Liberals, don’t wait too long

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Politics is an interesting chess game — especially now, as a formerly imperious Progressive Conservative party, currently under the leadership of Premier Tom Marshall, trots out its touchy-feely side and tries to come across as a friend to pretty much all the electorate.

The budget sprinkles money throughout the province, with only smokers feeling pain from new taxes. There have been promises of new legislation and more open government, with the premier admitting that his party has to reconnect with voters who have turned away.

Meanwhile, the provincial Liberals, who have benefited in polls from the Tory slide as well as in actual bodies from defections from the Tories and the NDP, have been marching along, saying very little about their policy plans.

There might be reasons for that. From their side of the chess board, they may feel that telling voters now what they would do could lead the Tories to gobble up their policy platform. After all, that’s already happened with all-day kindergarten; what was a solid NDP plank has been commandeered by the Tories.

That’s what can happen in a province where all three parties are different in name but remarkably close in political ethos. We don’t so much have parties that are right, left and centre as we have parties that, in practical terms, are all to the left of the political spectrum.

So, the Liberals might well be afraid of showing their hand too soon and tipping off the Tories. The Liberals might also be happy to just let the Tories muddle along, especially since the public has reacted to the Progressive Conservatives’ sudden change of direction with skepticism.

But there are pitfalls to that strategy, because people are starting to ask just what it is the Liberals stand for. Waiting for the government to fall on its face doesn’t work so well when the government, in some ways, is moving in the right direction — not to mention the fact that the government will, by default, get more coverage than opposition parties because they can actually move their agenda forward.

Opposition parties can only talk about what they’d do differently if they got to form government.

An election could come sooner than October 2015, and might well be next summer. That means there isn’t much time left to make a mark. Eventually, political parties have to prove they have fresh ideas.

It’s not enough to keep harping on the fact that your opponents are tired and long in the tooth.

So far, though? We’re not seeing much of anything from the Liberals.

Organizations: NDP, Tory

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Recent comments

  • Scott
    April 03, 2014 - 12:34

    Hello Ivy, I'm back to answer your question, concerning if I'm stupid as I sound, Ivy can you recall the conversation you had with Paddy Daly, concerning the Liberal leadership race, I believe Paddy ask you.. who were you backing anyone in the campaign at that time, your answer to Paddy was, There people in there who should be out, there people out of there who be in there, Recall that? Now lets me get some understanding here, You don't support the liberals for taking Paul Lane in .. TRUE.. You also states your wouldn't stand by , and watch the party or any one else slap a child across the lips .. TRUE.. But you will stand by, When Chris and Dale stab Ms Michael in the back when she was on vacation. Your open to that kind of process... TRUE.. Ivy you do understand that is known as bullying.. As for you understanding the issue of the province, sorry girl you only see red,. That mean you can't stand on your own feet. Now has for me being on the government purse, Got bad new for you. Ivy I work for a living.

    • Ivy
      April 03, 2014 - 14:05

      Scott you seem to make a lot of assumptions. I have never said that I supported the Liberal party taking on Kirby and Mitchelmore. and I think if you had listened to my conversation with Daly at the time that the NDP party stabbed Ms Michael in the back, I certainly made it known that what they did was absolutely cowardly. As a matter of fact, should you speak with Dwight Ball you will be told that I spoke with him at length about his decision to accept any of those defectors. Does this seem to be someone who only sees "red"? Most times I see red is when I read comments that are unfair. I am so happy that you work, hopefully in NL, otherwise you would probably be like the many NLrs who have to commute to and from Alta. even though we live in the land of plenty.

  • Julie
    April 03, 2014 - 05:01

    Has a one time supporter of the Liberals party. Can't see me voting for a liberal in the next general election, Dwight Ball turn me off yesterday, when he was on Pete show. Open line, Pete ask Dwight about the liberals policy, Dwight answer was we are listening to the people. In other words , we got nothing. You think after three years. He would have something by now. People of our great province we don't have much to look forwards in the next election. From Dwight and gang.

