Party process ‘seems disingenuous to me’: Bill Barry

Diane
Diane Crocker
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Bill Barry is seen in an undated file photo.

Leader selected by the party insiders, he says

Bill Barry found it very difficult to “play the game” when he felt the game was over.

The Corner Brook businessman announced in an email early Thursday morning that he was withdrawing from the race to lead the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, leaving fellow businessman and friend Frank Coleman as the sole candidate.

In the email, Barry talked about the lack of support among cabinet ministers, his positions on recent policy decisions and how he felt he was playing against a stacked deck.

“Obviously, you know it’s not one particular thing, but it was a recognition in my own mind that the race wasn’t really a race,” said Barry in an exclusive interview with The Western Star.

“I just chose to recognize that the leader has been selected by the party insiders.”

Barry said those insiders have a right to present their own rules.

“But if they’re going to do that, why have a convention?” he asked. “If the determination is going be made before the debate happens, and before an event happens and people are going to all head in one particular direction, why go through the process? It seems disingenuous to me.

“No matter how it unfolded for me over the last three months I just reached a point where I felt that the decision for who the new leader was going to be was actually already made.”

To continue in the race, he said, would be like participating in a sham.

“I’m not in into that kind of stuff.”

He also pointed to flaws in the process as leaving him feeling uncomfortable. In particular delegate selection, which is something he said from the getgo he wouldn’t participate in.

“Some of the delegate selection processes that I attended were not democratic in nature. The people who were going to be chosen as delegates were selected before the doors even opened,” he said. “I really don’t like the process and I don’t expect to ever see a delegated convention process in Newfoundland ever again. I think this is old style and I don’t think it works well.”

Barry said he could have gotten beyond some things.

“If I felt we were actually going to a convention where there would be a free and open vote by all delegates and that the decision of — I call it the party insiders — wasn’t already made.”

He said the decision wasn’t made by everybody, but he described it as a numbers game and said the chances of him being successful in terms of winning were slim.

As for what’s next, Barry was clear in saying he thinks that Coleman is the premier.

“He’s the only one left in the race,” he said. “Premier (Tom) Marshall has already said that he will be stepping down so I assume that Frank will be stepping up.”

Barry said he has no negative feelings.

“I’m not offended by the outcome in any way. I know Frank well and I’m sure he’s anxious to get in there and go to work.

“I wish him well and I wish the province well.”

So for Barry it’s back to business.

“It’s not retirement,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve already had a full morning so far this morning.”

Will he consider running in the next provincial election? Barry said he hasn’t given it any thought.

He’ll still let his opinions and views be known and will do so, as he has in the past, from a non-political viewpoint.

“I always approached issues as if they were a generic issue and what’s your opinion on a generic issue, not whether it was blue or red or some other colour. And I’m sure my opinions are uncomfortable for many, but they are my opinions.”

He knows those opinions may have cost him support, but asking “Why not me?” is something he’s never done and won’t do.

“I accept it for the way it is,” he said. “But I think the way it is, from my own personal perspective, I really don’t feel I have to wait until the fourth or fifth of July to see what it is.

“It is what it is.”

Organizations: Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Western Star

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Recent comments

  • John q public
    April 23, 2014 - 17:55

    Just In- Barry might re enter leadership race if special rules are instituted by Progressive Conservative back room boys. Mr. Barry has list of demands that they must adhere to before reentering race. I wonder if Mark Critch could do a piece on " This Hour Has Twenty Two Minuites" regarding the latest from Bill Barry. Politics are a laff a minute.... And theirs lots of material....

  • Varrick Hammond
    April 22, 2014 - 10:47

    it`s sad to see but I think u should have stayed in the race and let dear old Danny sweet

  • Laughable
    April 21, 2014 - 09:16

    Got to say the people of the province of N & L haven't got a clue, what was pull on the people by the liberals party of our great province. Just that liberal , use a difference fix for their leadership, then the PC's did. But a fix is a fix, no matter what you may try to call its.

  • concerned
    April 21, 2014 - 08:50

    danny Williams and is brother is running the p.c. party it should be named the Williams party mr. barry didn,t have a chance in hell.he done the right thing I have a lot of respect for tom marshel hes like is dad a good man tom leave now you don,t needthis Williams party. hes a bully.

  • Robert
    April 19, 2014 - 17:13

    Barry should have stayed and Coleman opted out for the betterment of the party. Coleman is a puppet, this is a notch in his belt. Tell Frank how wonderful he is and he will agree

  • mellie
    April 19, 2014 - 12:19

    Its really hard to believe that the people choose the government.Did we elect what we have now.The whole process needs to be scrapped.Appointments its a joke.

