Defeated Premier Paul Davis's gambit to head off this test of his leadership has failed spectacularly.
In all fairness, Davis inherited a pretty poisoned chalice with his controversial leadership win after a bizarre third vote on September 14th, 2014. His win divided the party, leaving members divided about the process in which Steve Kent played Kingmaker who driving a dagger into the back of the more experienced John Ottenheimer. The blood was spilled, much of the Tory grassroot machinery lost faith and Davis never had a snow balls chance in hell of rebuilding, let alone delivering another government.
I found the quote attributed to Sharon Vokey, whose letter to the party's executive committee will trigger a leadership review really interesting. VOCM reported "she says the PCs were ahead in the latest poll by default due to the dissatisfaction with the Liberals." Why, because many political observers would the Liberal win last fall was by default due to the incredible broad dissatisfaction with the post Danny Williams Progressive Conservatives.
Can the handsomely, if not grossly, overpaid staff in the Opposition Office save the day for Davis? Time will tell. I suppose it comes down to their ability to convince party members that with Liberal fortunes so low, this is not the time to look divided, weak and disorganized.
Of course, as Vokey shrewdly pointed out, Davis's strength is just an echo, a default placement due to the current dissatisfaction with Premier Dwight Ball not for any potential strength the well dressed former career RNC constable brings to the party.
The next question what is the batting order for the next leader, should the Tories deny Davis another shot at the premier's chair? Who wants the job of rebuilding the party that brought us financial ruin, hardship and desperate straights? Perhaps, Danny will pull a Joey, and attempt a comeback. History tells us how that worked out for the once invincible only living father of confederation. Seriously, is there a contender in the caucus? Is there a contender on the outside - and if so do they want to join NDP Leader Earle McCurdy in the visitors gallery?
Timing is everything in politics. Is it too soon to eject the leader? Of course it is, but strategic thinking might just take a back seat to avenging the debacle of Sept 14th, 2014. Payback truly is a bitch. I wonder if Kent can save the day, or does House Slytherin have other plans?
I would be willing to wager a beer that despite his placement in the public opinion polls, the grassroots of the Liberal Party are more supportive of Ball than the grassroots of the Tory party are with Davis.
For political watchers like me, it is time to break out the popcorn. The fall just got a lot more interesting!