  • SayWhat
    April 02, 2014 - 17:48

    Since this was written before the DW/Breen story the opinion is nothing but drivel. All I'll say is after reading the Breen story over the weekend, the Grits have a naughty or nice list gathered from their Leadership campaign that has many a "Tory" fearing they will be exposed during the next election campaign.

  • Red Life Lady
    April 02, 2014 - 14:33

    The byelection is only a snapshot and doesn't mean a whole lot. The real test is the next general election in 2015.

  • James
    April 02, 2014 - 12:42

    None of our party leaders are very impressive. Even in Frank Coleman wins, who is he? Lorraine Michael and Dwight ball are better known, but not very interesting and have said little so far. it's almost like "Vote for me because I'm not the other guys" and that just is not good enough. If anyone thinks they will coast into the Premier's chair in the general election they are out of their minds.

  • Scott
    April 02, 2014 - 10:40

    @ Ivy, Old girl, Your the type of person, who see no problem with the Zebra Party, you would stand by, and watch them slap a child across the lips, and agree with it. Why don't you take your head out of the sand pile. for once, Stand on your owns feet, Then maybe just maybe, we would get people who know the issue of the province, Instead of just blowing wind. You can't admit the truth when its come to the leader, Back in 2013 you were one of the people hoping some one else would come forwards. TRUE.. Now your defending this B/S , If he was a leader, He didn't need to take turn coats and back stabbers in. TURE. Thing is, he see its has the only way he could become premier. As Michael said , The only policy he announced since becoming leader, Open door policy. Ivy you should be a shame of yourself, For not speaking the truth, we need more people like yourself. But else where, Then we might have a chance moving forward.

    • Ian
      April 02, 2014 - 11:07

      Scott, You have got to be kidding me. How is Ball to become premier by taking in a few floor crossers? It's 38 to 9 members (now), I don't think he's banking on that strategy. But taking in a defector dose send a message: "there is something wrong with your party, that's why your member wanted to leave." And it's not like the holier than thou PC party has had any reservations on taking in floor crossers. Even Danny the great took in Rose Wiseman.

    • Sick of the shills
      April 02, 2014 - 11:36

      Scott, we had a chance to move forward. The PC's squandered it buying votes from soft headed people. I suggest that you invest in a hockey helmet if you think differently.

    • Corporate Psycho
      April 02, 2014 - 16:05

      @Scott Old boy, Zebra Party? Didn't Danny Breen sign up for the Liberals?

    • Ivy
      April 03, 2014 - 11:16

      Scott is it possible that you are as stupid as you sound? I think that I said that I did not support the Liberal party taking on Paul Lane. This stupid comment about me standing by to watch anyone slap a child across the face is just that and I suggest that you not try it where I might be! It seems to me that the only person who would suggest that I stand on my own two feet is someone dependant on the government purse. I stand on my two feet with no help from anyone! As for my being versed in the issues of the province, I can hold my own with you any day which is obviously not a great feat. My suggestion is that you go elsewhere to rid yourself of anyone with an ounce of intelligence. Duggan I certainly understand what you are saying...

    • Ivy
      April 03, 2014 - 11:19

      Scott is it possible that you are as stupid as you sound? I think that I said that I did not support the Liberal party taking on Paul Lane. This stupid comment about me standing by to watch anyone slap a child across the face is just that and I suggest that you not try it where I might be! It seems to me that the only person who would suggest that I stand on my own two feet is someone dependant on the government purse. I stand on my two feet with no help from anyone! As for my being versed in the issues of the province, I can hold my own with you any day which is obviously not a great feat. My suggestion is that you go elsewhere to rid yourself of anyone with an ounce of intelligence. Duggan I certainly understand what you are saying...

  • Christopher Chafe
    April 02, 2014 - 10:21

    Finally a sensible article written about the political state of Newfoundland and Labrador. Instead of the Liberals and NDP constantly getting on the local news broadcasts and opposing everything the government does why not get on the local news broadcasts and say to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, this is what I would have done as Premier of this province. To oppose simply for the sake of opposing is growing tiring and is getting to be a nuisance. So to the Liberal Party and New Democratic Party stand up and give us a valid reason to vote for either of you in the next election!

