© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz
Liberals begin nominating candidates two years early; raises speculation of real intentions of Premier Ghiz
But, what is the real reason for a spate of Liberal nomination conventions across the province these days? All things being equal, the next provincial election should be April 2016 — a full two years away. It doesn’t make sense to start nominating candidates this week and have two more conventions scheduled in coming days. The party says it plans to finish off the other 24 this fall. There was a time when a convention launched a party’s campaign in that riding. Things have changed, as parties like to nominate a little early and be ready to campaign once the writ is dropped. But still, two years?
Is Premier Robert Ghiz hoping to spook other political parties by playing a few head games, trying to keep them guessing his true intentions? Premier Ghiz could determine it’s essential to seek another mandate next spring and go to the polls, a full year ahead of projections.
There is already a fair degree of uncertainty afoot with speculation the federal Conservatives might call an election next spring instead of fall to ride the coattails of a balanced budget. If that happens, the P.E.I. Liberal government says it will hold a provincial election in the fall of 2015 as first planned, until Prime Minister Harper decided he wanted that date instead.
Perhaps our premier likes to see the Opposition Tories in a greater state of turmoil. The party doesn’t have a permanent leader, is reduced to three members, hasn’t set a leadership convention and has no declared leadership candidates. And then it looks over the shoulder and sees a debt-free Liberal party gearing into full election mode.
Mr. Ghiz wouldn’t call a snap election would he? It would be grossly unfair to the Opposition, but it would get he and Finance Minister Wes Sheridan off the hook for their balanced budget promise by the spring of 2016 before facing the electorate. Hmmm.
Really, Jack MacAndrew could be described as among the last of the old journalism lions in this province. He wasn’t afraid to express strong opinions in print, radio or television. If he thought there was an injustice, and he was usually right, the ever-irascible Jack wasn’t afraid to print names or call anyone out. In the business, Jack did it all. He first made a name for himself broadcasting to the world from the Springhill, N.S. coal mining disasters in the 1950s. He produced shows for the Charlottetown Festival in the 1960s and later was the CBC’s national head of variety programming. He formed his own production company and got into public relations and column writing. He was never idle, was always involved and liked nothing better than skewering a wayward politician with his deft wit. Jack died Friday, shortly after getting the news he had terminal cancer. He will be missed.
And the 2014 hurricane season is at hand. Really? There were snowflurries early last week and heavy frosts. So how can we jump from winter into fall hurricane season in two weeks? Did we miss most of spring and all our summer? How was Old Home Week? The outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season is for a near or below-normal number of storms. Last year, forecasters suggested an active hurricane season and we escaped unscathed. A quick check of the 2014 hurricane names suggest some big storms. Look out for Bertha, Dolly and Sally – they sound ominous.
Do you know you can’t trust cashiers at pickup windows in fast food and coffee drive thrus anymore. They should not leave their headsets on — continuously. After an unwary motorist gives a coffee order, there is a lengthy wait while the lineup remains stalled. An innocent comment to oneself about what the heck is the delay at the window draws an immediate and unexpected reply: “We’re having a delay with a breakfast sandwich.” Oops. Alrighty then. Next time, roll up your window before making comments on the quality of service.