  • For Real
    April 19, 2014 - 09:17

    Is he for real? He started off his campaign by insulting everyone in the party and now he's whining that no one supported him. Besides, no one with any self respect would ever enter politics.

  • Fred
    April 19, 2014 - 08:52

    Of everyone knows hoe perfect and transparent the Liberal Party is. One only has to look at the federal Liberals and see the shenanigans carried on by Justin Trudeau as him and his inner circle chooses the candidates, contrary to the riding association, to run in the next federal election.

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 19, 2014 - 08:45

    Funny. Danny will be the downfall.

  • Corner Brooker
    April 19, 2014 - 08:38

    Frank Coleman will always be known as 'Danny's Boy' .....thank you Danny, another disservice!

  • Land Grabber
    April 19, 2014 - 08:26

    Bill done the right thing.. as bold as the PC klan is they weren't smart enough to throw a few behind Mr. Barry and have the appearance of a race and get all the free exposure they wanted.. Stacked deck... time for some old rich hacks to shut up and go home out of it... lets negotiate a salary for this premier as we've heard far too much about other forms of payment....

  • Travis White
    April 19, 2014 - 08:23

    It's apparent from the comments posted below that many folks are totally uninformed about the democratic process of electing a leader. The "back room" politics perspective governance is the attitude of the obviously uninformed and totally ignorant to the process. Bill Barry appears to be all about BILL BARRY, and not about doing what's best for the party or the province. Bill made a rod for his own back with his comments and his electability was dashed by his own hand. That he blames it on the actions of others says more about Bill Barry than anyone else.

  • Travis White
    April 19, 2014 - 08:22

    It's apparent from the comments posted below that many folks are totally uninformed about the democratic process of electing a leader. The "back room" politics perspective governance is the attitude of the obviously uninformed and totally ignorant to the process. Bill Barry appears to be all about BILL BARRY, and not about doing what's best for the party or the province. Bill made a rod for his own back with his comments and his electability was dashed by his own hand. That he blames it on the actions of others says more about Bill Barry than anyone else.

    • dave sharpe
      April 21, 2014 - 08:30

      Travis, you seem to have quite a handle on uninformed bud. To call others uninformed because they call a spade a spade is ludicrous. Frank Colemen is by any metric used Danny's boy, if you can't or won't admit that then that says all anyone needs to know about where you stand.

  • Jed
    April 18, 2014 - 18:11

    Good move Mr.Barry! You threw a kink into the Danny Williams puppet show. Come on 2015!

  • Jed
    April 18, 2014 - 18:10

    Good move Mr.Barry! You threw a kink into the Danny Williams puppet show. Come on 2015!

  • Mike in AB
    April 18, 2014 - 14:31

    If the Tories really wanted fresh new ideas from a leader, they would not have flocked to Danny's boy. As I recall , Danny initially chose Dunderdale to succeed him and then brother Tommy was integral in seeing her acclaimed as leader, and we all know how that turned out. Bill Barry has exposed the real problem with the old hacks in the Tory caucus and executive, they are stuck in the past and the arrogance of a party that has been dictating to the electorate for too long. This lack of foresight is why they are losing seats and credibility.

    • gord
      April 19, 2014 - 21:17

      Good comment Mike. There is an old saying I remember hearing from seniors, "too many cooks spoil the broth". This may be a factor as the "Williams" ingredient has over powered this soup!

  • Brian
    April 18, 2014 - 12:44

    Don't worry Bill, its been pretty disingenuous here in Port de Grave district too since we made the big mistake of going PC last election. That will change next time.

  • larry
    April 18, 2014 - 12:04

    Bill Barry,did the right thing,the Pc Gov.of Newfoundland has been playing games for ever,they should never be be given the chance to run Newfoundland again.The people should smarten up.

  • Grandpa Pike
    April 18, 2014 - 11:43

    Yup! There's a real Party man and a team player. If he wanted to help the Party he would have stayed in to provide the illusion of a race. He could later throw his support behind Coleman and be guaranteed a cabinet post. Did he want to be a member or a cabinet minister and serve the people?? Of course not! He wanted to be Premier! Wanted to be the big shot! At least he showed his colours so the people will be forewarned if he ever offers to "serve" us again. ........Grandpa Pike

    • Rod Lyver
      April 19, 2014 - 10:08

      Good on you Bill!!! At least we know you're not a party suckhole. The Torys were too stun to realise that the people of NL were not about to put op with having another premier appointed and have only themselves to blame. Hey Granpa, you're exactly what's wrong with politics today and why more people are staying home and not voting.

