John Crosbie has been getting vocal about the current state of local politics, particularly how Frank Coleman is the uncontested leader of the PC party, and therefore our incoming premier (despite not being voted in). Party members like Bill Barry stepped down from running against Coleman citing an overwhelming lack of party support.
As with everyone, the notion of uncontested leadership isn’t sitting well with Crosbie. “Sure you can’t be in politics and fail to take on challenges,” he recently said on VOCM radio. He’s let down that our premier would back away from, or not have to endure a proper, democratic, and lively electoral process as is normally the case. (If he had, then maybe we’d have learned a thing or two about the man in the process. Papers across the country are asking , “Who is this man?” No one seems to know him, or what his vision is for the province.)
It’s a sign of serious issues within a party that this could even happen. Who doesn’t have at least two worthy candidates for leadership? A solid party, Crosbie feels, could and should organize a proper contest for its leadership. That the PCs could not and did not is a sign of its shadiness and shakiness.
Crosbie said somebody who clearly has a strong influence over the PC party — from the outside — must have discouraged members of the cabinet to run. He’s named that person Danny Williams. Crosbie calls Danny the only explanation.
Danny recently came back to town from a roadtrip with The IceCaps to hear news of Crosbie’s sentiments, and felt a little suckerpunched, claiming he had done the opposite: he encouraged a proper race for leadership. Here’s the kicker in the battle. Danny says that John’s own son, Ches Crosbie, came to Danny, wondering if he should take a run at the leadership, and Williams encouraged him to do so. Along with other cabinet ministers. He cites that as proof he hasn’t somehow orchestrated Coleman’s uncontested leadership.
A surprised Danny Williams says he thought the two had a good relationship, and shared the story of how, when he and Crosbie were working at the Confederation Building together, John asked Danny to install an elevator for Crosbie, and Williams did. The elevator cost half a million dollars. (Um, is that a sign of fairness or a poor and questionable use of money?)
Williams ended a recent phoner interview with VOCM by saying, “I don’t get it.”
Our current, acting premier, Tom Marshall, is not playing impartial referee in this bout. He figures that Coleman’s rise to premier has been an open process, and that the man will make a fine premier.