This week, Oram lost it on the social media site, Twitter, after his beloved PC party lost an important by-election. As Kathy Dunderdale put it in The Telegram today:
“I’ve had tremendous support from the caucus, particularly all through the campaign, again last night and this morning,” she said. “I’ve had wonderful messages from party members from right across the province — very positive, very supportive.”
Dunderdale pointed out that the goverernment has spent an a lot of money in that district since it came into the Tory fold in 2007.
“We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in that district, so the demands of the district were met,” she said. “This was a district that was largely ignored when it had Liberal representation, so there was a great deficit in infrastructure.”
Oram saw things a little differently - especially on the whole "tremendous support thing.
Check out his tweet from the night the PCs lost the by-election:
Time for our party to take a hard look at the future. Enough is enough.
Better communications. Our message is just not resonating with the people of this great province.
@waynerbennett im saying that it's time that we do whatever it takes to make this right. The good message is not resonating.
Then there is this dandy conversation:
Now, in the most political jurisdictions in Canada this would pass without any real notice. In this province, however, the government/party message is strictly controlled and dissent is an offense punishable by shunning - financially and otherwise. A rant like this on social meia in this province is really akin to a call to arms, or perhaps better put - knives.
That is passing strange to me coming from Oram. You see, it wasn't long ago that Oram was a very devoted follower of Dunderdale. I was going to keep this diddy solely for my book, but what the heck, it fits now.
You have to go back to early 2011 - January to be exact. Williams had resigned, Dunderdale was appointed interim leader (and thereby Premier), and the leadership nomination process had just ended. As part of the process each candidate had to submit a list of 50 people who supported the party's policies and principles, and also supported your leadership bid. I had 70 odd just to be safe - wasn't safe enough though.
In any case, that list of people went to the Party leadership committee, and only the party leadership committee. It was not a public document. Imagine my surprise then when one of the main supporters of my quiet campaign to get nominated called me, rather panicked, because Paul Oram had phoned him from his holidays down south.
What most people in the province do now know is that members of Oram's family in the Glovertown area were my main organizers and supporters. We met, we planned, and we executed that plan. I could not have done it without them and a few others. Paul Oram didn't quite appreciate the niceties of democracy, and especially did not appreciate members of his family and church signing my nomination papers - he didn't know the full extent of their involvement then. My man in Glovertown, his family member, was upset that Oram had called him and threatened him if he didn't quit supporting my campaign immediately. Oram was bewidered why he would support anyone other than Dunderdale, and it was bad for business. His family member wasn't swayed however, and we carried on.
What Oram also didn't know is that his family members had brought along PC MHA Sandy Collins. Collins is the member of Oram's district. Collins was on board for the leadership challenge all the way, and even wanted to meet in St. John's the night before the nomination papers were going in - I called it off due to the late hour. If Oram had known that he would likely have seriously lost it. I remember thinking then, this Oram guy must be some kind of control freak that he would call and threaten his family members for supporting me in an entirely democratic leadership contest.
And now Oram is the one leading the charge to oust Dunderdale - or so it seems in my opinion. Such is the dark side of politics here. Such is the hypocrisy. Such is the pragmatic twisting of our democratic values. My advice to Oram, and the like, is scream all you like, but enjoy laying in the bed you made.