In the article, “Crane confirmed as Opposition leader,” Dec. 8, The Guardian reports: “Crane says she plans to stay on until a new party leader is elected, or until after the next election.” Does that mean that Ms. Crane, after having stepped down as PC party leader, will contest the next provincial election in 2015 or 2016?
As a political scientist, I can’t say that I ever seen this before. Can someone name another province in Canada where the official leader of the Opposition is not the leader of a provincial party?
What happens if the next leader of the PC party is not an “elected” MLA? Where does this leave anyone who holds the “interim” leader label? How can an official Opposition leader hold the government to account when her own party is unable to hold her to account?
Clearly, this is not a tenable position for the PC party to be in. It’s starting to look like the Keystone Cops meets Larry, Curly and Moe. One person for Opposition leader; one person for interim leader; and another person for party leader. OK, so who really speaks for the PC Party of P.E.I.?
Needless to say, the party desperately needs to bring some clarity to this situation — and the sooner the better. If not, the PC party will become a laughing stock and the butt of jokes and snide remarks. No one on P.E.I. will take it seriously — let alone vote for them.
Olive Crane should do the honourable thing and step aside, allowing an interim leader to hold down the political fort until a new leader is crowned. That person, whether from the floor of the legislature or its gallery, should run the show. To leave things as they are now is not a principled decision.
And Islanders won’t be faulted for thinking, after her recent actions, that Ms. Crane’s wants to cling to her office and her above-average salary.
Professor and Chair,
Department of Political Science, UPEI