The official race to be Progressive Conservative Party leader likely began when Frank Coleman tipped his hat as he walked from is un-announcement, but it became official Monday.
Paul Davis, Steve Kent and John Ottenheimer have paid the necessary fees and filled out the proper paperwork to be gifted the premiership. The two cabinet ministers and one former cabinet minister are all household names in the province, albeit neither creates the hype and gusto one would expect when considering he will be handed the province’s top job.
All three are from the northeast Avalon, which is likely to draw the ire of some on the west coast. The argument will be — and always has been — that no one else in the province understands the issues local people face. Of course, they say the same thing on the southwest coast, in Labrador and in the central region, and every nook and cove outside the area where the politician is based. It’s too bad this victim-based attitude exists, but there’s little chance it will go away.
While we have a lot of “poor cousins” outside the Avalon, it doesnt mean the next premier should have a free ride by passing off any concerns.
He will need to draw on the expertise and knowledge of residents in the area to see what matters most to them — information he won’t get by only talking to elected representatives in the house.
While the learning curve will be steep it’s not something that’s unique to the next leader. In fact, the same transition occurs with each premier, and likely happened when current leader Tom Marshall took over.
Now that the race is in full stride people should be asking the tough questions of the three hopefuls. While it’s only the delegates who vote, the fact this is a free ride to the premier’s chair amplifies its importance.
Let’s hear what they have to say and encourage those people who cast the ever-important votes to pick a leader who’s looking out for the best of the entire province.