Lor­raine Michael de­serves the chance to lead

The Compass - - OPINION - — Ni­cholas Mercer is a reporter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The New Demo­cratic Party was all over the news last week.

Lo­cally, pun­dits were wait­ing for the NDP to give any sign the party was seek­ing to run a can­di­date in the by­elec­tion to fill the hole left in Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace by the de­par­ture of Jerome Kennedy.

That shoe dropped as Har­bour Grace Deputy Mayor So­nia Wil­liams came for­ward as a po­ten­tial can­di­date to run op­po­site Jack Har­ring­ton (PC) and Sam Slade (Lib­eral).

Mean­while, the big news out of the party was the grenade lobbed by the NDP cau­cus to­wards party leader Lor­raine Michael.

Cau­cus mem­bers Dale Kirby, Ge­orge Mur­phy, Gerry Rogers and Christo­pher Mitchelmore sent an email to Michael call­ing for a change in the lead­er­ship of the party ahead of the 2015 pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

Let’s face it, the ex­e­cu­tion of the move left lit­tle to be de­sired.

The let­ter was sent just af­ter Michael had re­turned from a month-long va­ca­tion in In­dia.

This meant the four pro­vin­cial MHAs would have had to meet while she was away and wrote the let­ter with­out con­sult­ing Michael be­fore­hand.

On the out­side, it would very much ap­pear to be a be­trayal and it def­i­nitely shows party doubts in her lead­er­ship.

But, a closer look shows a party that be­lieves its cur­rent leader won’t be able to get the job done when it comes to the pre­mier’s race.

They want some­one who can push the party over the hump, so to speak, and into the pre­mier’s of­fice.

Per­haps they’re look­ing at some­one like Jack Har­ris or Ryan Cleary, the sole NDP MPs in Ottawa.

But there is a case to be made for Michael. She has led the party to new heights in this prov­ince. Sup­port is at an all-time high in New­found­land and Labrador, and she con­sis­tently polls ahead of cur­rent pro­vin­cial leader Kathy Dun­derdale.

With that said, it ap­pears NDP sup­port is slip­ping. In the most re­cent poll done by Cor­po­rate Re­search As­so­ci­ates, the NDP dropped to sec­ond, eight points be­hind the Lib­er­als. So, you could say the pro­vin­cial cau­cus might have a point in their de­sire to have a new party leader.

Maybe the party does need a new leader. Maybe Michael has car­ried them as far as she could. And, maybe she does not have the nec­es­sary means or sup­port to rise up and snatch the lead­er­ship of this prov­ince away from the Lib­er­als and the Con­ser­va­tives.

But, Michael should have the op­por­tu­nity to try.

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