It is some shagging difficult to blog with out the scattered political post. If you do not talk about the weather and politics people down here might think you a little out of touch!
Abacus was polling again last night. They are trying to get a handle on the fight to replace Kathy Dunderdale in the yet to be called by-election in Virginia Waters. The names being tossed around are NDP Candidate Shelia , Liberal Cathy Bennett and tory Danny Breen
The nomination deadline for the Liberal’s is at noon tomorrow. It appears that Cathy Bennett will not be opposed. No surprise there. Bennett lives in Virginia Waters, operates businesses in Virginia Waters, goes to church in Virginia Water and is part of the community fabric in Virginia Waters. She is the ideal candidate.
On top of being the ideal candidate she has an energized team coming off her leadership bid in the Fall of 2013. She is also much more savvy and politically astute than she was when she made her original foyer into partisan politics. She no longer has to defend her Liberal credentials; her investment of time, money and talent is undeniable.
I spent some time this week around her campaign and let me tell you it is one incredibly well-oiled machine. The sense of confidence, fraternity and sense of purpose is infectious. The days of scrapping up a few volunteers to answer phones and knock on doors that was pervasive in St. John’s campaigns over the last decade has evaporated. Frankly, I think the biggest challenge facing Bennett’s campaign is going to be managing the number of volunteers!
What about the other two parties?
The NDP have a candidate. Defeated Mayoral Candidate Shelia O’Leary. She is a name but will that make a difference? In this case O’Leary brings a lot more to the NDP than the party brings to her. The NDP will be relying heavily on staff from the House of Assembly and the two city NDP Offices to pull the campaign together. Yesterday’s CRA poll shows the NDP are fighting for relevancy, which translates to a handful of zealous diehards spinning the gospel according to Lorraine with a snow balls chance in hell of having an impact on the outcome.
Virginia Waters used to have a strong district association. I can only assume that like the party, the fundraising efforts of the local district association equates to a healthy war chest for whomever is lured into the candidacy. The Conservatives need a name, someone with profile to fly the party standard. A tall effort when defeat is on everyone’s mind, if not their lips.
For example, Councilor Danny Breen. A good candidate but is the time right for him? He was just re-elected to council. He is well respected and liked in the East End of the city. I have supported him and he has been good representative on council. The question he has to ask himself is can he translate that political currency to provincial politics as a Conservative?
Nope, not now. There is a thrust for change in that district. It is almost as if a vote for Bennett is a vote against Dunderdale. Just pick-up the phone, cold dial if you wish - the reception on the other end against the Conservatives is startling.
The fact that Shawn Skinner who keeps toying with the idea of seeking the leadership will not touch the seat, which could place him back in the caucus, proves my point. I think Breen would be foolhardy to risk his reputation at this point.
The Conservatives have a problem. They need to save face and find a quality candidate.
Of course they are in no rush, they set the time for the by-election and can wait until the right candidate can be persuaded to take one for the team.