The “blue wave” didn't quite make it to Newfoundland and Labrador during yesterday’s provincial election. That's not to say the Liberals curbed the nationwide Tory surge, just that everyone was a loser.
The leader of the Progressive “Conservatives” ran a campaign so similar to the governing Liberals that voters had no motivation to pick the devil they didn't know.
The blue wave may not have made it to the shores of the Atlantic province, but the red swamp visibly receded. Dwight Ball's first term majority government was reduced to a minority, something that has never happened in Newfoundland politics. They are one seat short of a government, and that is before they even elect a speaker.
A voter told me over the phone from the PC election night party, “I voted in the advanced polls, but it didn't take long for Ches [Crosbie] to make me want to take my vote back,” and it's not hard to see why. The PC leader ran a campaign explicitly courting the socialist voters of the New Democratic Party. He ran on $25 a day daycare, a policy directly copied and pasted from the Ball Liberals' playbook. When The Rebel asked Crosbie if flip flopping on kicking out a pro-life candidate hurt his credibility as a conservative, he balked.
The right wing roster had an empty dugout this election. Sure, the Liberals were embarrassed. They couldn't avoid the stigma of their unpopular federal leader. Sure, Newfoundland and Labrador may very well head to the polls again within a year; they might even vote again before the next federal election. At the end of the day though, who cares?
There is no party courageous enough to deal with the nearly $30,000 of government debt that each member of their aging population shares. No party had a credible plan to electricity prices that are projected to double. There is no hope.
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