Look­ing to the fu­ture

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - An­drew Robin­son is The Com­pass’ ed­i­tor. He can be reached at ed­i­tor@cbn­com­pass.ca.

Premier Paul Davis was gen­er­ally upbeat dur­ing his visit to Har­bour Grace Ocean En­ter­prises last week. He shook hands with new and fa­mil­iar faces, made light-hearted jokes with re­porters cov­er­ing his cam­paign, and flashed a smile that didn’t ap­pear to be strained.

An elec­tion cam­paign is no doubt a gru­el­ing af­fair, with dif­fer­ent events to at­tend each and ev­ery day. It’s cer­tainly not an ideal en­deavor for in­tro­verts or those who are a lit­tle so­cially awk­ward.

Davis is out to fight the good fight for the party he chose to try and lead af­ter en­ter­ing lead­er­ship race last year fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Kathy Dun­derdale. He surely knew it would be an up­hill bat­tle, given the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives’ steady de­cline in pop­u­lar­ity over the last few years.

We’re now two weeks away from elec­tion day, and it would seem his party’s for­tunes are no bet­ter than they were in the last few months. In­deed, the Lib­er­als are still seen as the fron­trun­ners, and the lat­est polling news would sug­gest Justin Trudeau’s big win fed­er­ally is help­ing that cause.

The PCs are feel­ing that pres­sure in a num­ber of ways. In 2011, the Lib­er­als had trou­ble find­ing peo­ple to run in some dis­tricts. Now it’s the PCs turn to learn how frus­trat­ing that can be.

Car­bon­ear-Trin­ity-Bay De Verde was among the dis­tricts last week still await­ing a PC can­di­date.

The elec­tion cam­paign is not light­ing much of a fire un­der the pub­lic.

Com­ing off a long fed­eral elec­tion cam­paign and with Christ­mas just over a month away (sales are around ev­ery cor­ner), there are plenty of dis­trac­tions out there.

With the amount of time left to cam­paign, it’s in­evitable that Davis will not be the premier of this prov­ince in the New Year. He prob­a­bly knows this him­self, even if it’s not some­thing he’d ad­mit pub­licly.

Know­ing what he knows, it can’t be easy for Davis to talk about pol­icy and gov­ern­ment com­mit­ments when the odds are he’ll be Leader of the Op­po­si­tion (he should be able to hold on to his seat in Top­sail-Par­adise).

Had he lost the PC lead­er­ship race last year to John Ot­ten­heimer, maybe Davis would have been able to make a fresh start down the road as a leader and take his party into an elec­tion against a Lib­eral party with four years gov­ern­ing un­der its belt. Who knows how that sce­nario might’ve played out.

Hy­po­thet­i­cals aside, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how the PCs ad­just to be­ing op­po­si­tion mem­bers in the House, and who is left to be a part of that process.

The prom­i­nent PC in­cum­bents all face stiff op­po­si­tion. With that in mind, Davis should be strate­gic when con­sid­er­ing how he uses his time be­tween now and Nov. 30. Chances are, his min­ions will need all the help they can get.

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