After the provincial Tories elect a new leader in July, the winner will almost certainly be looking to get a seat in the House of Assembly as soon a possible.
Interim Premier Tom Marshall has offered to step down so the new PC leader can try to represent Humber East in the house.
Marshall has already said he won’t be running in the next general election and will retire from politics.
If it’s only a matter of a few months before a general election, the Liberals and NDP should seriously consider sitting out of a byelection as a cost-saving opportunity.
The laws of the province stipulate that a general election has to be held promptly, so there will only be a few short months before the Liberals can take their best shot at winning the district for a full term.
No doubt the Grits would take great glee in embarrassing the new PC leader — Bill Barry or Frank Coleman — by defeating him at the polls, but that can take a back seat to more pressing concerns.
The new PC leader and premier can legally run the province without holding a seat in the House of Assembly; he just can’t sit in the legislature to join in debate and answer questions about decisions government is making.
It could even be advantageous for the Liberals and New Democrats to have either Barry or Coleman joining in the cut and thrust of debate, especially when neither of them has any experience in the art of politics.
If the two opposition parties hold back on running candidates in a byelection, it will allow the business of government to proceed for a few short months and it will save thousands of dollars needed to hold a byelection.
Surely, the Liberal party will want to see if it can make it four byelection wins in a very short time, but is the cost worth it?