praying for Lorraine Michael to leave. They would have a lot more seats right now but she is holding them back. Another Joey Smallwood.