Prize inside!

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Winning the premiership used to be the pinnacle, the top prize in the provincial government. Right now, it’s started looking more like a bauble, the sort of prize you find in a crackerjack box.

Whether you like or dislike them, think of the time and effort it took Joey Smallwood or Frank Moores to grab the brass ring. Brian Peckford? A remarkable story of grit, hard work and the fortuitousness of good timing. Clyde Wells? A premier who had to fight his own love of personal privacy to become a political leader first in opposition, and then in the premier’s office.

Even Danny Williams had to fight in the trenches of the opposition, with chronic underfunding and the grimmest office space the governing Liberals could find to stuff him into.

Sure, many of those were unopposed in leadership conventions — but most of the time, this province’s premiers paid their dues in opposition. There have been others in the office who fought their biggest battles just to find the leadership of their own parties: Roger Grimes and Tom Rideout, for example. Brian Tobin and Beaton Tulk? Well, Tulk was a stopgap during the Liberal leadership process, and Brian Tobin earned his chops winning in politics before coming home to a simple fight.

But what about now?

Premiers 10, 11 and almost 12 have been essentially the only ones willing to take the job. There hasn’t been any sort of challenge for the leadership for Kathy Dunderdale (who won a provincial election, but on the coattails of Danny Williams’ personal popularity and in the midst of near-total disarray in the province’s opposition parties), Tom Marshall or Frank Coleman.

And now, more than anything else, the talk is more about those running away from the leadership of the party than it is about those wanting to go out and get it.

Face it, there’s been more talk about those saying a resounding “no” to the job than there is about those who might want it.

And maybe “crackerjack prize” is the wrong term: maybe “party favour” would be a better one.

That seems to be what you really need to get the premiership right now; not the support of the people of this province. Not even the support of the hard-core card-carrying members of the Progressive Conservative party. No, it seems to be something bestowed by those who pull the strings from out of sight in the Tory establishment.

It’s all there, if you have the right friends, have the right money, and have the small amount of will to actually see the process through.

It used to be a crowning achievement. Now, it looks more like just another box to be ticked off, like buying that sailboat that’s bigger than your business competitor’s or getting that critical piece of corporate recognition.

It was an office that used to mean something.

It’s a premiership devalued.

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Recent comments

  • Mickey Moose
    June 19, 2014 - 08:15

    When a government treats the people like little pee-ons, this is what happens. In order for the PC party to gain the respect back that they had, they must have some of the so called key people leave the party. It simply has to be done. When they refer to people like King, Daley, Collins, O'Brien as key people who could do the job, then we know how full of themselves they are. The named ministers above need to leave the party all together in order for it to re-build, the problem is that the PC party is resisting that as this would no doubt be embarrassing to them. People can forget bungles like "the secret bill" that Collins and King praise so much, but it is the way in which it was shoved down our throats. Make us gag and we will come out swinging. The Justice department under King came to pieces and even if some of the issues were old issues, he did nothing to fix the very system that our country holds dear as it is where all of us, yes even the common person can expect to be treated fairly. But King ruined that for us and many of us who had issues and ran to the Justice department for help were bullied and basically told to go away. Of the number of failed files that King has been involved in, moving us back to where we were before we signed the constitution was biggest screw up of all. He does not understand what Justice is. There are many more examples, but all I am trying to say is that when people talk about politics now they laugh at some of the ministers and view them as a joke, as incompetent, people who are in over their heads, and yet the PC party try to tell us the opposite and say they are the best people for the job. Had Marshall taken steps when he shuffled cabinet to remove King from cabinet all together, and removed McGrath from cabinet since the pavement issue with Coleman, people on the street would have seen a party that had taken responsibility for mistakes and were back in control of things. If McGrath cost a company millions instead of the tax payers, he would have been given an hour to clean out his desk, do his pee and leave. King should have been there holding the door for him when they leave. But no, the wrongs are now being supported by the Premier and we are left to suffer. Our government that we elect should be there to help and if nothing else, not punish us for their errors. It's simple, they are not capable of doing the job and this is why they are not jumping in to the ring to fight for the belt. Just imagine a premier taking responsibility and doing what is right for the province, this would be something that we could all embrace and it would create a party that we could vote for.

  • George
    June 19, 2014 - 05:37

    When you got party, who are afraid to let " Democracy " take place, then the people will lose.

  • Laughable
    June 19, 2014 - 05:15

    There people in there, who should be out, there people out there, who should be in there.