Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The End of Feudal Politics in Newfoundland and Labrador

Friends say to me often that others approach them, and ask them "You know him, what is Cabana's agenda." I suppose it's a fair question. People don't always have an agenda when they do things they believe in, but in this case, to be honest, I do have an agenda as well.

Shortly after being railroaded by the fixed leadership race for the PC Party I gave an interview with the Telegram, January 24, 2011 to be exact. I was shocked that such a violation of fundamental democratic principles could happen in my country. I made a promise to myself and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that I would end the "feudal politics" of this province. A tall order to be sure, and not something you can ever hope to do by yourself, but an honourable goal none the less. I made the following statement to that paper, which holds true today:

"They're in for a fight if they want to fight."

Apparently, the political establishment, small as it is in this province, never took that promise very seriously. They instead resorted to defiling my family name, insulting me on the airwaves of the province, blackballing me in the halls of power. In other words, the usual treatment for anyone who dares to challenge the established order and their plans for the province and its people. What they did not bank on, frankly, is the power of the human spirit. Of course that can be said of many dictatorships new and old around the world. What can also be said is that "an idea is more powerful than any army."

However, change requires leadership. It has always been that case since the beginning of time and it remains true today. What people have in their hearts may remain just there if there is no leadership to bring that change to life. And as I learned as a young military officer, you can only lead from the front. As I also learned: "Who dares Wins".

So, over the last two years, I've taken that training to heart. I've placed myself, as one local radio commentator noted, "in the centre" of the battle over Muskrat Falls. The same commentator at one time referred to me publicly as a "dangerous zealot". Another local blogger, Edward Hollett, referred to me as a "martyr on a zealot's cross."
Apart from the inflamatory nature of their words, both have some points in common: to stand up for what you believe in is futile; to advocate against the wishes of the political class is dangerous; and to be the one that leads that change is self-serving. All the hallmarks of people who have bought into the political cast system.

Canada is not, however, India. We do not believe in cast systems. They are a relic of a different age long since relegated to the history books. Yet, in this province the political and business cliques have decided this system suits them well, and they have no intention to change it. They perceive such threats to their dominance as revolution, when in fact it is evolution. And this is their great sin.

Muskrat Falls, in fact the Lower Churchill project, is the battle ground that this conflict will be decided. Many of the people have been deeply offended by Bill 29, which stripped the public of essentially any right to access to information that the government possesses. Aboriginal people's have been denied the ability to stop their lands and waters from being poisoned by mercury. Citizens have been lied to about the very legality of the water management agreement that allows the project to go ahead. The project has been pushed ahead. Not by the PC party, but by all members of the political establishment's elite. There is as much silence or support amongst some of the Liberal party back room as well. The "boys" in St. John's have had their way, and the rest have had to fall in line. Those days are over.

The provincial political establishment is now facing its very own armageddon - one of its own making. The Lower Churchill project they so desperately imposed on the people of our province is mere weeks from imploding. An implosion that will shake the very foundations of the political establishment, and forever change the way Newfoundlanders and Labradorians view their political masters and themselves. A long over due destruction of the political class that has kept them in servitude for hundreds of years.

A new political and business reality is about to be born on the Rock. The era of feudal politics is dead. For the people of this province it couldn't come soon enough.

1 comment:

Comments are welcome that contribute to the discussion or foster further debate.

In the interests of ensuring that people take responsibility for their own words, individuals can make comments using their Blogger ID or OpenID.

Profiles should be open to the public and reveal an e-mail address so that people may contact the commenter directly.

Anonymous comments, including those from people using fake, apparently fake identities, or profiles without contact information may be deleted. Spam will be deleted as soon as it is identified.