Please hold for your leader

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Not my circus
Not my monkeys — Polish proverb

If you don’t win an election, you should only be able to be premier of the province for a certain amount of time. That was an idea promised in the 2003 election and brought in by the government of then-premier Danny Williams in 2004.

It looked like this:

Election on change of premier

3.1 Where the leader of the political party that forms the government resigns his or her position as leader and as premier of the province before the end of the third year following the most recent general election, the person who is elected by the party to replace him or her as the leader of the party and who is sworn in as the premier of the province by the Lieutenant-Governor shall, not later than 12 months afterward, provide advice to the Lieutenant-Governor that the House of Assembly be dissolved and a general election be held.

But now that we’re chugging along into our second campaign to find a leader for the rudderless Tories, perhaps it’s worth going back in time to look at the issues raised about the legal change, and the response those concerns got.

Liberal Anna Thistle had this to say about the perceived changes: “But, what it does not say, it does not say how long the governing party will give to the leadership review — how long will it be for that to take place. That could be two years. That is not clarified in this particular clause. In actuality, the governing party, if they do not see fit to have a leadership review and install or elect a new leader, it is quite possible they could let that run as long as they wanted to. That is not clarified in that particular clause … Now, I think we are blindfolding the devil in the dark here. I think we are blindfolding the devil in the dark because there is no set limit on that clause as to when the leadership review must occur. The only thing that is there for replacing the premier is that once the premier is elected as the leader of that particular party, he or she has one year to call the election. I think there is a loophole there that the governing party, the Progressive Conservatives, are trying to gloss over so that nobody will see. It will be a loophole that the governing party can use to their advantage to not call a leadership review or delay calling a leadership review and have all that time of organizing their party and then have in a year from the time the leader is elected.”

In 2004, government frontman Ed Byrne had all the answers: “The fact of the matter is that I do not know of any political party, ones here, ones that exist in Western democracies that would allow a situation where a leader of party or a premier resigns, to allow a situation to continue — particularly if you are the government — where you do not elect a leader in the quickest possible fashion, in a democratic fashion … I just do not conceive of ever a time or a place that a political party would allow a situation, particularly a governing party, where you would allow a premier who resigns, for whatever reason, and then allow a process to unfold for over two years before you elect a leader of a government. I mean what rubbish! Really! Practically speaking, the government would never survive. … Governments and parties do not survive without leadership. It is the fundamental necessary building block and it flows from there.”

Fun times.

Organizations: Progressive Conservatives

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Recent comments

  • Scott
    June 18, 2014 - 11:53

    @ Cyril Rogers, Remember you bought its up, not me. You said the PC's were about to anoint a leader, TRUE...Isn't that what the Liberals did? Can you remember back, when Judy Morrow came out, and said she and the party feel the Dwight was the man for the party. and we all know what happen there, explain its to the people please. that one of the reason, we should go back to the old way, of casting our ballot, at the polling station,

  • Cyril Rogers
    June 18, 2014 - 11:09

    I see PC hacks are out in force this morning, trying to justify their party's continued usurping of democracy by attacking the Liberals from a decade ago. The whole point of this article is that fundamental change and electoral reform is needed…... but should not be so wishy-washy as to allow exactly what we are witnessing with the arrogant and leaderless ship called the PC government. The Liberals were no angels but their Tory counterparts are nothing, if not hypocritical. They were stringent and overbearing in their demands that Roger Grimes call an election 10-12 years ago but where is their outrage now that their own party is doing exactly that and worse? The Tories were about to anoint a leader, with no leadership contest, and install him as Premier, until he decided to bail out. As of now, they could drag this out and put off an election for the next 12-18 months…..negating the supposed spirit of their own legislation. Clear and concise legislation, giving very clear timelines, would have alleviated such an eventuality but, as usual, they wanted to control the election timetable. They talked the talk but fundamentally never did "walk the walk". Like most things about this inept and rudderless administration….there is no real plan….. and we continue to drift along, reacting to events rather that being proactive in dealing with the real issues.

  • Funny
    June 18, 2014 - 10:04

    Mrs Thistle, There something you should know, can you pass its on to Mr Ball. In Humber Valley, were going to be backing our independent candidate, person with vision.

  • Harold
    June 18, 2014 - 06:10

    More hogwash, by the provincial liberal party. Anna why don't you ask your leader, where is the promise he made to people of Jackson's Arm? Dwight was always on the ban wagon when he thought the PC's were doing right by the people. Has for the MHA's pension reform, he going to do nothing. just trying to score points.

  • Julie
    June 18, 2014 - 05:30

    There something funny about this article , What is the Zebra party so afraid off? That the PC's might find a leader, and kick their asses back where its belong. Or they wouldn't want to admits they made another mistake making Dwight leader, Anna, Dwight is known , has no policy Ball.

  • Laughable
    June 18, 2014 - 05:10

    @ Anna Thistle, just finishes reading this article, are you really a liberal? because if you are, you better go back in time when the Liberals were in power. that should answer your question, Has for " Democratic" , liberal don't know the meaning of the word. Sooner or later, people are going to find out about all the in fighting going on in the Libs party. That why Dwight is pushing has hard has he can, to have a election call. before the people become wise to what's going on.