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Newfoundland and Labrador PC Party Leadership

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With the resignation of Kathy Dunderdale this past Friday the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador will be selecting a new leader, and subsequently the 12th Premier of the province, in the coming months.

Currently five cabinet ministers names are mentioned as possible candidates; Derrick Dalley, Paul Davis, Keith Hutchings, Steve Kent and Darin King. Former minister Shawn Skinner, who was defeated in 2011, is interested in running and it seems likely he will run. Businessman Bill Barry is set to announce his candidacy on Wednesday and it sounds as though businessman Charlie Oliver will be entering the race. Ottawa-based consultant and Conservative commentator Tim Powers has said he's "listening" when asked about a bid. John Ottenheimer's name has also been brought up, he was a longtime MHA and minister who left provincial politics in 2007 and ran federally in 2011. And of course Rick Hillier's name was also mentioned, as it is for everything.

Barry is set to announce his candidacy on Wednesday and with ministers being told they have to leave cabinet to run we could possibly find out their intentions before a cabinet shuffle this week.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bill Barry is the only person to officially announce his candidacy.

Ministers Kent and Dalley aree xpected to make a decision soon. Former Minister Skinner will most likely announce his candidacy very soon. Businessman Frank Coleman will probably have a decision this coming week, and I'd guess he's in. Former minister John Ottenheimer and Paul Oram probably won't run but their names are still out there.

Ministers Hutchings, Davis and King have all announced they're not running as have Tim Powers, Senator Fabian Manning and Charlie Oliver.

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NFLD really seems to eat up leaders of all parties... must be some rough and tumble politics.

I really liked Danny Williams

I liked that Little women that the NDP rebelled against.

I didn't know much about Dunderdale, but apparently a bitter pill...

So, why does nobody seem to want to be premier of a HAVE province lol

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Well most people seemed to blame Danny Williams for the way the leadership race played out. Coleman was seen as being his candidate and was therefore unbeatable. He had managed to get mostly

Nobody running from caucus got a lot of attention, and I think there are numerous reason that people didn't step up a few months ago. I've heard that there were several who wanted to run and also believed they could win the leadership. However, they didn't think they could win the next election and therefore didn't bother. The party set a fairly large spending limit, $350,000. While that might not seem to be that big to people in some provinces it's a large amount in a province with a population of 525,000. The leading candidates for the Liberal Party all spent over $300,000, they had no spending cap, but each of them were millionaires and mostly financed their bids themselves. None of the potential candidates from caucus are wealthy individuals so they'd need to raise a lot of money or go in debt. Both Frank Coleman and Bill Barry, the other candidate who dropped out but may run again, are worth a lot of money and could fund their own campaigns. So I think money played a big role.

I also think Dunderdale's popularity played a significant role. She became very unpopular among the public and so did her government. I think this is a reason why many in her cabinet felt they could not win an election. However, under Tom Marshall the government has become quite popular even though the PC Party isn't doing well. The most recent CRA poll showed government satisfaction at 64% and the PC Party at 29%. An Angus Reid poll showed that Marshall was tied in third place for most popular premier, with a 59% approval rating. Marshall himself has always been well respected and liked but I think the popularity of him and his government probably shows others in caucus that they could turn things around despite Dunderdale's unpopularity.

It seems as though now at least two in caucus will run, Health minister Paul Davis and Municipal Affairs minister Steve Kent. Fisheries minister Keith Hutchings is also a possibility. There are some other possibilities in caucus I suppose, but these are the only ones who gave it thought last time. As well former minister John Ottenheimer has announced he'll try and make a political comeback and is seeking the leadership. Ottenheimer said the only reason he didn't enter a few months ago is because Coleman had to much support.

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The PC Party in Newfoundland and Labrador are back to square one, with Frank Coleman announcing today that he is not going to be sworn in as premier in three weeks.

This is the weirdest thing - except something Barack Obama noted in his memoirs. I paraphrase, "Politics is like any other career except in politics, everything happens in public."

I'm taking Coleman's decision at face value. And I reckon that in politics, it's in public.


Who's next? I hope the next Nfld premier defends/promotes this small island/colony and its peculiar ways in the world at large. (But please, no more Smallwood.)

Edited by August1991
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Paul Davis enters PC race with call for ‘new beginning’

Paul Davis has announced his candidacy for the leadership of Newfoundland and Labrador's governing Progressive Conservatives, calling himself the “right person” for the job and issuing a call for a “new beginning” for the party.

Davis stressed the importance of listening and working together as he launched his campaign Wednesday evening.

About 200 people jammed into a recreation centre in Paradise for the announcement.

“This is a time for a new beginning,” Davis said. “It’s a time to set the tone for the future, to bring together the strengths of our party, the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s a time for us to continue our journey together.”


Edited by Newfoundlander
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Delegate selection meetings wrapped up 10 days ago and we're now starting to get a sense of how much support each camp has. Both John Ottenheimer's camp and Paul Davis' are predicting that the two are roughly tied with around 40% of the vote each. Ottenheimer's people say he has a slight lead while Davis' say he has a slide lead. Steve Kent wouldn't release numbers but he disputes that he's in third place. The other two have similar numbers for him at around 150 delegates, which means he's at around 20%. Kent says he has over 200 delegates and in second place behind Davis.

There have yet to be any leadership debates but there are suppose to be several before the convention in three weeks. One is scheduled for September 7 and will be hosted by NTV. Not sure what kind of a role these will play, seeing there isn't a significant difference between the three. Kent has released the most "policy" though he hasn't been overly specific but he has announced some policies that go against previous stances by the party and government.

As well an Abacus Data poll showed that Davis was the frontrunner for leader among the general public. Kent was actually in second place followed closely by Ottenheimer in third.

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The new leader will be chosen two weeks from today, and this past week hasn't been kind to the party. The party lost a by-election on Tuesday night in a seat previously held by a high profile cabinet minister. And yesterday Finance Minister Charlene Johnson, who has just reportedly reached a pension reform deal with unions, announced that she may quit politics in the coming days. Johnson and her five year old daughter may move to Brunei where her husband works.

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