On Point | Renewing the big red machine
A tour that will take the Liberal party across Newfoundland and Labrador next month should not only motivate the struggling Opposition, but should lay the groundwork for an election campaign that is more than three years away.
"Our end goal is power. We want to take back government," Liberal party president Judy Morrow said during an appearance on On Point with David Cochrane.
"This is the first step towards building towards that, for 2015. There's no question about that."
Morrow spoke to Cochrane with Dean MacDonald, the St. John's businessman who has himself been a frequent subject of speculation about possible leadership aspirations. [Click the video above to see the full episode.]
Both said the renewal initiative already has brought about unity in a party that has been racked by divisions.
"We're turning the page. I do believe that," Morrow said.
MacDonald said the process should help lay the groundwork for policy work that will inform how the Liberals make the case that they are a government-in-waiting.
"It's a giant focus group, for want of a better term," he said.
"One of the things we've learned is that people who have been in power a long time tend to be very closed-minded and not very open to new ideas."
The Liberals had last been in power from 1989 through 2003, when then premier Roger Grimes lost a general election to Danny Williams. The party narrowly held on to Official Opposition status in October's general election, pulling just one more seat than the NDP.
Meanwhile, the pundits' panel previews the provincial budget to be tabled on Tuesday. Taking part this week are former Tory cabinet minister Shawn Skinner, St. John's Telegram columnist Russell Wangersky and Federation of Labour president Lana Payne.