Newfoundland and Labrador’s ‘Opposite-Day’ Election Has Pundit Scratching His Head


Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie addresses supporters in St. John’s on May 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

Typically in Canadian elections, Conservatives promise to balance budgets while Liberals accuse them of hiding secret agendas to cut public services — but not in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Progressive Conservatives are campaigning against balancing the budget while accusing the Liberals of trying to pass through a “secret” plan full of cuts, leading Tim Powers of Abacus Data feeling as though he is living through “opposite day.”

Powers notes that Newfoundland and Labrador has always marched to the beat of its own drum, and says this winter pandemic election will likely be no different.


He says he wonders if Tory Leader Ches Crosbie’s gambit to accuse the Liberals of hiding plans to make deep budget cuts will pay off.

Powers says he also questions whether the Liberals will be successful in their strategy to make low-cost promises while avoiding mention of the province’s $1.84-billion deficit and $16.4-billion net debt.

After all, Powers says, people may not want to talk about all that in the midst of a global pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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