  • Michael
    April 02, 2014 - 06:50

    The only Liberal policy announced since Dwight Ball became party leader is an an Open Door policy for defectors from other parties. I would never vote for any party that has someone like Paul Lane in it. Defections are for headline grabbing, not good policy or constituency relations.

    • Ivy
      April 02, 2014 - 08:32

      Exactly which party would you vote for Michael? Every single party is comprised of defectors. I don't like Paul Lane but one party's loss is another party's gain. The same is true for all walks of life. If you decide that you don't like the company that you work for and you are a whiz at what you do and you quit to go to another company is that company's gain.

    • Duggan
      April 02, 2014 - 10:33

      Ivy; the difference is politicians represent a specific party and are elected or not in relation to that partythey chose to run for. Conservatives did not vote for Paul Lane to sit with the Liberals. And Liberals in his district did not vote for him in the 2011 election because he was the PC candidate. And he is hardly a Wiz people would scramble for.

    • Ivy
      April 03, 2014 - 10:57

      All that I am saying is that sometimes a person makes the decision that he/she might want to sit on a governing side, however after seeing how things are done, they decide to leave and try the other side. I see that the same as working at any job, but I would not have taken Paul Lane, because Duggan, I agree that he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer in my opinion and will only detract from the party. Scott, you have used the same phrase that I would stand by and allow someone to slap a child in the face before, let's hope that you don't try it anytime where I might happen to be! As for the Zebra party, they all are. By the way I ask nobody for anything and I stand on my own two feet, I do not live off the government purse like many. As for the issues at hand I would say that I am as well versed in what is happening and what has happened in this province as most people who comment in here. When you can prove differently then use your idiotic remarks!

    • Ivy
      April 03, 2014 - 11:04

      All that I am saying is that sometimes a person makes the decision that he/she might want to sit on a governing side, however after seeing how things are done, they decide to leave and try the other side. I see that the same as working at any job, but I would not have taken Paul Lane, because Duggan, I agree that he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer in my opinion and will only detract from the party. Scott, you have used the same phrase that I would stand by and allow someone to slap a child in the face before, let's hope that you don't try it anytime where I might happen to be! As for the Zebra party, they all are. By the way I ask nobody for anything and I stand on my own two feet, I do not live off the government purse like many. As for the issues at hand I would say that I am as well versed in what is happening and what has happened in this province as most people who comment in here. When you can prove differently then use your idiotic remarks!

    • Ivy
      April 03, 2014 - 11:06

      All that I am saying is that sometimes a person makes the decision that he/she might want to sit on a governing side, however after seeing how things are done, they decide to leave and try the other side. I see that the same as working at any job, but I would not have taken Paul Lane, because Duggan, I agree that he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer in my opinion and will only detract from the party. Scott, you have used the same phrase that I would stand by and allow someone to slap a child in the face before, let's hope that you don't try it anytime where I might happen to be! As for the Zebra party, they all are. By the way I ask nobody for anything and I stand on my own two feet, I do not live off the government purse like many. As for the issues at hand I would say that I am as well versed in what is happening and what has happened in this province as most people who comment in here. When you can prove differently then use your idiotic remarks!

  • Linda
    April 02, 2014 - 06:10

    Dwight Ball will go down in history as the worst Leader of our party. And that saying something. I would never vote for a Liberal member as long has I may live. All they shown to our people is disrespect and dishonestly.

  • Crazy
    April 02, 2014 - 05:57

    James, Sorry don't agree with you concerning the Liberals. Under Dwight Ball leadership, We after see a lots, from his party , but all in the wrong direction, Expropriation of the mill in Grand Falls, that going to cost the taxpayers some 400 million, clean up this mess, The man never took the time to check anything out, for the people. But jump on Danny coat tail. and went along with him. He never stood up and said no to Muskrat falls project, Dwight is just hoping everything will turn out good for the people. Then you got Fracking. He sitting on the fence concerning that issue. He stood by when the PC's pass over 110 million to CBPP, With out demanding more jobs in the plant or the forestry. I can go on and on, But lets not forget his most famous line ( Elects Me Then Find Out )