Frank Coleman is the de-facto Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
He is the lone survivor of the process to replace the dud leader that was forced out of office in January after questions about her leadership, the departure of a pair of caucus members and her poor handling of both a series of major electricity failures and the controversial Muskrat Falls Power Development.
The post-Dunderdale charm offensive has been designed to convince the public that the remaining Conservatives are not arrogant, that they have not lost touch with voters and they can rejuvenate.
What followed was an election budget, concessions on controversial issues that had soured the public and a shit show of a leadership that saw three people come forward. One was thrown out of the race, another quit declaring it was rigged and the last man (no women came forward) standing is in no rush to take on the role.
Coleman, who waited until the very last moment to enter the race, despite his supporters making his intentions known for weeks prior, in what many observers saw as reluctance. His non-participation in the Virginia Waters By-election was conspicuous. His recent unavailability to even the mainstream media - until he was called out - remains bizarre. Issues were being responded to with press statements which is communications gurus must feel is the safest way to protect the de-facto Premier from having to perform without his training wheels.
After a week of uncontrolled rumors on when Frank might assume the role which he has already won, he is saying he will not take over the reigns of power until July when he is confirmed by the Party at convention.
Meanwhile, he is continuing with his roadshow - minus the accountability of being the Premier.
Nothing will be done by the caretakers without his permission.
I like Tom Marshall. He is a decent man but he no longer has the legitimacy to lead the province or the party. The Conservative leadership has been decided. They have chosen a new leader by acclamation. Again, the party has selected Dunderdale's successor. It is time to lead.
The problem, the challenge, the reality is that as soon as Coleman becomes Premier, the clock starts ticking on the next provincial election. Dunderdale left too early and an election has to take place within 12 months of Coleman being sworn in.
Pushing out that election window as far as possible works for the Conservatives who are desperate to gain the time to try and turn things around.
The cover will most likely come with an agreement between Prime Minister Harper and the several provinces that are due to have elections in 2015. Could the four provinces agree to defer a trip to the polls utill the Spring of 2016, to allow a Canadian General Election to occur on October 19, 2015 as scheduled?
It does not give the public an opportunity to pass judgement on the legitimacy of his premiership as quickly as they would like, but since when did they really care what we think? Simply put, the tories are using the letter of the law to defeat the spirit of the law.
Coleman should assume the reigns now and set the stage for a Spring 2015 Provincial Election. That would be the legitimate thing to do.
We have already had a caretaker government for three months, there is no justification for delaying any longer!