Five candidates seek support of more than 37,000 party members
It’ll all be over Sunday by suppertime. Some time during the afternoon, the provincial Liberal party will announce the new leader, and then party members say it’s full steam ahead to the 2015 election.
© File photo
Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador
Party faithful will gather for routine convention proceedings Sunday morning — a policy session, reports from officeholders, and so on — but behind the scenes, the five leadership candidates will likely still be feverishly working the phones for last-minute votes.
Party members and supporters can vote right up until noon on Sunday. Then, after all of the ballots are counted and processed, the results will be announced some time after 2 p.m.
As of press time, it’s not clear how the results will be announced; it seems the party is still figuring that out.
Paul Antle, Dwight Ball, Cathy Bennett, Jim Bennett and Danny Dumaresque have been campaigning since the beginning of July for the permanent job as leader of the party.
But Liberal party president Judy Morrow said this is just the beginning. With a database of roughly 37,000 supporters across the province, they plan on turning those into votes in the election.
“It’s a tremendous database. It’s probably our biggest asset,” Morrow said. “These are the people who want to be involved and want to be either members or supporters of the provincial party.”
When it comes to policy, party members will be debating everything from post-secondary tuition policy to fisheries issues.
A resolution is also on the agenda to lower the voting age to 16 years old.
MHA Andrew Parsons said he sees the weekend convention as a sort of midpoint for the party.
“It is a pivotal moment,” he said. “You only have to go back two years — I mean, we were at a spot where a lot of people wrote us off.”
But at the same time, he said, nothing is finished yet.
“I will consider it a culmination, if and when we form a government in 2015,” he said.
The Telegram will be providing ongoing coverage of the Liberal leadership convention all weekend at www.thetelegram.com with ongoing updates and live coverage of the Sunday afternoon results.