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)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why I won't vote for Harper's Conservatives

The day before the government fell, Christian Paradis and Nathalie Normandeau met to sign an offshore accord for Quebec. An agreement that defined the offshore boundaries along the same lines as the 1964 Stanfield line. A border designation that is opposed by Newfoundland and Labrador, and has been for decades. This Province's western maritime boundary was left undefined in the Atlantic Accord, which established our offshore board, apparently in defference to it's disputed nature. The same rules apparently didn't apply to Quebec in the last dying moments of Mr Harper's minority government.

There is the obvious conflict of interest of having two ministers, one federal and one provincial, being from the province of Quebec, deciding a disputed issue that involves Quebec. It should go without saying that the interests of this Province could be conveniently shuffled to the side by two Quebec ministers - and they were.

The problem with recognizing Quebec's eastern maritime border is that it puts Quebec in the drivers seat. It officially acknowledges that the federal government recognizes Quebec's position in a disputed territory. It even contradicts the formal finding of the federal government's own arbitration panel that found the 1964 boundary had no basis in international law. The same law that must arbitrate maritime boundary disputes between provinces. Some media critics of my position, as well as the Dunderdale regime, state that an arbitration process is built into the document. They conveniently miss the point that the Nova Scotia/Newfoundland and Labrador negotiation and arbitration process took eighteen years to resolve. They do though say that the Accord does not allow permits to be granted in areas where there is conflict over jurisdiction along the border. Not true. It states permits already granted by Quebec can't be converted to legitimate permits by the new Canada-Quebec Board if there is a conflict. It does not state new permits cannot be granted. It does exempt the federal government from legal action should the aggrieved permit holders wish to sue. In other words, existing permits will expire when the new Board takes control. Could Corridor Resources be on their way out, and say a company like Gastem be on their way in?

Bottom line is Quebec has been taken care of, and Newfoundland and Labrador has been dealt out. Our own provincial Dunderdale government remains silent until Harper comes to town with promises of Lower Churchill glory. There are only so many coincidences in politics.

The problem with this little arrangement is it dealt our only real chip against Quebec into the garbage. The Old Harry deposit was our chance to get the Upper Churchill renegotiated - in good faith. Good faith being important as it could have gone a long way to healing the wounds between Quebec and our Province. It was our position of strength. It was our chance to remedy historical wrongs, help our fiscal situation, and ultimately look after the people of our Province. That is what we lost when Mr. Harper agreed to sell us down the road to Quebec. It's not apparent to many people now, but it will become apparent.

I'm disappointed, yet somehow not surprised, that our former Premier has not come out and spoken on this issue. I'm disappointed, because I believed his heart lay with the people here, I'm not surprised given that he did not speak publicly on the constitutionality of the PC Party's leadership process. It does seem that Mr. William's has missed an opportunity to speak out on a crucial financial issue for the Province - the value of which is many, many times that of the broken promise that resulted in the ABC (Anyone But Conservative) movement.

So, for sacrificing the vital interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador at the alter of Quebec's interests- again, Mr. Harper loses my support. It amazes me that his seven candidates can actually stand in their place and sing his praises when they know he stuck the cold steel blade between our collective shoulders. It makes me reflect on what kind of Newfoundlander and Labradorian could bow to this type of deceit. For the record, this one won't. That's why you don't have my vote Mr. Harper.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Canada's"Arab Spring"- Election 2011

The "Arab Spring", as it has come to be known, began in Tunisia in 2011. It spread a wave of unrest throughout the Arab world toppling existing political dynasties along the way. A wave of discontent aimed at fundamentally shifting out dictators, and their processes of distributing power. Even though many of those that participated in the unrest had little or no idea what democracy is, they did however want a different kind of political environment than the one they lived in. That brings us to Canada, and our own "Canadian Spring".

Canadians have been governed now for five years by a Party that has had less than 39% of the popular vote -  in itself a fundamentally undemocratic predicament. Political power was consistently rewarded based on concentrations of power in certain geographical areas of the country, while others were purposely marginalized. The Alberta Reformers married the Ontario Harris Tories, and the two lauded it over a wounded Liberal Party, and a marginalized NDP. Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and to some degree Ontario were left out of the mix. A polarization of the country and the political process has become the norm. The deep roots of this polarization have erupted in Parliament, with a finding of Contempt of Parliament being the final result.

