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)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Liberals Breaking Faith

What, exactly, does the Liberal Party in Newfoundland and Labrador think it's doing. In all seriousness. When the people of the province went to the polls just a few short months ago, they were promised a change in all the ways and means the PC Party had been governing. A short two months later and it seems those lessons have all been lost, and "creative manipulation" is the phrase of the day, because "leadership" sure isn't.

Let's start with the election itself. Now anyone with a calculator and a copy of the budget estimates for 2015 would know that the province's current deficit would be about $2 billion. Yet, when the Liberals finally got their wish, and were elected, they trot out Dwight Ball and Cathy Bennett with the deer in the head lights look saying "oh, nobody could have known it was this bad". What a load of you know what. The truth is, unless the Liberals have the stupidest research staff on record, that they just outright misled the public to get their hands on the reins of power. Simple as that. Obvious as the nose on your face.

Then Ball and company come up with the beauty of cutting 30% from all government spending. They have to they claim, otherwise the province will be done for. Well, that may be true, but during the election they sold the people on not cutting government. They were just going to "manage better". Again, referring back to the calculator analogy, they just outright misled the public and for the same reason.

Oh, but they are conducting some kind of "review" of Muskrat Falls. The problem is that Muskrat Falls doesn't need a review - it needs to be stopped. While in Opposition Ball and his now Justice Minister decried the lack of legal grounds for the Water Management Agreement that made the project even feasible. Now? Now they continue to go forward with it despite the challenge to it's fundamentals in the Quebec Superior Court, and my own action here in our Supreme Court to have the matter examined for its constitutionality. The very same reasons why the Liberals questioned it in Opposition. Now I find myself fighting them in the Appeal Court, rather than having them jointly requesting the Appeal Court examine the agreement. Their disingenuous ways certainly aren't all that sunny for sure.

Finally, we have the case of a female fire fighter being sexually bullied by her peers. Brenda Seymour, volunteer fire fighter and councilor for Spaniard's Bay, has been subjected to porn during an otherwise all-male training session, as well as sexual commentary during the same session. She fought against it for which she was ridiculed and bullied by members of her community. Her fellow fire fighters resigned enmass to protest her protest.  In other words, they circled the wagons to protect their own behinds, but they also tried to persecute the victim so to say. A small-minded, offensive action that matched the small-minded offensive treatment she suffered while in training. The story has made national news headlines.

The moral of the national story on Brenda Seymour is that Newfoundlanders are old fashioned bullies, sexist, and crazed enough to have their own children carry signs defending the men who refused to stand up for a fellow fire fighter being subjected to porn. An ugly and disgraceful mess. No doubt a time for a male Premier to stand up and show leadership right? Wrong. Ball disappeared into the wood work like Casper the friendly ghost, and instead had his female Finance Minister issue a memo saying "now-now boys, no porn during training". I twist the gist of it a bit, but you get the idea. The point is when leadership is required the Leader leads. That's not happening.

I suppose in some ways we shouldn't be surprised. Dwight Ball didn't exactly set the Liberal Party on fire when he became leader. Their was, and remains, no charisma in his bones. He's not that kind of leader, but what kind of leader is he then? The Liberal Party itself didn't set the province on fire with its visionary plan for the province. The opposite in fact was true. They weren't elected, the Tories were unceremoniously ejected. The Party, as a government, has just vanished into the weeds of the bureaucracy. It's readily apparent they don't have a clue about how to lead, or in fact how to govern. The 18 month public consultation on how the provincial deficits/debt can be tackled is a prime example. It almost reminds me of the PC's hiring a consultant to study if the government is hiring too many consultants. It's that ridiculous. And, that's the way they're looking - ridiculous.

All in all it looks like the Liberals might as well enjoy the next four years, because they're going to be a one term government. A one term government doomed to be mired in misery and ridicule as they pay the price of deceiving the electorate to gain those lofty heights of power. The price they will pay for breaking faith with the people.

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