Crane prepared to put her job on the line

Wayne Thibodeau
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Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party calls for changes to allow for automatic leadership review

Not only does Olive Crane support a leadership review, the sitting leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is calling for one.

Crane says she'd like her party to adopt constitutional changes to allow for an automatic review of the leader's job after every election.

There is currently nothing in the party's constitution to allow for an automatic leadership review.

Crane has consistently tracked well behind her party.

The latest polling data released Tuesday by Corporate Research Associates shows Crane 12 points behind her party.

PC Party support has increased when compared with the last poll conducted in August while Crane's own personal support has remained stagnant.

"It's not just about me personally, it's about any leader," Crane told The Guardian.

"Some parties have automatic leadership reviews every two years. I've asked the party to look at that."

More than a year ago, Crane asked the Progressive Conservative Party to review its constitution.

The rules that govern the party have not been overhauled for more than 25 years.

A committee is now doing that. It is expected to report back early in the new year.

If the constitution is changed, Crane's leadership could come up for review within the next two years.

"I think that's important. It's healthy. It gets people really excited again," Crane added.

The latest polling data shows the Liberal Party at 53 per cent. That's down from 59 per cent in August, when the last poll was conducted.

However, when compared against the Oct. 3 provincial election results, in which the Liberal Party received 51.4 per cent of the vote, the party remains right where it was on election night.

PC Party support is at 34 per cent. That's up from 31 per cent in August. However, it is down from the Oct. 3 provincial election when the party received 40.2 per cent of the vote.

The Island Democrats, Green Party and Island Party all remain in single-digit territory.

About 59 per cent of those polled say they are satisfied with the overall performance of the Ghiz government. That's down four percentage points.

Islanders who are dissatisfied with the Ghiz government increased nine percentage points to 37 per cent.

In terms of leadership, 50 per cent of Islanders say they prefer Robert Ghiz as premier. That's up four per cent.

Crane is the choice of 22 per cent of those polled, unchanged from August, when the last poll was conducted.

Don Mills, president of Corporate Research Associates,said Crane needs to improve those numbers if she wants to hold on to her party's top job.

"Olive Crane is not a strong asset at the moment for the party," Mills said in an interview.

"I think that's important. It's healthy. It gets people really excited again," Olive Crane

"They gained some seats but I don't think it was because of the leadership scores because her popularity is less than half that of Ghiz. I think there will be some questions about leadership of the party over the long run, whether or not Ms. Crane is the appropriate person to lead them into the next election."

Crane defends her job.

Her officials point out Crane's numbers are not much different than Robert Ghiz's when Ghiz was in Opposition.

Crane also questions the accuracy of the polling data, raising concerns about pollsters only surveying home phone numbers.

"This was the same polling firm that suggested not once but twice in October that we wouldn't win a seat," said Crane.

"We elected five people. How does he explain that?"

Pollsters surveyed 300 Prince Edward Island residents between Nov. 8 and 29.

The overall margin of error is plus or minus 5.7 percentage points 95 times out of 100.

About 26 per cent of those polled say they are undecided.

The PC Party isn't the only party without automatic leadership reviews. The governing Liberal Party also doesn't call for an automatic leadership review.

Personally speaking, Crane said she has no concerns about going up for a leadership review.

"Not whatsoever," she said.

"We're still gaining memberships. We had a very successful leader's dinner last week. Last night, we had one of the biggest Christmas events we've had in the past five years."


CRA Poll

Corporate Research Associates carried out a poll of 300 Prince Edward Island residents Nov. 8 to 29. Poll is considered accurate within plus or minus 5.7 per cent.

Which one of the following individuals would you most prefer as premier of Prince Edward Island?

- Robert Ghiz/Liberal Party 50 per cent (46 per cent in August);

- Olive Crane/PC Party 22 per cent (unchanged);

- James Rodd/NDP 4 per cent (3 per cent);

- Sharon Labchuk/Green Party 3 per cent (2 per cent);

- Billy Cann/Island Party 0 per cent (2 per cent);

- None of the above 11 per cent (5 per cent);

- Don't know/No Answer 11 per cent (20 per cent).

