Lacking lustre

The Telegram
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It would be interesting, just now, to be a fly on the wall inside the confines of the provincial Progressive Conservatives.

Why? Because, even with the possibility of a new leader lifting their political brand, they can’t seem to find their way out of controversy. Not that long ago, the Tories were looking for a new leader, with plenty of potential candidates nosing around both inside and outside the party establishment, and plans were in the works for the kind of leadership convention designed to lifts spirits and profiles.

Now, the party is heading towards a leadership convention with a single candidate — and that candidate’s political inexperience has become anything but a selling point. The convention can now only be a rubber-stamp for Frank Coleman, and that means it’s unlikely to even pull in more than the most perfunctory of media coverage — especially because, in the last couple of weeks, Coleman has preferred to deal with the media at arm’s length, sending out written statements on everything from the departure of Bill Barry from the leadership campaign to explanations about Coleman’s own personal views on abortion.

No one’s going to spend money for live television coverage of an event when the decision’s already made. And that means a leader who has done relatively little to clearly explain his plans for this province will have lost a critical chance to gain an advantage on his main political competitor, Dwight Ball — who also, as far as that goes, has been remarkably slow to explain just where he and his party would take the province, if the Liberals were to win an election.

At this point, it’s like watching a boxing match where both combatants have decided to play rope-a-dope, offering up nothing and waiting to see what punches their competitor will throw.

Meanwhile, the NDP are doing … something. And after their remarkable nest-soiling last fall, they’re likely to stay well out on the fringe for the foreseeable future.

It’s like nobody really wants the job.

For the Tories, it must be particularly frustrating — many feel they’ve been unfairly characterized in recent years, and believe they deserve more credit for their record of governance.

Now, the opportunity for the time and space to sell themselves politically through the leadership campaign has collapsed, and the survivor hasn’t done much to help himself look like an approachable contender.

Where exactly is a voter supposed to look?

Well, politics is a funny business, and it’s remarkable how quickly voters forget a whole variety of things.

Maybe Dwight Ball actually has policy plans and can put them forward. Maybe Frank Coleman will suddenly emerge, phoenix-like, from the ashes of a party that has almost single-handedly immolated its advantages at every turn, a party that’s been the victim of its own internal machinations for two premiers now. And maybe we’ll all forget the NDP’s singular ability to pull the pin out of the grenade and then drop the bomb on the floor of its own headquarters.

But no one’s on their “A” game right now. And the clock is ticking.

Organizations: NDP

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Recent comments

  • A Troll
    April 23, 2014 - 23:27

    The Confed. Bldg is probably bugged to the hilt. Good point there, EdiTroll! "immolated" - can we stop applying this loaded term capriously, like thrusting the word fairie on gay pride via the billboards of the 'Phantoms of the NL Dogwhistlers', and leave the grenades alone too sure (lest we have our own pineapple primarys!), and the phoenix comparison is so seasonal. The scarab beetle is a nice one too (emerging from a ball of...), or Jesus. In short, get us a working frame, not absolute bullshit poppycock, loaded terms best left alone by professionals. Leave this for us Trolls. I don't expect trolls to be fed by The Telegram staff, (except Maurice Adams! hahaha) but don't starve us. Please educated, experienced journalists, don't take away my bread and butter.

  • david
    April 23, 2014 - 16:01

    "Lustre" isn't what Newfoundland needs. It needs substantive, moral, visionary, capable leadership. Sadly, all we ever get here is varying degrees of incompetence, thievery, deceit, and ego. That you bemoan the lack of 'lustre' speaks volumes of this wretched, post-Danny wastelend.

  • Charles Murphy
    April 23, 2014 - 08:29

    Shut the DAM project down. before its to late.

  • Too Funny
    April 23, 2014 - 08:17

    "It’s like nobody really wants the job." That's fitting because the people don't want any of them in the job. It's a gamble either way in which we are guaranteed to lose. Of course after the election there will be another Editorial criticizing us for the low voter turnout.

  • Maggy Carter
    April 23, 2014 - 07:52

    'Muskrat To Continue Until Too Expensive: Premier' is the ominous headline on VOCM this morning. This the first sign of a large crack forming in the dam holding back the financial floodwaters of this boondoggle. The huge problem which Marshall seems intent on glossing over (and the big follow-up question the media apparently didn't ask) is this: how is the $2 billion we've already sunk into this thing factored into the least-cost analysis? The threshold on one option (the Isolated Island Option) keeps rising with every million spent on the Labrador Interconnect Option. What Marshall knows now - if he hasn't always known - is that the planned savings from the shut-down of Holyrood aren't real. Government now realizes that, even if Muskrat proceeds, it will have to spend another billion dollars to replace those fossil fuel generators. Why? Because NL Hydro will always need a back-up in case of a major break in the Labrador transmission system. Oh what a tangled web we have woven for ourselves.