P.E.I. PCs back on track, says former premier Pat Binns
Retired politician recommends finding an issue to make party stand out
As the P.E.I. Progessive Conservatives prepare to learn who their new leader will be, former Premier Pat Binns says the party is on the right track for the future.
"To be honest, I think everyone was concerned about the conservative party and where it was going," he said.
"It had some tough years and it seemed to have some infighting for awhile and people not getting along."
Binns, who still keeps a close eye on the party, said this wasn't inspiring confidence in the electorate — but a big turnaround has helped.
"The two leadership candidates, by their nature, are two friendly outgoing people who people like and they're not fighting with each other and I think their caucus all gets along pretty good."
Find the issue
Binns said between the election of a new leader, improved co-operation among party members, and the Liberal government being in power for a while, anything could happen in the next election.
"Sometimes it's just a couple of good issues that will make a difference."
Binns, whose served as premier for three terms,said that when he was leader and the PCs were elected, the party didn't have any more going for it than it does at this time.
"But we latched onto a couple of good issues — one was the GST — it was coming in across the country and we said no."
Binns said people identified with the issue and it differentiated the PCs from their rivals.
"In the lead up to the election, that's what the conservative party is going to have to do, find the issue," he said. "I don't know what the issue is, but the issue that makes them stand apart."
It will be announced Friday which leadership candidate — MLA James Aylward or MLA Brad Trivers — will lead the party.
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With files from Island Morning