These must be tough days for former premier Kathy Dunderdale and NDP Leader Lorraine Michael.
Better days were so recent. Mere months ago, the former was in charge and the latter was ascendant.
The crassness of Tories can be astonishing. They are like brazen bullies full of excuses. They kick out their leader and then feign friendliness to the electorate. “See? We got rid of she who you didn’t like. Now you can like us again.”
Have neurologists studied how the PC brain works? We can only wonder. Bizarrely, strangely, inexplicably, great minds in the cabinet and caucus think the party’s unpopularity was due to Dunderdale alone, as if the rest of them had nothing to do with it.
They’re going to listen, now that bad Kathy is gone. They’re going to review Bill 29, their infamous
it’s-none-of-your-business legislation. Wow, they’re even inviting input from the public, something that was impossible up until yesterday.
Such machinations are more
evidence that, in the Tory universe, the electorate’s gullibility is infinite.
Dunderdale’s past rudeness toward Michael probably negates any commiseration between them, but the two women must share a profound feeling of being chucked.
It can’t be easy for Dunderdale to remain as an MHA among her PC colleagues, when none of them had the courage or decency to accept part of the blame for their party’s demise. Instead, they opted for, “Kathy’s gone. All will be well.”
Meanwhile, Michael is still pulling blades out of her back.
Barely six months ago, she was the most popular leader in the province, possibly headed for a previously unlikely premiership, thrusting Newfoundland (and Labrador) into national and international headlines as the socialists took control of an oil-producing province, à la Venezuela.
Unfortunately for the NDP, its rising star quickly went supernova and collapsed upon itself. Today, the party’s popularity percentage trails even the pathetic PCs. After its brush with a breakthrough, the NDP is back in its discomfort zone, a third-place party, a rump, an after-thought, a long shot, a tyke among titans.
From their bleak hole, it must be painful for NDPers to watch two of their former stars — Dale Kirby and Christopher Mitchelmore, alternatively known as Traitor No. 1 and Traitor No. 2 — taking off with Liberal Leader Dwight Ball.
Lefties have a natural talent for imagining the worst, so NDPers can undoubtedly envision an even more horrific scenario: a Liberal government, with a cabinet that includes Kirby, Mitchelmore or both.
If such a situation does indeed come to pass, perhaps some solace can be found in the wisdom of Clint Eastwood: “Fair ain’t got nuthin’ to do with it.”
Same old, same old
Due to Dunderdale, an election is coming sooner than expected. Newfoundland (and Labrador) politics has returned to Earth after skirting the outer reaches of the solar system, during which the NDP actually defied the laws of physics and rose.
We’re back to the Liberals, then Tories, then Liberals, then Tories habit of voters, who like a party for a decade or so, then toss them out until they like them again in another decade or so.
The floor crossings and jumping and betrayals — if that’s what it is — are interesting to watch, but are merely symptoms of an eternal malaise.
The Tories’ time is up. It is the Liberals’ turn to take the controls.
Ball, at least, has a chance to chalk up a first: become premier without ever stating a definitive position on a single important issue.
No need for PCs to despair. Things will turn around in the 2020s. Fed up with astronomical electric bills, Newfoundlanders will throw the switch and toss out the Liberals, and again turn Tory.
Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org