contenders for the P.C Leadership are having a tough time finding their
footing. Bill Barry and Frank Coleman, two successful businessmen, have not
quite grasped the challenge for which they have signed on.
people, they understand the principles and challenges of team-building and
organization, financing, management effectiveness, and marketing. These skills are
as relevant to winning the Office of Premier as they are perquisites to running
profitable enterprises. Given their backgrounds, who should be more capable of defining
goals, conjuring strategies and demonstrating success?
neither Candidate, especially Coleman, has demonstrated he understands the
elements of a province-wide campaign or the capability to draw all of them together.
I don’t get
it! Roughly 45 people attended a
delegate selection meeting in the District of Topsail, 100 in Clarenville (Trinity
North) and a handful at Memorial! Even the
third Party NDP can attract such a turnout! Voters numbering in the 300-500 range,
sometimes far more, came out in earlier leadership races when Peckford, Rideout
and Verge were contenders.
turnout so high, then, and not now? Those
candidates boasted skilled organizations.
Perhaps, they understood that failing to get their delegates elected meant
the math would work against them.
voters participated in last year’s Liberal Leadership contest; based upon early
showings, the Tories will not come close to that figure.
Coleman or Bill Barry were asked to compete for the right to manufacture and
market a widget you can bet your booties that, as consumers, you would already
be inundated with information as to the advantages of Coleman’s widget over
Barry’s and vice versa.
the same as making or marketing widgets but many of the principles employed in
the winning strategies of business are very similar.
elemental is the requirement that Candidates will organize at a high level and communicate
with voters; even then their best efforts (or the perfect widget) might still fail.
race has no energy. It has no
focus. It is inspiring no one. Yet, the Contest is (or ought to be) an
essential aspect of the Party’s renewal process; its importance is even more
pronounced in consequence of the Virginia Waters loss.
Coleman is not talking policy (or anything else). He has said he wants to do
more of what the Tories did previously.
That’s not going to work.
expects Danny Williams to carry the can, that won’t work either. Danny has just torn up the pavement in
Virginia Waters and proved he is passé. Anyway,
the public want to hear from Coleman, not from Danny.
is writing policies though he is not getting the notice he needs, at least not
know this is a Province in which the media is fixated on road-kill and weather. Though his early missteps may have given reporters
fuel to deride him and pan his press releases it is, nevertheless, up to him to
figure out a way to be heard – even if he has to get Cecil Hare and Ryan
Snodden banished to same place Kathy Dunderdale is holding up.
renderings, especially on the fiscal position of the Province, reflect a level
of knowledge that one might expect from a serious leadership aspirant. They reveal concerns about our massive
spending increases, expansion of the bureaucracy of government and an over
reliance on oil revenues. He rightly
notes the price of oil is difficult to predict, and acknowledges the trend has a
downward bias, suggesting change is needed in our fiscal decisions.
of the risk of a price decline occurring as this Province’s need for capital
continues to ramp up, especially for the Muskrat Falls Project.
Coleman is insistent that everything is fine and we just need to do more of what the
Tories have already done, we will be denied any ideas he might have. We will
possess only his assurance the Province is in for a glorious future.
Coleman is taking a different approach. Perhaps he believes the delegate selection
process has little to do with policy.
is true (and I don’t think it is), it is no excuse for poor organization.
the task facing Coleman and Barry is daunting.
It is fraught with personal risk and challenge. It should be.
No free pass should be afforded anyone seeking the job of the Province’s
would do well to read Nalcor Board Chairman, Ken Marshall’s letter to the Weekend Telegram. Marshall confirms, in
full public view, that the arrogance and frequent displays of ignorance
exhibited during the Dunderdale period, were not her exclusive purview. That
Premier Tom Marshall has not already put him in his place is a manifestation
that nothing about this Government, attitudinally or otherwise, has changed.
wonder what Frank Coleman and Bill Barry think about Ken Marshall’s
comments? Do they also see him as a Neanderthal
playing defense for Ed Martin when the public is tired of excuses for Nalcor’s
secrecy? (More on this subject, Thursday.)
public are not even watching, having tuned out sometime ago.
exactly why the P.C Leadership contest is so important. If they can’t win the public’s focus now,
when do they hope to begin?
Candidates need to dust off those manuals on how to sell a better widget.
the public may not even know when the Race is over.