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Significant election


There was one bright note for Newfoundland and Labrador in last week's federal election ... and one not so bright.

There was one bright note for Newfoundland and Labrador in last week's federal election.
For one of the infrequent times since Newfoundland joined Canada, a woman was elected to serve as a Newfoundland MP in the Canadian Parliament. In fact two women - Judy Foote and Siobhan Coady - were elected as MPs.
Recollection of Newfoundland's federal political history brings to mind only one other female MP - Bonnie Hickey in St. John's.
Mrs. Foote has the distinction of being the first woman declared elected an MP in the riding of Random-Burin-St. George's. Mrs. Coady was elected in a revamped district of St. John's-Mount Pearl.
For Mrs. Coady it proved to be third time lucky, after a distinguished business career in St. John's. But Mrs. Foote has been involved in politics for about a dozen years, spring boarded to Grand Bank MHA by her former boss, then Premier Clyde Wells.
Both women are very capable and able to articulate their causes and concerns in a public forum.
The not so bright spot in last week's election was the electorate returned six Liberals and one NDP to Ottawa - this province only has seven MPs. The problem - a Conservative government was elected, with the Liberals the official Opposition with just 76 seats, in the 308 seat House of Commons.
Not that all these MPs aren't capable of doing the job they were elected to do, that's beside the point. But now this province will have no representative in the federal Cabinet.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated an elected representative will have to take this province under his/her wing. A possibility for that role is Nova Scotia MP Peter McKay, who filled the same position for P.E.I. in the last parliament, and who was also Minister for ACOA (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency).
Why were the Conservatives blanked here? It resulted, to a great extent, from the ABC Campaign undertaken by Premier Danny Williams and his desire to shutout Mr. Harper in this province thus preventing him from aspiring to a majority government. He fell 12 seats shy.
Now, Premier Williams is suggesting he's willing to forget the past and work with Mr. Harper and the Conservatives for a brighter future. He's gotten his way and now he expects a 'turn the other cheek' attitude from the P.M.
Come on now; even with Mr. Harper saying in public he's willing to work with anybody, do you really believe he won't be resentful toward Premier Williams?
It remains to be seen but in all likelihood Mr. Williams will be stewing before too long, as another federal obstacle stares him in the face!
Too bad for us, the electorate.

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