The Conservative's hold on power seemed in jeopardy until the evening of the English debate where Mr. Ignatieff failed to convince those that wanted change that he was their man. A sense of hopelessness overcame the Canadian political scene, and people became resigned to the fact that a Conservative government was inevitable. That resignation began to lead all the leading opinion shapers to believe that a majority Conservative government was inevitable. It seems that thinking led to a popular uprising in Quebec. Like Tunisia before it, Quebec became the wind that fanned the flame of change. That wind was coloured orange. Overnight Jack Layton became a factor. The NDP became serious.

Ontario, as it traditionally does, began to question it's political leanings in light of developments in Quebec. A sense of protest, like the Arab Spring, began to grow there. British Columbia, with strong NDP leanings, started to shift. Suddenly, on the eve of the vote, the NDP is 5 points behind the Conservatives nationally. The question is will it result in seats? The answer is most definitely yes. The NDP is now on the verge of taking at least 50 seats in Quebec alone. The Conservatives are looking at having a large percentage of the popular vote across Canada, but a lot less seats. In fact, they are losing popular vote in Ontario, which will result in less seats for them in Ontario. The NDP is on track to form a minority government come 2nd of May, 2011.

Why is this NDP surge happening here, and why now? The answer is the governing style of the Conservatives. They abused Parliament. They refused political responsibility for their actions. In many ways they betrayed the democratic principles of their Reform roots. I am not saying that Harper is a dictator, and that our political system is a dictatorship - although some do. What I am saying is that all things are relative. We as a people aren't marching in the streets. Nobody is getting shot. There are no tanks. Our choice of protest is the ballot. Our day of protest is election day. Make no mistake, though, this Canadian election has become a 'Canadian Spring'.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Election prediction 2011 - and the Aftermath

In the stormy waters of the 2011 general election a prediction is hard to come by. The old adage "a week in politics is a long time" has never been so true. The campaign started with a well orchestrated dissolution of Parliament. A focused Conservative strategy that included several months of preparatory attack ads on the credibility of Liberal leader Ignatieff. Not unlike a military operation where you fire artillery at the enemy and attack when there are only dead and dying left.

Every detail was planned. In Newfoundland and Labrador we witnessed Senator Manning announce multiple federal financial commitments to communities in his own riding right up to the date of the fall of government. We witnessed the signing of the Quebec Offshore Accord one day before the fall of government. We witnessed the unholy alliance of Kathy Dunderdale, and the provincial PC's, with the Harper Conservatives. A dubious commitment to provide funding or guarantees for the Lower Churchill being the grease on the wheel. All things were a go, and the Conservatives believed the twelve elusive seats they needed to form a majority were well in place.

However, as we say in the military, no plan survives the first contact with the enemy. In Newfoundland and Labrador the peace treaty made by the provincial PC's almost immediately proved futile. Mr. Harper's credibility with the people here was not improved. Ms. Dunderdale was viewed as a traitor to Danny Williams - and he has not come out to disprove the notion. The collection of "respectable" candidates, trotted out from all sorts of previous political appointments to run was viewed with immediate suspicion. The ultimate result of the back fire in this province was Mr Harper's rather catastrophic campaign stop last week where barely 100 people turned out. Even worse, Ms. Dunderdale and her Cabinet did not show. To be sure this reflects as badly on her as it does on him, but he's the one facing election now.

Several potential scandals against the government surfaced, and then almost as quickly subsided. The deliberate leak of the second Auditor General's report casting a less damning view of the government's handling of the G20 funds seemed to put it to bed - for now. However, the real game changer in the campaign was the English language debate. Mr. Harper was not bruised as expected in the debate. Mr. Ignatieff gave some strong moments, but was shaky at times and hurt the perception that he could make a strong Prime Minister. Mr. Layton came out swinging, as usual, but only really hurt Ignatieff. Mr.Duceppe had a terrible performance. He seemed to lack focus, intensity, and was largely hard to understand. The English debate left Mr. Harper as the front runner, and cemented that position.

The french debate was the clincher. Mr. Duceppe was equally unimpressive in the french debate as he was in the English debate. This time, however, he had the most to lose. He was successfully portrayed as a dinosaur. A man from a different era fighting battles that had little relevance to the every day lives of Quebecers. That debate, combined with his lazy campaign, left the battleground for hearts and minds open. The Conservatives could not fill the void. They had aligned early on with Newfoundland and Labrador over the Lower Churchill, which alienated the "nationalistic" vote in Quebec. The federal Liberals were not in a position to capitalize as they were still being blamed for the Clarity Act, and the sponsorship scandal. The only real alternative left for Quebecers to look at was the NDP. Of course it helps that Mr. Layton played up his Quebec birthplace. It also helped that the NDP has been flirting with the pro-separatist unions in Quebec for years. Ultimately, Quebec voters decided to move toward the NDP as their seemingly logical choice.

