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EDITORIAL: Lead us to the future, not the polls

A stack of newspapers
A stack of newspapers - 123RF Stock Photo

The province is gearing up for a possible spring election and the electorate is more concerned about watching our leaders lead then when they can find an opportune time to strike. Nothing new here.

Premier Dwight Ball hinted about the possible calling of a spring election this week. While the planned date for the election is Oct. 8 the province can change it if the federal election is around the same time. The scheduled date for the federal election is in late October.

So, basically, the province is saying the they’ll wait and see. However, the question really is: Will the Dwight Ball Liberals call an election now or risk losing further popularity among the electorate, which would diminish chances of a win in the fall?

The Progressive Conservatives have won the last three byelections in the province, including the one Thursday night. Leader Ches Crosbie figures he’s the architect of those victories — as you would — but, let’s face it, this is more about a waning tolerance for the provincial Liberals.

Locally, Gerry Byrne, Dwight Ball, Scott Reid and John Finn would have little issue retaining their seats for the Liberals if an election were called tomorrow.

The proverbial thorn in that plan’s side is the heightened popularity of Eddie Joyce, now-independent MHA of the Bay of Islands. Despite a series of flubs and poor arguments over the past year or two, Joyce is more popular than ever in his district. That’s the kind of loyalty that comes with being a “constituent’s” representative. No Liberal contender will take that away in short order.

Elsewhere in the province, you also have Liberal strongholds peppered with a sprinkle of opposition (save for Labrador, which is so red a Make America Great Again hat would be seen as a vote won).

Right now, the support Ball and his Liberals have would likely lead to a successful election win. And we’re sure this is the conversation being had on the eighth floor of Confederation Building.

However, the conversation around people’s living rooms is likely a different one.

Those chats are wondering what will come of the Muskrat Falls inquiry, or about how this current administration will deal with the provincial debt, or if the hard decisions on spending they’ve been avoiding will ever be made.

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