By Ed Ralph
As most of us are aware, so too it appears. Even the squawking sea-
gulls and the dreaded crows, with their raucous calls, seem to sense change is needed as they hover perilously close and around the draped and secretive compound known as Confederation Building.
For all that’s holy, and assuming there is a level of intelligence in the powers that make these decisions, the government still doesn’t or can’t understand that the passing into legislation of Bill 29 was, and remains, a colossal blunder. Its primary intent was to allow the government to release only information that they believe us poor mortals should, in their estimation, be allowed to hear or see. They received the wrath of the press in condemnation of its existence. Citizens were outraged, and rightly so.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale and her government are in a tailspin. This, in a province that never before in its history had an economy that’s firing on all cylinders and the envy of the rest of the nation. Whether or not they can recover under her leadership in time to mount a credible campaign and ultimately form the government, or at least a decent opposition, is and will be, a formidable task.
And yes, her arrogant and somewhat self-righteous cabinet ministers are not helping her cause. Two, in particular, come to mind. One, of legal mind, is relatively quiet on the front lately. And the other stays close to the (goose).
Then of course there is the alternative. Lorraine Michael is no doubt a fine, decent person. However, I find it hard to believe that the party she represents would have a chance of attracting enough credible candidates under her guidance capable of forming a government. She does a reasonable job in opposition and is perhaps suited for that role.
Opportunity for the Liberals in the midst of a leadership convention has never been so good. Not in a decade have they had such an opportunity to collectively be wise and choose a leader who will win and lead them into the next government.
Dwight Ball is the front-runner and a good, decent individual. Danny Dumaresque, Cathy Bennett and Jim Bennett, too, have their qualities, although I don’t believe either can garner enough support to win an election. Yet, if you want to leave the convention with a legitimate chance of forming a credible government, Paul Antle, from a layman’s perspective, I believe, would be the people’s choice.
I’ve never met the man personally, yet I think his platform and way of thinking will be acceptable to most people in our province. Like most of us poor souls, easy to criticize but unable or too timid to run, I express my opinion for what it’s worth.
To those who do run for public office you have my respect, yet you have
to expect any and all that goes your way.
Antle, I do believe, is the party’s smartest choice even though the “Ball” may fall in Dwight’s court.
Antle is the best choice to lead in the current situation and he has a legitimate shot at forming a credible government.
Ed Ralph writes from St. John’s.