The Liberals were slicker than goose crap on linoleum in the Dwight Ball resignation announcement.
One day Dwight was a happy, if embattled, premier. A couple of days later the dice were tumbling into place for a leadership succession. I wasn’t rocked to my boots by the announced exit. Word was there were rumblings of unhappiness within the Liberal caucus and within what someone called, “the Liberal donor class.” No big surprise.
All the wrong reasons
The Liberal government has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. The headlines run from Carla Foote’s job opportunities at The Rooms to the sweetheart contract for Gordon MacIntosh, thus I didn’t fall off my chair. I was surprised at a couple of things. One was how his last day was so well orchestrated: a pre-recorded announcement embargoed until 6P.M. to catch both of the major television newscasts with no opportunity for questions from reporters. A series of “one-on-ones” with various news outlets followed. I am dead curious as to whose hand was on that particular PR tiller.
The other surprise for me is a long list of “those who would be king” that didn’t materialize. I remember when Frank Moores stepped down as Premier they were lined up two deep in the ranks to take a crack at the top prize. Young Brian Peckford eventually won it. All the people I had expected to enter the fray peeled away in a hurry. From the provincial caucus there was no Andrew Parsons; no Siobhan Coady; no Gerry Byrne. From the federal Liberal ranks no Yvonne Jones; No Seamus O’Regan.
Something is afoot
To my jaundiced eye something is afoot. Hovering around is Dr. Andrew Furey. We know him as the good doctor who heals the sick in far-off lands, but he has a good political pedigree. He is the son of Senator George Furey, and is rumoured to have already been fundraising for a while. There is as well talk of both Dean MacDonald and Paul Antle*. They are well known and well healed unelected Liberals.
All those three gentlemen have something important in common. None of them hired Carla Foote and none came up with a job for Gordon MacIntosh. They also didn’t take the Liberals from a solid majority to a clinging minority. They are clean. They could all have a go at putting a new face to the Liberal government just as Peckford did for the PC’s when Frank Moores skedaddled.
(Editors note: Since the publication of this column Mr. Antle has since declined to enter the leadership race)***
NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]