Wednesday, January 14, 2015

THE MCCURDY EFFECT

The provincial NDP should be positioned on the precipice of the official opposition. 

 The implosion of the governing center left Progressive Conservatives should have given the dippers a boost over the past year. Instead, the Liberals have made all the gains, taking support from both.

The PCs are greatly disliked, they will be challenged to find recruits, let alone be competitive in the majority of seats. The NDP should be rising, particularly in St. John's.

Is Earle McCurdy the right leader with the right policies to transform the NDP into a progressive force to be reckoned with in the next election?

 I think he is a game changer, at least in terms of breathing new life into the party and provincial politics.

Lorraine did an admirable job as leader and as an MHA. Some will argue that she left her departure for too long. Had she left last year the party could have avoided the implosion that led to the departure of Dale Kirby and Chris Mitchelmore.

I am not as confident in that position as I was a year ago. Despite the drop in the polls, this might be  the better time to clear the decks for a passionate new leader who can articulate the concerns of the middle class, the working poor and the disadvantaged.

The province needs to ensure that the social conscious of the province forms the opposition in what was looking like a very imbalanced rout for the Liberals.

A balanced legislature is critical to a balanced government. While the Liberals have a fair share of left of middle types, the Hawks are in control. The next Liberal government will reflect the right of center views of Bennett, Ball and Antle.

The mother Hubbard administration will be able to point to the empty cupboards as proof of the failures of big government. Privatization and triple p-partnerships could become the new buzzwords. Sure, there is plenty of room for efficiency but government is not a business.


The shackles of party unity and the individual desire for advancement within a large majority will quiet dissent. Group think will prevail.

As Earle said today, an axe is not the right tool to dig yourself out of a hole.

This is a unique opportunity for the NDP and for democracy in this province. They can be in a position to take strategic advantage of the gift they have been handed.

McCurdy should not be underestimated. Make no mistake about it, a platform that speaks to economic balance and social equity coupled with a battle hardened dynamic new leader will put the NDP back in the game. He is a proven leader, a household name and one heck of an entertaining campaigner.

He is also campaigning for the official opposition which adds to his credibility and might reap better rewards on election night than campaigning for the Premier's job. A little realism is well received by the public.

I hope he picks a seat like Burin-Placentia West or Labrador West to run in. Showing he is prepared to run outside St. John's would further enhance the party has an alternative voice to the Liberals.

When opportunity knocks, you answer the door. I am glad Earle did just that.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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