On Point | What will become of the provincial NDP?

The leadership crisis of the Newfoundland and Labrador New Democratic Party is the big topic of discussion on this week's edition of On Point with David Cochrane.
A caucus revolt went public and then splintered as Lorraine Michael pushed back hard. Where does the party go from here? The On Point panel tackles that issue. 18:36

Last week, the Newfoundland and Labrador New Democratic Party suffered a public meltdown, sparked by a letter from the four members of caucus to leader Lorraine Michael, calling for a leadership review. The entire NDP caucus — Dale Kirby, George Murphy, Gerry Rogers and Christopher Mitchelmore — signed the letter. 

The leadership crisis is the main topic of discussion on this week's edition of On Point with David Cochrane.

The panel weighs in

Panel members Shawn Skinner, Siobhan Coady and Russell Wangersky weighed in on the caucus revolt and the long-term repercussions for the party.

Russell Wangersky, columnist with The Telegram, said it was 'worse than a train wreck in slow motion.'

"It's kind of like two train wrecks at the same time. You've got the NDP caucus crashing one way — and Lorraine Michael crashing another," said Wangersky.

"I mean ... as far as party politics goes, it's worse than tragic."

Former Tory cabinet minister Shawn Skinner thinks at least one member of the caucus will have to quit.

"I think the divide is too big," said Skinner. 

"And as I said earlier, you're going to have either the party back Lorraine — or they will back Kirby — but they won't be together. There is going to be a split. At the end of this, Lorraine will be out or Dale will be out. It'll be as simple as that." 

'Clearly a lack of judgment here ... it should have never been put on paper, it should have been a discussion behind closed doors.' - Former Liberal MP Siobhan Coady

Former Liberal MP SiobhanCoady felt the letter showed a lack of judgment, and should have instead been a discussion behind closed doors.

"They didn't use any of the traditional avenues of talking about leadership," Coady said.

"They didn't go to Lorraine herself, they didn't talk to the governing party, of the NDP. They actually took it upon themselves to write this letter, and the letter itself is very clear in what it demands. It asks for a resignation pretty much, and says, 'We need a convention.' It's very clear. So, if there were some within the caucus that weren't sure what that letter meant, they had two weeks to figure it out before they sent it."

You can watch the full episode of On Point in the video above.


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