To see the full polling data, click on View the Gallery. Each board is posted seperately.


Organizations: Progressive Conservative Party, Crane's, Corporate Research Associates Liberal Party The Guardian Island Democrats Green Party Island Party PC Party

Geographic location: Don Mills, Prince Edward Island, Christmas

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Recent comments

  • Jingle Balls
    December 07, 2011 - 23:12

    Well well well,,,I knew it wouldn't take long after the election for this to get out that the party dont want their leader.,.,you would think after all the dirty work durring the campaign in her district that Larry curley and moe would be able to muster up more then 22% support for poor old Olive, maybe you should post your intentions on the bulletin board at the irving or just send out a last minute mail out deliveried by your close supporters i may mention, anyway you may do the review and find out you will be back on your clay road farming blueberries on your family farm, or you never know this handy christmas you may just be OLIVE the other reigndeer.Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight.

  • Shawn
    December 07, 2011 - 20:13


  • Leader
    December 07, 2011 - 15:29

    ,Olive,you are too honest to be a leader.You must develop a phony personality,a phony agenda a phony gift of the gab,AND PNP money for you and your family and friends,

  • Time
    December 07, 2011 - 15:22

    Time the Conservatives support their leader.Too many who were at the troff want more pork.Time to ride the horse that is in the race,an honest horse,Time to forget the past and build a future for Olive and the Party.

  • Kevin
    December 07, 2011 - 14:01

    From what I hear, Olive is a nice person. But publicly she comes across as someone who is better at scolding people than coming up with solutions.

  • Long time tory
    December 07, 2011 - 11:33

    We just had a leadership convention and the win was clear by a long shot... those who don't like the result should have came and participated. As stated on here some of the old boys did just that and that is probably part of the reason Ballem lost....people are tired of the old backroom boys ! Olive is honest,approachable and has a common touch which is too rare in politics !! Go Olive- I love you as leader... just what islanders need !!

  • Canadian first
    December 07, 2011 - 10:28

    Email from 'ISLANDER' dated Dec. 6/11 most interesting. I agree...the old boys club is working hard to regain the old stuff back. We do not need it...maybe they do.....but we the people do not. So let's move on..forward.

  • Black Bart
    December 07, 2011 - 10:24

    Paul and Trixie would be good but Shink and The Roon would get a lot more votes as they are two Tory powerhouses in Crane's district.

  • PC Party with Liberal Ideals
    December 07, 2011 - 10:12

    Wait a minute everyone! You can not compare the provincial parties with their federal counterparts. Mr. Ghiz and his Liberal team have VERY conservative ideals. Mrs. Crane and her PC team have VERY liberal ideals. It is not as simple as a colour or a party name.

  • SG
    December 07, 2011 - 08:42

    Immaterial to me whether the Conservative Party has a Leadership review or not. I'm quite capable of doing my own Leadership review. Personally I wish PC Leader Olive Crane could find a more weighty and interesting topic for a News Release. One suggestion might be, why is our Government funding a Company and providing 40 Hectares of PEI Land for Genetically Modified Sugar Beets for the pupose of Ethanol Production? Why is our Government supporting Genetically Modified anything given many other Countries ie: the US and Europe won't allow GM Products to be farmed? Three reports I read stated GM Sugar Beets pollinate via wind hence the US and Europe's concerns regarding other crops being affected by GM Farming. I would be more appreciative and give our PC Leader Olive Crane higher Leadership points if she would carry out a review on that issue.

  • Mermaid Res
    December 07, 2011 - 08:30

    Olive, if you have decided to read these comments, you're doing an AWESOME job and keep it up. You have my family's vote 100%. I love how you speak your mind and want to implement change into the way government is being handled today.

    • Sylvia
      December 07, 2011 - 09:44

      I agree with you. My family also supports Olive 100%. She's honest and hardworking and I think she has a very tough job. We have a lot of respect for her.

