Good tiding of joy in the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador today.
The party has been mired in debt since 2003 - chronically underfunded, the party has been unable to compete with the cash rich Progressive Conservative Party. It had been a David and Goliath struggle. The Liberals were forced to close their provincial office, lay-off staff and make due with with what ever paltry amounts they could raise for elections and to service the debt.
For much of the past 13 years there really was only one game in town. If you did not pay the ante, well you were not in the game. Many may have wisedh to support the opposition but in the lean years having your name, or the name of your business printed as a donor to the Opposition was a recipe for being blacklisted.
Even newspapers that did not tow the line, or dared challenged the government, found that not only did public advertising dry up but private bossiness that continued to advertise were reminded on what side their bread was buttered.
Leader Dwight Ball inherited a party that was nearly a $1 million in the hole. Just over a year later, with the wind in the party's sails - the debt is a thing of the past.
Eliminating the debt was a major priority for Ball. He knows that a well oiled-political machine in this age of the permanent campaign is a costly endeavor. He also realizes that the public are not going to seriously consider a political party that is mired in debt as a competent stewards of the provincial purse.
This might be a great opportunity for the party to introduce a comprehensive policy overhauling electoral finance in the province. The imbalance of donors in unbalanced democracies hinders the democratic deficit that currently exists. More on that at another time.
Congratulations on a job well done!