No matter what you might think of Brad Cabana, you have to agree to one thing; he has certainly raised valid and legitimate questions about the processes that drive the democratic machine in this province.
And there is no doubt that in challenging the mindset, he has upset the grand design and the public reputation of the Progressive Conservatives; a reputation that sunk several degrees lower after Cabana revealed he had been paid a visit on Jan. 6 by Chick Cholock, executive assistant to Trinity North MHA, and Business minister, Ross Wiseman.
If it was, as Wiseman contended later in media interviews, a mid-week visit made by Cholock on his own time (it was his day off Wiseman contended) and at his own discretion, it was a gigantic misstep for Cholock. Yet there is no hint that the party, or the minister, has taken umbrage with his actions - at least not publicly. As of this writing he still holds his job title.
If he went there under the direction of the party, then Brad Cabana has helped reveal the dark underside of party politics. And it was a giant misstep for the Conservatives.
E-mails to and from Chick Cholock and Brad Cabana in the days preceding the Cholock visit show that the party was not interested in a leadership race. Cholock wrote that "in an ideal world there will not be a leadership challenge" to Dunderdale because such a campaign would be divisive and hurt the party.
How divisive, though, would it have been to allow Cabana to run and to allow party members to vote for a leader.
It seems to be a foregone conclusion that even if Cabana's nomination for the leadership had been accepted, he had less than a snowball's chance in hell of winning the race. The matter would likely have been settled on the first ballot.
And it would have secured Kathy Dunderdale as the definite choice for party leader, and premier; something that would have been to her, and the party's, advantage heading into this fall's provincial election.
The fact that Cabana is a "Come From Away" has no bearing on his right to seek political office as a citizen of this province. In fact, he was exercising the right that we had, until now, assumed each citizen of this province enjoyed.
If any of us aspired to lead a political party, we should be able to put our names forward for the position with the support of signatures of our fellow citizens on a nomination form.
That's the process to seek the nomination to run for the Conservative party in a particular district in a by-election or election. So why is the process different for the party leadership? It's a valid question that has been posed several times in the past week and it's one to which the Conservatives have given no clear answer.
And if an interested contender follows the process and puts their name forward for party leadership, they should not be denied that opportunity.
Cabana is not an unknown within party circles. He was admitted to the party's annual general meeting this past year. So, obviously, if he was welcomed as a delegate to the convention, he was welcomed as a member of the party.
By deciding to throw his hat into the ring, Cabana obviously put the kibosh on the party's preference to not have a leadership convention so close to a provincial election.
Perhaps that's the real story.
Perhaps Kathy Dunderdale - the lady who did not seem overly enthusiastic about being a long-term premier before Christmas - does not intend to be the long-term leader, period.
Perhaps the Conservatives are just stalling for time - hoping to get through the next provincial election relatively unscathed and still holding onto the reigns on power.
Then, with the provincial election behind them, Dunderdale could choose to step aside, enabling the party to hold their leadership convention, timing it so that the potential rifts and divisions created by the process will be well healed long before the citizens return to the polls to choose a government in 2015.
As it stands now, Brad Cabana's decision to seek the leadership, and the chaos that has ensued as a result of the party's reaction, has put the party on the radar of the media, political pundits and ordinary citizens who may well wonder, as the weeks speed towards polling day, exactly what kind of people they are being asked to vote for.