Local political watches say Dunderdale’s resignation was to be expected in light of recent polls
After a troubling few weeks in the polls, Kathy Dunderdale announced Wednesday morning she would be stepping down as the province’s premier and PC Party leader.
© Beacon file photo
Churence Rogers expects much discussion within the PC party following Dunderdale's resignation on Wednesday.
The news travelled like wildfire across Newfoundland and Labrador, and people reacted with emotion to her announcement.
Wayne Moss, of Gander, said it was an expected outcome after a recent drop in approval ratings for Dunderdale.
“That’s two leaders now, Dunderdale and Lorraine Michael, as soon as they turned their back they were pounced upon,” he said.
As for her run as premier, Moss said. Dunderdale’s career wasn’t all that successful.
“It was mediocre,” he said. “She has done nothing fabulous. Anybody can lead when they have oil money coming but when it starts to drop off, that’s when a true leader would come into effect. The revenue is starting to drop so whoever takes over the leadership won’t have that spending ability.”
Gander resident Ewart Tibbo and agreed that the Premier’s resignation wasn’t surprising, but he disagreed with Moss’s assessment of Dunderdale’s time as premier.
“I think she was strong and tough. She wasn’t trying to be popular; she was trying to do what’s right for the province,” said Tibbo.
Churence Rogers, president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, said while the news of the resignation came as a surprise, it wasn’t completely shocking.
“I was somewhat surprised,” said Rogers, “But when you look at what’s been going on in the province with polling and that kind of thing, it seemed to be a matter of not if, but when she have to make that kind of decision.”
Low approval ratings can be expected of any politician when the public is no longer behind them, he said.
“That’s politics. When you lose public support it’s tough to get it back.”
Paul Lane, a former political bruiser for the Tories, crossed the floor earlier in the week to join Dwight Ball and the Liberal party. While the news came as a shock to some people, Moss said it wasn’t the first time that sort of thing happened, and he believes it was one factor that led to Dunderdale’s resignation.
“I wasn’t surprised,” said Moss. “I’ve seen it before; I’ve seen Crosbie cross the floor to get rid of Smallwood.”
As for leadership of the provincial PC party, Moss and Tibbo both agreed there’s not much potential for a leader out of the current caucus.
“I really don’t think there’s anyone in either party that would be a good leader. I can’t see a leader amongst the whole works of them,” said Moss.
“I can’t see anyone that’s there as premier material,” he said. “They may prove to but I don’t see anybody right now.”
Moss offered up an interesting suggestion to who would be a good fit for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“My opinion is the only person they could get to run this province is Rick Hillier,” he said, referring to the popular former chief of the defense staff of the Canadian Forces.
There’s a good chance the Liberal party will take over leadership in the 2015 election, said Tibbo.
“I’m afraid they will,” he laughed.
As for the PC party leadership and re-election as the provincial government, it will take a strong leader to win back the support of the people, said Moss.
“Nobody’s going to find another Danny Williams,” he said, referring to the former premier. “If they can come up with another Danny Williams, Dwight Ball doesn’t have a prayer.”