Now that the name Dwight
Ball is no longer prefaced with the tentative title, “interim”, he has
all the political and moral authority needed to clear a path to the Premier’s
reasonable to state that the Liberal Party has given the people of the Province
a real political alternative; one badly needed in the land of Premier Kathy Dunderdale.
the congratulations of the whole Province.
Leadership contests refresh, renew and reinvigorate. Liberal democracy is advanced each time such
contests occur. Political parties, the
foundation of our system, are given legitimacy by virtue of their ability to
effect peaceful change. Not just the Leader,
it seems every participant in the exercise, is given new energy.
eschewed the more traditional leadership convention, a style known for its post-ballot
brokering and surprise, demands
that we acquire new benchmarks for grading victory. Having achieved nearly 60% of the vote, on the
third ballot, Mr. Ball’s authority seems firm.
possibly, he may have also dismissed notions that the Liberal Party’s nascent rise
in the Opinion Polls relates more to
the disintegration of the Premier’s popularity than to the public confidence he engenders.
want to concentrate all his thoughts on the next election, there is no better
place to begin than in the House of Assembly.
is intended to mean one that is ‘steadfast’.
Ball’s small group will be expected to punch above their weight, giving vigorous
challenge to the Government’s program, its unwarranted secrecy and reckless
behaviour. His own performance will be linked
to his future prospects. In the current
political environment he must know that expectations of him are high.
fortunate he is will not be distracted by
malcontents in the Party.
crop of candidates, the Contest appears to have eschewed the strife that characterised
a Liberal Leadership vote of the recent past. While such discord makes good
television it disturbs the sensible.
inclined to give much credit to Dwight Ball for that outcome. A year ago he could have justifiably alienated
Dean MacDonald, who used his position in the Party to advance support for Muskrat
Falls, even as he fumbled the Liberal Party’s policy fest.
could have labelled third place finisher, Cathy Bennett, as a shill for the Muskrat
business fraternity. But, he possesses a
patient, even calm demeanor. It is a
quality that has afforded him deft handling of those on the wrong side of the ‘sword
policy positions, including on Muskrat. That issue, alone, contains explosive power. After more than two years of discussion it is
still largely misunderstood. As its costs
get tallied, I expect Muskrat to destroy the Tory Party for a generation. Unlike Dean MacDonald and Cathy Bennett, I suspect Mr. Ball is not oblivious to
emerges from the Liberal Leadership contest stronger, but his challenge is to put
a reinvigorated political and moral authority to good use. Though he is often referred to as ‘gentlemen’,
that appellation will have limited currency as the Government’s PR types and
others begin to eviscerate his policies and his character.
neither a dogmatist nor a crusader. He enjoys a reputation for integrity.
ascribe to him values that suggest he is a person of compassion and generosity,
that he is a decent fellow, respectful of democratic values. His victory speech commitment to repeal Bill 29 reflects
these values and his common sense.
will not get to enjoy such effusive praise often.
Like all members of the public, this Blogger will keep a close
eye on how well he performs. If he does well,
it will be duly noted; if poorly, he shall receive the opprobrium the misstep deserves.
In that cause, we surely wish him good luck.