  • Dan Putin
    April 18, 2014 - 11:43

    Heard Steve Kent MHA Thursday on radio, sounding robotic, on cue, script in hand , gabbing how much he is "behind" unelected to be Premier of NL. The lunch of seal flippers was ruined after that.

  • Just Sayin
    April 18, 2014 - 11:28

    And we think the oligarch system in Russia and Ukraine is bad?

  • John
    April 18, 2014 - 09:58

    You hit the nail right on the head..... Disgusting back room boys doing what they do best. SUBVERTING the process.. The Progressive Conservatives are trying to pull the wool over the electorate again with this sham of a leadership review selection. 4

  • Marshall Art
    April 18, 2014 - 09:56

    Bill Barry didn't want to participate in a sham and who can blame him? Danny Williams, who, against his own advice, didn't just shut up and go away, made it known to all PC insiders, that he didn't want Barry for their leader. That's it, case closed. Bill Barry might just as well whistle Dixie as continue playing a game that was already over. So now, the PC's will have a leader who will be referred to as Frank who ?. Happy now, Danny ? The Master Puppeteer has left the stage but he's still controlling his puppets from behind the curtains. A sole candidate, a stacked deck, a leader elected, for all intents and purposes, before a convention, and puppets controlled by a former Premier. Ah, democracy in action. Ya gotta love it.

    • Roddy
      April 18, 2014 - 14:40

      Danny was crooked when Kathy wouldn't be his puppet ... guess he's happy now .. got his puppets back .. if he wanted to be in control what in the hell did he leave for .. got me turned .. no more PC for me. Can you say ABC.

  • Marshall Art
    April 18, 2014 - 09:54

    Bill Barry didn't want to participate in a sham and who can blame him? Danny Williams, who, against his own advice, didn't just shut up and go away, made it known to all PC insiders, that he didn't want Barry for their leader. That's it, case closed. Bill Barry might just as well whistle Dixie as continue playing a game that was already over. So now, the PC's will have a leader who will be referred to as Frank who ?. Happy now, Danny ? The Master Puppeteer has left the stage but he's still controlling his puppets from behind the curtains. A sole candidate, a stacked deck, a leader elected, for all intents and purposes, before a convention, and puppets controlled by a former Premier. Ah, democracy in action. Ya gotta love it.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    April 18, 2014 - 09:30

    Seems Mr. Barry made a decision that any person who respects himself or herself and has respect for the democratic process would do ................. He did the right thing --- the only thing a person of integrity could do.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    April 18, 2014 - 09:26

    Seems Mr. Barry made a decision driven by both self respect and respect for a true democratic process................. To continue to participate in the predetermined process set up by party insiders would require Mr. Barry to set aside any sense of respect not only for the democratic process, but respect for himself.---- He did the right thing, and the only thing a person of integrity could do.

  • W Bagg
    April 18, 2014 - 08:25

    I think Barry just summed up what has been plagueing the PC PARTY for a few years now.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    April 18, 2014 - 08:18

    Accordingly, Mr. Barry did the only thing that was not only self-respectful, but respectful to the democratic process.

  • Ben
    April 18, 2014 - 07:55

    Well Barry didn't start off on a very good foot either. You're either in it or not. People have the right to support who they want, that has nothing to do with internal process. I think Bill saw that he had no chance at winning, in case people don't know there are a lot of folks in the province who are not fond of Barry. Let's just bow out gracefully and stop the childishness.

  • mainlander
    April 18, 2014 - 07:48

    Ouch...the man has called it like it is. Too bad more people wouldn't do the same.

  • Sam
    April 18, 2014 - 07:48

    What does he expect when his opening statement is that those same insiders would not recognize a bucket of s--t if it was on their heads. Being able to censor yourself is a key for any leader and Mr. Barry proved he never has a thought that he kept to himself.

  • mainlander
    April 18, 2014 - 07:47

    Ouch...the man has called it like it is. Too bad more people wouldn't do the same.

  • Guy incognito
    April 18, 2014 - 05:39

    The process seemed disingenuous? That's the understatement of the year.....if anyone thinks the process isn't fixed behind closed doors they are fooling themselves.

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 18, 2014 - 05:20

    The back room boys are running the show.