I've been a PC for the vast majority of the 36 years of my life since I reached voting age. I’ve never met Kathy Dunderdale. I’ll make those two facts clear up front.
Do I think Kathy did a perfect job? No. Do I think she was right choice for the job as premier? No. But let us not forget, she was chosen by acclamation. However, I do believe we owe her thanks.
I remember where I was that windy November day when I listened to Danny's news conference on the radio, naming Kathy Dunderdale as interim premier. That's an important word — interim. In my opinion, it was never intended she was to "fill Danny's boots" on a permanent basis.
We all figured there would be a leadership convention upcoming, with the radio and television alight with discussions on who would run. Those with a clear way of thinking believed Danny anointed Kathy for the interim so other party leadership prospects, the Marshalls and Kennedys of the party, could run in the leadership race.
Well, we all know now that nobody wanted to immediately follow in Danny's footsteps, for whatever reason.
Let's face it, when Danny resigned, the ratings (both his own and the PC party) were through the roof, and there was only one direction to go, and not, unfortunately, the direction anyone wanted to.
So Kathy stepped up to the plate. Was she the right person for the job? Hindsight possibly tells us no, but she tried, and she did her best.
The past few years in provincial politics have been interesting, to say the least. There have been mistakes to rework, and there have been accomplishments to celebrate.
Could anyone have done any better? Who knows, but under the circumstances, probably not.
Since Kathy Dunderdale has resigned, the way she has been ripped by the people of Newfoundland, regardless of what "colour" they vote, and the way she was slammed by some in the media, was certainly unfair, and to me, sickening.
To bring comments about her looks, her size, the way she dresses and more into the fray was uncalled for, in extremely bad taste, and in my opinion, certainly not the way Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are known for, or at least, have the reputation as being.
If you want to say she didn’t have the leadership qualities or speaking abilities of a Danny, or a Peckford, etc, then fine. But the personal attacks are atrocious.
Kathy, I wish you all the best in life.
— Jamie O'Flaherty