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And Then There Were None


It’s ‘Game On’ in Newfoundland’s most popular sport - provincial politics.

 

What started out as a three-candidate race for the premier’s position following Kathy Dunderdale’s resignation from the post on January 22 was suddenly out of players on June 16.

You will remember that Wayne Bennett was removed from the race on April 3, while Bill Barry voluntarily withdrew from the contest a little later in the game.

This meant that Frank Coleman was the only person left in the race. Coleman was named premier designate, as he would automatically get the job in early July.

 However, what seemed like a sure thing took a sudden and abrupt change on June 16 as Coleman announced he would no longer be seeking the position due to a ‘family issue’.

So, where do we go from here?

It seems like the Progressive Conservative leadership convention originally scheduled for early July will have to be postponed. As of June 19 it was reported that the convention could be held sometime after Labour Day.

And who will run for the premier’s role now?

As on June 19 only one person had made it official that he would be seeking the position. John Ottenheimer, a former PC cabinet minister, now wants the role.

Apparently, Ottenheimer was seriously thinking about entering the race at a much earlier stage in the game but felt that Coleman was too popular to defeat.

The game could become much more interesting as the summer rolls on as a slew of people have been named as potential candidates. It appears that Ottenheimer will have some competitors in the game, which will make the race a more democratic and interesting event.

As opposed to the original race the new one could include a number of current PC members who, all of a sudden, want to be premier.

These members include Steve Kent, Paul Davis, Kevin O’Brien, Keith Hutchings, Charlene Johnson and Susan Sullivan. We will know over the coming days whether all or any of these people come forward to announce their intention to seek the top job in the party.

It may be unlikely that all of these members will enter the contest, but let’s hope that some do, as it will make the political game more exciting and fun to watch.

And let’s not count out Bill Barry, the president of the Barry Group of Companies, which has a long history in the fishery in the province.

Although Mr. Barry withdrew earlier he could re-enter the race and he may. Whether you support Barry or not, he’s a colourful character and his entry will definitely produce a more lively and interesting race.

Let’s hope this time too that  former premier Danny Williams stays out of the race and won’t publicly come out to support or critize this or that candidate.

While we all respect Williams, and all former premiers, they should bow out quietly, and stay out, once they leave the political scene.

Regardless of who enters the race to lead the Progressive Conservatives into the 2015 provincial election, all candidates should start and continue on a level playing field.

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