The Leader of Newfoundland and Labrador's New Democratic Party has reason to celebrate. She led her party to an historic high of five seats in the House of Assembly in last fall's Provincial Election. In fact, the party she inherited from Jack Harris received more votes than the Liberals, who squeaked out one more seat to form the Official Opposition
The Angus Reid survey says that Lorraine is the countries most popular opposition leader, with 55% support. I have voted for Lorraine on three occasions. I am proud of our local member. She is one of the hardest working, most diligent, energetic and community minded politicians in the province. She is also as tough as nails.
She has led the NDP for six years. While it may not be polite to discuss a women's birthday, Wikipedia says that Ms. Micheal was born in 1943, which would make her 69.
While she is showing no signs of slowing down the hectic pace that has raised the NDP to it's current performance in the province, one can only wonder how much more of her life that she willing to give to the public. She will be 74 when the next provincial election rolls around.
Gerry Rogers was born in 1964, Dale Kirby was born in 1971, Christopher Mitchelmore was born in 1985 and George Murphy was born in 1963. Than means the average age of the NDP caucus is just 41.
Most certainly the New Democrats will have a new leader, the question is not if, but when, and who? The four other members of the caucus are well established, energetic high profile individuals, all of whom would make dynamic leaders to build on the great work of Micheal. There is also the potential that St. John's South - Mt. Pearl MP, Ryan Cleary, could return to NL and attempt to lead his party to the promised land. Premier Cleary, it has a ring!
There is also the question of who might replace Micheal in her provincial district of Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi.
One thing is for certain, the NDP is the opposition party with the momentum, organization, policy and finances to challenge the Progressive Conservatives for government. Whenever she chooses to move on, Micheal is leaving her party in great shape for the future.
Which means a three way race to government in 2015, unless the Liberals can not manage to pull it together by than.