Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our political lives.
Tuesday’s by-election result hit the Progressive Conservative and New Democratic Parties like a seismic event. They are both major loosers.
The NDP's dismal showing, despite their former high standings in public opinion polls, suggests the party is stuck in St. John’s and even that support is on pretty thin ice in the wake of the cataclysmic break-up of the once united caucus.
They are not an official opposition in waiting, let alone a government in waiting. They are now a spent force who have utterly missed their window of opportunity.
The Progressive Conservatives threw all they had at the by-election. Cabinet Ministers, executive assistants, party stalwarts, party executive members, promises of prison and the resources of a well oiled machine.
Sure they did better than some pundits or the provincial polls would have suggested, but in the end the seat once occupied by the most powerful MHA and Cabinet Minister switched allegiances.
This was a big loss for Premier Dunderdale and a harbinger of what is to come for the Progressive Conservative Party unless it can reinvent itself before the next election.
Comments from the Premier show that she has already decided she is leaving. The party needs her to stick around until the spring for Fall leadership. This gives them time to transform and throw out the dead weight and rot, which has, lead them to ruin. The Premier’s political impotence could become irreversible if they wait too long to make the switch.
Lets not kid ourselves, the Carbonear – Harbour Grace by-election was won through hard work and organization.
The Liberals have rediscovered their talent for working together. The efforts of the caucus, the Liberal Leadership candidates and most importantly - the new leader netted another seat for the Liberals.
The Liberals, unlike the New Democrats, have seized the window of opportunity presented by the decline in support for the Progressive Conservatives. Local organizations and strong local candidates backed by a strong central machine will win seats. Turning over seats is how you win a government.
They have emerged united and victorious after a long leadership process that saw the party emerge as top dog in public support and the team most likely to form the government in 2015
Dwight Ball ‘s deliberate; honest approach to leadership is a refreshing change from the cult of personality and manipulative politics of the past few decades.
This is a guy who rolls up his sleeves to do the hard work. He is rational, not guided by raw emotion. He is someone who you can trust to get the job done.
Trust and sincerity make for rich political currency. He is educated, a successful businessman, volunteer and politician. He is not shallow and egotistical.
There will be dozens of Sam Slade caliber candidates chomping at the bit to become Liberal candidates across the province. Like the voters, they will be attracted to Ball’s work ethic; his can do attitude, his rationale approach and his sincerity.
To underestimate the new Liberal leader as the benefactor of a leadership vacuum would be a mistake.
In Dwight Ball, Newfoundland and Labrador sees a reflection of itself.
Can the PC's get back in the game?
Time will tell!
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