So, NDP, what’s the problem?

Trevor Taylor
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Well, well, well. Is there anything left to say about the NDP meltdown?

Surely they can’t be that stunned, can they? I mean, really, to ask for a leadership review, and then profess that they really didn’t mean that they wanted their leader to be replaced?

How else could you interpret a request for a leadership review? How else could you read a letter that says you are not confident that your leader can attract candidates for the next general election?

No, there is no way to interpret the actions of the NDP caucus other than what it obviously was — a move to get rid of Lorraine Michael.

And there is no way to interpret the actions of George Murphy, Gerry Rogers, Dale Kirby and Christopher Mitchelmore when the crap hit the fan, other than as a bunch of juveniles who couldn’t carry through on the power of their conviction.

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What was the problem? The NDP have been referencing the polling numbers, telling us all that Michael is the most favoured party leader in the country. They say it is not just a snapshot in time, but rather a move by the electorate away from the Tories, representing a shift that could see them form the government with Ms. Michael as the premier.

Again, you can only come to one conclusion after the NDP caucus actions of the past week: they don’t believe the polls reflect the electorate’s true feelings about who they want to lead the province. They obviously see, as I have said before, Ms. Michael as a pretty good deckhand, but not the next skipper.

So, where do they go from here?

They appear to have agreed to a leadership review in 2014. Assuming Ms. Michael has the confidence of the party, then that is where it ends, I guess.

But with at least 50 per cent of her caucus still wanting her gone, what happens should she not survive the leadership review? It appears they will then have a leadership convention some time later.

It is hard to comprehend how this will play out well for the NDP. It is obvious that Ms. Michael is done as a contender for the premiership. And if the NDP wants to be anything other than the third party, they might as well get on with it. There can be no doubt they see their success in the last election as Jack Leyton coattails.

While Lorraine Michael has public support as the leader of the third party, they see no rising above that with her at the helm.

How can a leader — and, for that matter, a party — survive such a public display of non-confidence by those that are closest? It is hard to believe that after needing a mediator to hold a caucus meeting they can still sit together.

God help us if they ever find themselves in a place where they have to make big decisions. You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that Lorraine Michael is only one-fifth of the problem with the NDP caucus. To the other four-fifths, as an old guy up home used to say, “’tis too late now, mudder, ’tis said.”


Trevor Taylor is a former cabinet minister under the Danny Williams administration. Email:

Organizations: NDP

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Recent comments

  • Ben
    October 30, 2013 - 17:54

    Good wrap up on the situation Trevor. Hard to believe that people in a party that looked to be on the upswing would be backstabbing their leader like that. This can only speak for the 4 caucus members that they didn't have the guts to speak to Michael herself, had to resort to an email(how juvenile). I guess they all saw they were doing pretty good in the polls and thought 'hey if we had a young, up and comer how good would we be doing?' Well I think we see how naive all this bunch are...thank god we found out before they had any real power. Makes one see that we haven't got it too bad.

  • elsh
    October 29, 2013 - 16:30

    As far as the NDP and Lorraine Michael are concerned, Ms. Michael should just walk away from the whole mess. It's obvious she can't trust any of her own people and she has nothing to be ashamed of because she carried this party to levels never achieved before... she can hold her head high and no one out there can say otherwise. I have known the Michael family for decades and there is no shortage of integrity, honesty and dedication. Walk away, Lorraine and good riddance to them all !!!