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The election – 4 years ago

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The Independent roots through its archives to present the political scene just 4 years ago – on the eve of the 2007 election.

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NDP leader pressed on plans to go after oil industry for more money

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“I think any agreement can be opened,” NDP Lorraine Michael said on CBC television over the weekend. Michael was responding to questions about her campaign promise to add a new 3% surtax on the Hebron partnership. Michael re-iterated that she was not afraid to throw out the Hebron contract to deliver on her promise. “I think we can ask for more money, and I intend to go after it.” Michael admitted that she is not sure how an NDP government would accomplish this, even though the Hebron agreement with the government specifically says the contract cannot be changed. Source: CBC

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Election Round-up: Two weeks to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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NDP would decrease gas tax

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Lorraine Michael, leader of the NDP, said yesterday that her party would eliminate the provincial portion of the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. “It’s perfectly fair to have taxes. We have to have taxes, but it is not fair to tax people on a tax,” Michael said at a campaign event near a gas station on Elizabeth Avenue. Michael said the gas tax cut will save consumers about 3.5 cents per litre, and put about $35 million back into people’s pockets. Michael made the announcement a day after revealing an election platform that included imposing a new surtax on offshore oil companies. That tax would be used to pay for broadened social spending. Source: CBC

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A quick introduction to the provincial leaders

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The Canadian Press published their “Quicksketches” on the provincial leadership hopefuls yesterday, which serve as a helpful introduction to the characters in play for the next 4 weeks for those who aren’t intimately familiar with them already. ——————————— Kathy Dunderdale | PC Party Age: 59 Education: Attended Memorial University. Early career: Worked in community development, communications, fisheries and social work before entering politics. Political career: She was a town councillor and later deputy mayor of Burin before she was first elected to the legislature for the St. John’s area riding of Virginia Waters in 2003. She was sworn in as premier on Dec. 3, 2010. Served as minister of innovation, trade, rural development, natural resources and deputy premier in the government of Danny Williams. Personal: Married to Peter Dunderdale and they have raised two children, a son and daughter. Quote: “I think that what we have to say will resonate…

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Open Marystown fish plant: NDP leader

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NDP Leader Lorraine Michael unveiled the NDP party’s fisheries policy yesterday, which includes wanting the provincial government to help reopen a fish plant that has been idled amid a dispute over exported raw product. Workers from the OCI plant in Marystown who travelled to St. John’s liked what Michael had to say. Despite the party’s support for a rationalization program — which would have seen drastic cuts in shrimp and crab processing capacity —the NDP now also wants action taken to protect the groundfish operation in Marystown. Source: CBC

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The NDP: A Long way to go

in Featured/NL Election 2011/Through the Fog by

In this 3-part series, the results of the 2007 election are represented geographically, giving us an idea of the work ahead for each party to win even just one more seat.

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NDP says students need grants, not loans

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NDP Leader Lorraine Michael unveiled Monday the latest part of her party’s platform — support for needs-based, non-repayable grants — in a campaign-style event at Memorial University’s Student Centre. “I’m delighted to be able to let students in this province know, that no matter where they go to school in this province, as post secondary students, [they] do not think that they should have to carry debt loads,” said Michael, adding that there are still post-secondary students who cannot afford to get an education. The grants would eventually replace the loan system and cover all 8,000 post secondary students in the province who receive student loans. The announcement was the central piece of the NDPs education platform. Source: CBC

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Election Round-up: Four weeks to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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Huffington post predicts NDP breakthrough in NL

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“…the Liberals’ history in the province is an advantage. Even with similar shares of the vote, the Liberals are likely to win more seats and thus form the official opposition. But with a good campaign, Michael could easily repeat the federal NDP’s exploit and sit on the opposite side of the aisle from Kathy Dunderdale, the PC leader who is likely to be handed a majority government of her own.” Read the full article by clicking the link below. Source: The Huffington Post

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Poll says PC support holding, while the NDP gaining ground

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A newly released poll pegs PC support in Newfoundland and Labrador at 54 percent of voter support, while the NDP were up to 24 percent from 20 percent some months ago; the Liberal Party remained at 22 percent. The poll was conducted between Aug. 15 — the day after Kevin Aylward was appointed leader of the Liberal party — and Aug. 31, the last day of a string of high-profile spending announcements that the governing Tories have made this summer. Premier and PC leader Kathy Dunderdale was pleased with the numbers, as was NDP’s Lorraine Michael whose party moved into 2nd place for the first time. Liberal leader Aylward took the poll results in stride, saying that the Liberals intend to fight for every seat in the province. “This means to me that there is work to do, but I can say this with the candidates that we have now…

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Loan guarantee announcement criticized

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A tentative deal that would see Ottawa provide a loan guarantee for the proposed $6.2-billion Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador was critized heavily by the provincial NDP and Liberal parties. The deal is merely “an agreement to agree”, shrugged NDP Leader Lorraine Michael, who wondered aloud what has happened since Harper committed in March to back Muskrat Falls during the federal election campaign. “Work that we thought was happening in actual fact wasn’t happening,” Michael said in an interview. “We were led to believe by the premier that this kind of work was actually going on.” Provincial Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward said he too wondered why more work on the deal hasn’t been done yet. “This is not a legally binding offer and the Harper government can still back out of it,” Aylward said in a statement. “It’s no wonder Premier Kathy Dunderdale didn’t show up for the press…

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NDP says budget surplus should be spent, not put on debt

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Amidst reports that the government will collect about $600 million extra from higher-than-expected oil production this fiscal year, NDP leader Lorraine Michael says “This money, I think, needs to be seen as revenue that has come early, and we [should] keep it until we look at how we need to spend our money in 2012/2013”. Newfoundland and Labrador debt currently sits at $8.2 billion, and Finance Minister Tom Marshall has already committed to applying whatever surplus the province sees towards lowering that debt. Source: CBC

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Noseworthy running for PCs in tough riding

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Despite rumours that he was interested in the leadership of the provincial Liberal party, former Auditor General John Noseworthy has decided to run in the upcoming election for the PC party instead. “I intend to seek the PC nomination in the district of Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi,” John Noseworthy said on his Twitter feed. Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi is the riding held by NDP leader Lorraine Michael, and has been an NDP stronghold since 1987; PC ‘star’ candidate Jerome Kennedy once ran against Michael in 2006 and lost. Noseworthy is best known for a series of 2006 reports that shook politics in Newfoundland and Labrador to the core. His investigations into what is still known as the legislative spending scandal resulted in four politicians — former Tory cabinet minister Ed Byrne, former Liberal cabinet ministers Jim Walsh and Wally Andersen and former New Democratic MHA Randy Collins — being sent to jail.…

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Women being shut out of provincial election?

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So far all three parties are seeing significantly lower numbers of women candidates coming forward for the October provincial election

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This election could be our last chance

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Enough vague promises. This is our last chance to get something right.

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What’s that about a budget?

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Parliament Hill

Making sense of an axed Federal budget and looming election

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