Barry calls for a democratic leadership selection process

Cory Hurley
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Bill Barry

Bill Barry has the same message for the Conservative party following Frank Coleman’s resignation that he did the day he walked away from the leadership race.

The Corner Brook businessman withdrew from the race in April. At the time, he was leaving fellow businessman and friend Frank Coleman to assume the leadership and become the province’s next premier.

Barry believed the leadership race was pre-determined by party insiders. One-by-one, Tory ministers and MHAs announced their support of Coleman in the race. Former premier Danny Williams was highly critical of Barry and his views expressed during the campaign.

With the entire process of searching for a new leader about to reset, he was again suggesting change Monday.

“My recommendation to them — whether it means anything to anybody or not, which it probably doesn’t — would be to initiate the most open, democratic process that has ever existed in Newfoundland to elect a leader,” Barry said.

He said a ballot box should be placed in every riding and every person over 18 is eligible to vote.

He also said everybody over 18 should be encouraged to run for the job ... and without certain financial obligations.

“Let people go into that ballot box in the individual riding and select a new leader for the PC party and ultimately for the province,” he said. “Then, you have real democracy.”

He was skeptical as to whether his “grassroots” process would be considered as opposed to the “backroom dealings of power elites.”

Barry said he quit in his quest for the leadership because of the process that was in place. Coleman’s resignation brings no regrets to him. He said he has given no consideration to entering the race again. To even consider it, he said there must be an open and transparent selection process.

“If I had my time back, I would have done it in the exact same way,” he said.

His thoughts Monday on the surprise announcement were of concern for the Coleman family.




Geographic location: Corner Brook, Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Rod Park
    June 20, 2014 - 03:50

    It appears that the writing is on the wall and no one wants to be Captain of the sinking PC ship. Even big business leaders like Bill Barry are using terms such as; open democratic process, everybody over 18 should be encouraged to run for the job ... and without certain financial obligations. grassroots” process “Then, you have real democracy.” When right wing folks like Bill Barry starts talking like that you know that they have accepted that the people are shifting there political views from the far right to the left. Maybe not as far left as the NDP but a Liberal government for sure.

  • concerned
    June 17, 2014 - 08:00

    the reason for all the troubles in the pc party is former priemer danny willams sticking is nose in. danny breen lost is election because of him.danny breen is a good man

  • Jeffery McFatridge
    June 17, 2014 - 07:45

    No matter who takes the wheel for premier of the PC party , The PCs are not getting in this time around they are TOTALLY washed up.