It’s a wonder the provincial Tories have been able to run the province for a decade considering their record organizing the most recent a leadership campaign.
Monday, premier designate Frank Coleman held a press conference — one of very few — to announce that he won’t be accepting the leadership of the party and the premiership of the province.
Coleman said there was a “significant and challenging family matter that has arisen in the past week,” but gave no more details on it.
His exit follows the party’s leadership committee tossing one candidate, Wayne Bennett, out of the race for breaking the rules. The other candidate, Bill Barry, pulled out because he claimed Coleman had the backing of the party heavyweights and insiders, giving him no chance of winning.
Talk about being disorganized.
This is a party which was gearing up to stay in power despite their dwindling support. What happens now is anyone’s guess.
Will Bennett and Barry be allowed to throw their names in the hat again? Will those cabinet ministers who shied away from the fight because they thought Coleman was a shoo-in get a do over? What about the convention? The date is set and all the arrangements made, one would assume, with the gathering less than a month away.
Also, what happens to Premier Tom Marshall? He was ready to head off into retirement and let Coleman run in his Humber East seat. Marshall has said all along that he doesn’t want the job of premier on a long-term basis.
What about the staff Coleman has installed in the premier’s office preparing for the time he took over? They now have no legitimacy or right to be making decisions for the government.
The questions far outweigh the answers at this stage. What a mess.