If you wanted election fireworks, you should have been at the Sinclair Park community centre Wednesday night.
Candidates for St. John's riding squared off in a wide-open forum and its hard to say what the bigger story was --- the fact that one city councillor and two candidates stormed out of the building in separate huffs? or the tip that the NDP has begun shredding its files and replacing the computer hard drives at the Legislature?
One thing for sure --- the biggest loser was the NDP's parachute star candidate Nahanni Fontaine, who demonstrated she's completely unfit to be a member of the Legislature. She's too thin-skinned, can't take criticism or hard questions. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, and she ran.
Fontaine was the target of local gadfly Josh Sigurdson, who lobbed questions at her about the NDP's role in the seizure of children by Child and Family Services. The audience (of about 25) was unsatisfied with her answers, and let her know it. Her response --- to flee, muttering something about 'too much negativity' in the room.
Babe, you ain't seen nothin' yet in the world of politics.
Surprisingly, Liberal candidate Noel Bernier (also parachuted in) followed Fontaine out the door. Why? Who knows? He didn't even wave goodbye. Until then he had dominated the meeting with sharp questions aimed at Fontaine and the NDP, but seemed scared to touch CFS issues. Hmmm.
Left behind was Progressive Conservative candidate Barbara Judt (yes, another parachute) who stayed to answer questions for another hour and a half without drama.
One of those questions was about the NDP's upcoming shredding weekend and the Hewlett Packer truck parked outside the Legislature where onlookers were informed "regular maintenace" was in progress, including swapping out hard drives on computers.
Judt, the only candidate left, said she would try to get answers from the Premier's office.
Among the earlier questioners was NDP-backed city councillor Ross Eadie. He challenged all the candidates, but especially the Princess Nahanni, over hugely expensive projects imposed on city council by the NDP (such as separating sewer and water lines) without adequate provincial co-funding. It was dry stuff which came to a head when he started lecturing Bernier about the lack of cost sharing with the province and the moderator tried to cut him off.
Eadie is blind. And that means he can't see the normal visual clues that your audience is bored, so shut up. In this case he took the moderator's efforts personally and walked out with his nose out of joint.
What's interesting, politics wise, is to see an NDP-backed councillor challenge an NDP candidate so openly. Given that former incumbent Gord Macintosh has never endorsed Nahanni Fontaine, or even been photographed with her, and you have a sense of how her parachute candidacy is being received by constituency members (rumour has it a union sent out an SOS for campaign help on her behalf). Whether that translates into a voter backlash, is too soon to say.
The mainstream press ignored the Sinclair Park candidates forum in favour of attending the one in Fort Rouge, where Liberal leader Rana Bokhari is facing off against the NDP's other star candidate Wab Kinew and the P.C. candidate Audrey Gordon.
That one was, by all accounts, tame --- except for tarnished star Wab's persistence in trying to stop Gordon, a black woman, from speaking.
Feminists have reacted, by not reacting.