The once-mighty Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador says it’s begun the long journey back to regaining power. The party faithful met in Gander during the weekend and spent much of the time discussing how to rebuild the party after hearing from a high-powered committee that travelled the province seeking ideas on how to renew the party that has fallen on hard times.
In the most recent general election, the Liberals did maintain their Official Opposition status, but the NDP is snapping at their heels.
As it turned out on election day, the Liberals are the party based in western Newfoundland and Labrador, the New Democrats are mostly a St. John’s-centred group, while the winning Tories managed to appeal to both urban and rural voters. The Liberals have lots of work to do and they know it. Their first order of business is to pay off their bills and start the next campaign in the black and with a permanent leader who will stay in that post for more than a few months.
The Liberals have gone through a succession of leaders while languishing in opposition and that has made it difficult for the party to send a consistent message to voters.
After all, if they can’t hold the party of like-minded individuals together, voters must wonder how they will ever run the province.
One thing that should have Liberals showing more optimism is the slow but steady decline in the support for the ruling Tories and their leader Premier Kathy Dunderdale.
If that erosion continues until the 2015 vote, the Liberals should have a fair shot of taking over the government — if they do their homework and prove to voters they have a better plan for the province than the Tories or the NDP.