08 November 2013

Cathy’s Curious Campaign Kicker #nlpoli

With voting set to begin in the Liberal leadership campaign, Cathy Bennett took out newspaper ads that have stirred up a bit of controversy.

Cathy Bennett Ed JOyce adOn the face of it, they endorse the local Liberal member of the House of Assembly.  The one at right appeared in the Western Star on Wednesday.  It’s about interim opposition leader Eddie Joyce.

Right up until the point where the ad says that Cathy looks forward to working with Ed and asks for “your vote for Liberal leader.”

Quite a few people found the ads curious because the entire caucus  - except for leadership candidate Jim Bennett - has already publicly endorsed Dwight Ball.

Ed Joyce posted a comment on his Facebook profile on Thursday that made it clear who he was backing:

Saw the Western Star yesterday and noticed the ad placed by Cathy Bennett. I just want to reiterate and repeat that I am 100% behind Dwight Ball for the Liberal Leadership. Dwight has proven himself as a true leader. Working with Dwight on a daily basis confirms that his hard work, dedication and commitment to the people of the Province is second to none. I have been very clear from the beginning that I feel Dwight is the best person to lead our party forward and will be a great leader for the party, and in the future, the province. Dwight Ball has worked so hard with me concerning the major issues in the Bay of Islands and the Corner Brook area.

I look forward to casting my vote next week for Dwight. I encourage all registered voters to vote for Dwight as the next Liberal Leader from November 8th to 17th. Thank you!

That’s the sort of predictable reaction that makes the Bennett ad curious.  Some people might mistakenly believe that somehow Ed Joyce has endorsed Cathy.  Some others may look on the ads as Cathy’s way of affirming that she is part of the Liberal team despite her decade of supporting the Conservatives.

parsons tweetA few people might be misled.  But anyone with half a clue could bet that the ads would prompt people like Ed to reaffirm publicly that they are backing some other than Cathy Bennett for leader. 

Joyce did it on Thursday morning. 

Andrew Parsons did it the night before (right).

To paraphrase one seasoned political operative, she won’t pick up any votes but this sort of thing might well prompt quite a few to “punk her to fifth on their preferential ballot” once the voting starts at 8:00 AM this morning.