Cathy Bennett was sworn in Monday as the Liberal member of the House of Assembly representing Virginia Waters. Bennett brings the number of Liberals in the house to 12, a far cry from the four the party had following the last general election.
Through winning three byelections and welcoming disgruntled members of other parties, the Grits have managed to turn themselves into a major force in the house under leader Dwight Ball.
Numbers alone, however, won’t impress voters in a general election that could come as early as this fall.
The ruling Tories are just biding their time waiting for July to install their only leadership candidate, Frank Coleman.
After that, the clock will start ticking on a 12-month deadline when voters must go to the polls.
The Liberals now have a couple of months while the house is open to show voters they are capable of running the province.
The have to do more than make the government look bad; they have to give the impression they are a government in waiting.
That means they will have to ask tough, probing questions in the house and be ready and able to offer viable options to government actions.
It won’t be good enough to turn the House of Assembly into a political circus of shouting and hurling insults.
The Liberals have assembled some talent but they will be facing a revamped Tory party when the writ is dropped and voters begin to make their choices.
As has been proven time and time again, anything can happen in politics in Newfoundland and Labrador.