Pre­dic­tions for a pro­vin­cial elec­tion

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Editorial -

Are you ready to vote in a pro­vin­cial gen­eral elec­tion in this prov­ince this fall?

Let’s ex­am­ine the tea leaves for a mo­ment and then de­cide for your­self if Pre­mier Dwight Ball is seek­ing to cap­i­tal­ize now on a lead in the polls.

We need a ref­er­ence point to start my hy­poth­e­sis so let’s look back to May 25, 2018 when Ball called the me­dia to his dis­trict to an­nounce the sale of $5 salmon li­cences.

The gov­ern­ment could have eas­ily sent out a press re­lease to make this an­nounce­ment, but to get the me­dia ex­po­sure it de­sired, a show­case at a lo­cal busi­ness in the pre­mier’s dis­trict would be more im­pact­ful.

Then, shortly af­ter, an­other me­dia call was put out a lit­tle down the road in Cor­ner Brook, where Ball made yet an­other an­nounce­ment re­gard­ing the new hos­pi­tal for the western re­gion. As he was flanked by MHAS from all over the west coast, we were told that we would have to wait for a fu­ture date when the win­ning con­sor­tium to build would be an­nounced.

Again, no press re­lease when me­dia cov­er­age of print, ra­dio and TV gar­ners more ex­po­sure.

What’s hap­pened since then? Well, we have seen a num­ber of joint fed­eral/pro­vin­cial fund­ing an­nounce­ments from skills train­ing to wa­ter and sewer as the sum­mer moved on.

Look for a Lib­eral campaign brochure this fall in your mail­box with pic­tures from these events.

But why would Ball want to go to the elec­torate this fall a full year be­fore he has to? Great ques­tion. Here’s why: po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tors are not­ing across the coun­try that the Con­ser­va­tive brand is get­ting elected.

On­tario’s Pre­mier Doug Ford is the lat­est vic­tor. Ja­son Ken­ney in Al­berta is also ex­pected to re­turn the Con­ser­va­tive brand to power in 2019. (There isn’t a Lib­eral gov­ern­ment in power west of Que­bec.) Sand­wiched be­tween those two elec­tions is the elec­tion in New Brunswick this Sept. 24th.

Main­street Re­search’s poll on July 17, 2018 had the N.B. Lib­er­als and the PCS both neck and neck just four months af­ter the Lib­er­als had a com­mand­ing 13-point lead. Main­street Re­search as of July 17, 2018 has the Lib­er­als in N.L. at 45.8 per cent and the PCS at 35.6 per cent.

What are the chances Ball does not want to squan­der a lead like Lib­eral Pre­mier Brian Gal­lant in New Brunswick has done to a rookie PC leader there, too? If he gives up just five points to the Tories, it’s a tie as in New Brunswick.

On the fed­eral scene there is an elec­tion in 2019. In 2015, when Justin Trudeau came to power, the fed­eral elec­tion was be­fore our pro­vin­cial elec­tion. Should that or­der hold true in 2019 and Trudeau is de­feated, be­fore we would go to the polls provin­cially, it would be very dif­fi­cult for Ball to “guar­an­tee a win” as he has al­ready promised at the Lib­eral con­ven­tion ear­lier this year.

Ball has to be ask­ing him­self this ques­tion: do I go to the peo­ple in the fall of 2018 with a 10-point lead on the Conservatives or do I wait un­til 2019 when more Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ments will be in place across the coun­try and the move­ment will not be to­wards elect­ing Lib­eral gov­ern­ments?

The world of pol­i­tics in its purest, sim­plest form is all about one thing only: win­ning.

I sus­pect Ball knows he can win now.

Like­wise, I sus­pect he is not so cer­tain he can win a year from now as the po­lit­i­cal land­scape changes all across the coun­try, as pre­vi­ously men­tioned.

Just ask Pre­mier Gal­lant of New Brunswick what a dif­fer­ence four months can make.

From a salmon li­cence an­nounce­ment for $5, to a tour of the new multi-mil­lion-dol­lar Me­mo­rial Univer­sity Core Sci­ence Build­ing with the me­dia in tow (still two years away from com­ple­tion) all crescen­do­ing an­nounce­ments cul­mi­nat­ing in po­ten­tial ev­i­dence that the elec­tion train has left the sta­tion.

The only thing miss­ing is a Lib­eral campaign slo­gan: “Mov­ing For­ward To­gether.”

Just ask Pre­mier Gal­lant of New Brunswick what a dif­fer­ence four months can make.

Bern Kenny, Cor­ner Brook

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