  • voter
    December 07, 2011 - 07:49

    be careful politicians are very dangerous and deceitful

  • Garth Staples
    December 07, 2011 - 07:48

    Inspite of the unprecendent 'participation' in the election by the Guardian and Mills' polls the PC's polled 40.2% !!! ,,,Olive was the leader. 800 strategically placed votes(or just 400 people from across PEI changing their vote) would have the PC Party forming the Govt and Olive as Premier. By this time next year the Ghiz Govt will poll in the low 20% .

    • andy
      December 07, 2011 - 08:52

      It's a sad commentary about how frozen our political system is in PEI where families vote multi-generationally for the same party as their ancestors. The split is far higher in PEI than other provinces, and the unwillingness to move to other parties is far higher as well. PEI should really function as a single county in a larger province that unites PEI, NB and NS. PEI should only have about 4 to 6 MLAs provincially and 1 MP federally under such a scheme. We have too many generals (politicians) and not enough soldiers (voters) here. Time for change -- and that will have an effect on the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and any other party but it is fundamentally necessary if PEI is to move beyond the current 2 centuries of stagnation.

  • resident
    December 07, 2011 - 01:34

    I think Olive Crane is a good leader...but she needs forces behind her....She should make the decision, to leave....or not! Get some new people in the Government that, have education, and Spirit! Someone that is educated!!! Come on people!!! We have a lot of people out there , that can speak up for PEI , women or men!

  • Greeneyed Monster
    December 06, 2011 - 23:38

    I agree with Islander! Those three have got to if only Mike Duffy would be kicked under the carpet too! A bunch of has beens who can't get it through their heads their time has come and gone! Those guys may be sharpening their knives for Mrs. Crane but the new blood of the party is sharpening their knives for you boys!

  • Paul and Trix
    December 06, 2011 - 23:06

    I really believe its time that Olive hands the reins over to Paul. He really nails the reffing in the Morell bush league. With trix as his running mate, theres no stopping this dynamic duo

    • Paul who
      December 07, 2011 - 07:32

      ???...and who's Trix?

  • frank white
    December 06, 2011 - 23:02

    i kinda like olive crane, but i'd never vote for her -- why? because she's running for the PC party, if elected why am i to believe she won't be under the gag order that every other elected conservative under harper's rule has to endure? i mean, she seems kind meak as it is, combined with an oppressive federal party which won't allow her to speak her real opinions (or generally stand up for the province, if it is against what the feds want), than what benefit would she (or any conservative party) have as a premiere here? a vote for her is avote for the federal conservative Reform party, a western-alienation party, and not at all beneficial for us islanders..

    • Bayham Badger
      December 06, 2011 - 23:22

      Frank White, I am not a Progressive Conservative by a long shot and I would not vote for Olive Crane, but it is obvious you do not understand provincial/federal politics at all. Crane is a provincial Conservative while Stephen Harper is a federal Tory. They are two different animals and the agendas of Crane and Harper are vastly different. Harper does not have any control over the local Conservatives and it would not be to Crane's advantage to allow him to have any. They share the same Tory name, but Harper is no Progressive Conservative. His politics are more in line with the Republicans in the United States.

    • frank white
      December 07, 2011 - 08:24

      agreed, however what i'm saying is that there is no support for a Progressive Conservative at the federal level, as her federal representatives would be that of the former Reform/alliance party. my point was that her agenda, regardless of how accurate or important it would be, wouldn't stand much of a chance of getting off the ground, when her own support on the federal level would be 'silenced' like the other conservative provincial party leaders. if a provincial NDP/Green/Liberal has an issue with the way the federal CPC is doing something, their party will support them at a federal level... if a PEI PC leader was premier and tried to look after the island's agenda at a federal level, would the reform party back her all the way through the motions... ? hell no. her influence on minor provincial things that require no-federal overlook, would be one story, but we need a lot of federal help when it comes to things, and a vote for her, is a vote for the CPC in the end - and they got no love for the maritimes.

  • Islander
    December 06, 2011 - 22:12

    Regardless of whether the party decides she should stay or go, the "old establishment" of Peter McQuaid, Pat Dorsey and Dennis King have to go first. The party lost in 2007 because of their arrogance and attitudes and the party will never rise again with those dead weights dragging it down. Your time has come and gone boys....the new, younger and smarter establishment will see to that!