I like to listen to the average person point of view. I am not talking about scientific polling, the all-wise fourth estate interpretation of unfolding events but the outside the bubble, coffee shop/post office banter.
While enjoying a feed of fish and chips one evening this week with my gang at a local restaurant my ears tuned-in to a four way discussion between two couples in the booth behind me. The topic was Cathy Dunderdale and the Liberal leadership race.
Apparently all of them voted for the Dunderdale Progressive Conservatives in the last provincial election. They seemed to concur that she was a spent force. Neither of the foursome was prepared to vote for her again. One of the women stated that Newfoundland would never put another women in there again.
Than the conversation switched to the recent CRA poll. Once again everyone had great words to say about NDP Leader Lorraine Michael. “I’d vote for her if she was in my district” one said. They all agreed that an NDP government would bankrupt the province. There was no discourse on this point. An accepted certainty.
“Did you hear that Dean MacDonald came out for Cathy Bennett”, said one of the men. “sure sign she is going to win” he concluded. Up pipes one of the ladies that Dean should have run himself, cause she is not voting for another women. The other man says “I knows this, I am not voting for Dunderdale, but all I cares is that Danny Dumaresque does not win, every time he talks I gets a headache”
“The person for the job is Paul Antle, he knows business and has a PHD from Harvard” says the other lady. Too bad the Liberals don’t go for him, that would be the smart thing to do. “He got a great head on his shoulders” one of the men said, “shame Danny’s crowd are going to put their person in there so Muskrat goes forward”
I thought this conversation from four independent average post-50 folks was informative. Dunderdale is toast, the Liberals are the default alternative, the NDP will bankrupt us, that a small cabal of business elites are manipulating the political process, that people could care less about what political party candidates have been associated with in the past – they just want good leadership and good government.
Lots of meat on those bones, a few honest mistruths but reflective of what people seem to think. What do you think?
As I was leaving, I approached them and said I was sorry for listening in but that I found the conversation very interesting. They asked if I was involved in the process and I answered no, but Jim Bennett was my first choice. I did tell them that the leadership process was wide open to everyone and that they should sign-up and vote as associate members/supporters. They wrote down the web address, excited at the prospect of voting "against Dunderdale"
The great thing, depending on how you view this process, is that dyed-in-the-wool Liberals will not decide the outcome, any one who registers to vote can have a direct say on who the next leader of the Liberal Party - the potential premier - will be!