Liberals keep it civil, subdued in St. John’s leadership debate

James
James McLeod
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Liberal candidates met on a stage at the Capital Hotel in St. John’s Thursday night.

The VOCM debate had a markedly different tone from August, when candidates descended to shouting matches on the stage of the Arts and Culture Centre in Gander.

Eligible Liberal party voters will pick a new leader in November.

The five candidates largely stuck to their core campaign themes.

Dwight Ball spent most of his time emphasizing the past 18 months as interim Liberal leader, and how the party has gone from last to first in the polls.

Cathy Bennett repeatedly talked about the need for “change” from the current Tory government.

Paul Antle also spent the majority of the debate talking mostly about Premier Kathy Dunderdale, and about the failures of the current government as opposed to the other Liberal candidates.

Jim Bennett was by far the most specific candidate, going into extreme detail in response to virtually every question from the moderators.

Danny Dumaresque focused on the core planks in his campaign: the fishery, tearing up the current plan to develop Muskrat Falls and building a tunnel to Labrador.

The debate was a wide-ranging exchange, covering municipal issues, fiscal policy, ferries, the fishery, fracking and access to information.

Geographic location: Gander

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  • Pauline
    September 16, 2013 - 14:09

    I was at both of the debates, As far as i'm concerning, its not a honest contest for leadership, all because of july 5 /2013. Whats the liberal did to Mr Charles Murphy

  • Tim Jamison
    September 13, 2013 - 09:51

    I'm not a liberal, not by any means, but I think Dwight deserves this win. He worked for it. He's also the least troubling of the bunch. "Dump Muskrat in favor of a tunnel to Labrador". That's the most insane thing I've ever heard. It's almost as crazy as "kill all the cod to save the crab". The tunnel would collapse in on itself by natural forces centuries before it ever paid for itself, whereas Muskrat is only bad in the minds of the severely partisan. It's going to be a money maker, just like EVERY OTHER MAJOR HYDRO PROJECT IN NORTH AMERICA

  • Supersize This
    September 13, 2013 - 08:55

    Cathy: I wouldn't vote for you to draw stickmen on sidewalks. You proved to all of NL tonight why. I now also know why some of your MCdonalds locations are poorly run - You have zero ability to lead.

  • Kelly
    September 13, 2013 - 08:54

    Is Jim Bennett the same Jim Bennett that was Liberal leader but got knifed in the back by his fellow elected Liberals 5 or 6 years ago?

    • Colin
      September 13, 2013 - 15:25

      Yes he is. The current interim leader Eddy Joyce was there when this happened.

  • Filly
    September 13, 2013 - 07:52

    Bennett has zero credibility.

  • bob
    September 13, 2013 - 06:09

    Cathy Bennett should withdraw from this. \she is out of her league. She actually told Antle that 'govt isn't business, Paul'.. so if business experience does not count and she had absolutely zero politicalor liberal experience then she brings nothing to the table. Glad she made that point easy for everyone to see.

  • bob
    September 13, 2013 - 06:08

    Cathy Bennett should withdraw from this. \she is out of her league. She actually told Antle that 'govt isn't business, Paul'.. so if business experience does not count and she had absolutely zero politicalor liberal experience then she brings nothing to the table. Glad she made that point easy for everyone to see.