What that move will result in is not known for certain at this time. However, it will radically alter the post election political scene. Going out on a limb, with a little over a week to go, I'll make the following prediction based on the move recorded in the polls: Conservative 128 seats; NDP 89 seats; Liberal 78 seats; and Bloc 29 seats. What the configuration does is several things: there will not be a coalition; there will be leadership changes in two parties at least; and the next election will likely take place in 2013. My guess is it will be framed on the huge equalization battles coming in the next year or two. There will be a call for a strong central government. One that reflects a national vision, and one that can hold the country together as the provinces wage war against each other to keep the dollars they have, or to get more of someone else's share.

It is a virtual certainty that the federal Liberals would never form a coalition with the NDP that would see an NDPer become Prime Minister. It would, however, give them a chance to change their leadership and give a new leader the time in Parliament to show his stuff. The next federal Liberal leader will be french - that is certain based on the alternating French/English tradition of the Liberal Party of Canada. Look for Justin Trudeau to take over the reigns. The Bloc will change leaders to. Look for them to seek a younger leader to work with the upcoming PQ government in Quebec City. Mr. Charest may be a great guy, and a dedicated Canadian, but he has been mortally wounded. The Conservatives will be in the unenviable position of needing a leadership change without being able to achieve one. It defies the imagination that a Prime Minister of a minority Parliament could be challenged.

As much as I hate to see it unfolding, it appears the NDP is on track to become the Official Opposition. Perhaps there will be a miracle in the last week of the campaign. Jean Chretien, the most popular Prime Minister of modern times, is coming out Wednesday to support Mr. Ignatieff. If anyone can change the course of the election it may be him. However, it appears that people are becoming very decided in their positions, and it may be impossible to sway them at this late stage.

In any case, a prediction is a prediction.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Same promise, different words (The Telegram (St. John’s), 16 Apr 2011, Page A11)

Same promise, different words
The Telegram (St. John’s)
16 Apr 2011

The man who unsuccessfully tried to challenge Kathy Dunderdale for the provincial Tory leadership says a recent promise made by Stephen Harper to support the Lower Churchill is basically the same commitment he made in 2006, before he became more...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Take a Look in the Mirror

We have rules for a reason. Our society has an order to it so that we can perpetuate ourselves in a relatively peaceful fashion. Without rules there is only anarchy. In a democratic nation those rules are normally enshrined in a Constitution - written or unwritten. We, in Canada, have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and our British parliamentary tradition. Those are the rules that govern our society, and those are the influences that shaped our order. Mr Harper, and his crew, have violated those rules in a manner that has become dangerous.

It is one thing to be creative within the rules to gain advantage over a political opponent. It is another thing to destroy the foundation for the rules in the process. Put simply, Mr Harper, and his government, have abused power in order to gain more. The question remains: "Aren't those that abuse power supposed to lose it?" That is the underlying principle of democratic systems of government since their inception, isn't it? Aren't there rules, even in the jungle, that allow for the species to go on? Isn't this the main one?

Mr. Harper orchestrated his own government's demise. On it's face that would seem fair enough. Expensive, but within the rules of a minority government. He did after all launch a two month advertising campaign against Mr Ignatieff prior to the election. Unless you believe he would waste a  massive amount of dollars on an advertising campaign to destroy Mr Ignatieff's character well before an election, then the obvious conclusion is that he did so with full knowledge there would be one. Considering the fact that the future of the government was essentially in his hands it is also logical to assume he intended for it to fall. This doesn't harm the democratic process in itself. Where the harm comes is did he profit from "insider trading"? Did he know that the Auditor General's report was scheduled to be tabled in Parliament? Did he know the Report on Afghan Detainees was due to be released by the committee investigating damaging documents? The answer is yes - on both counts.

Some would say that was a skilled political move by a savvy politician. Others would say it was an abuse of power that undermines the principles our order is based upon. I believe the latter. By manipulating events to avoid responsibility the government has diminished the value of responsible government. Each of us are taught that being responsible for our actions, or inactions, is a basic law of all interaction - whether it be in family life, interpersonal relationships, or business life.

Mr Harper stated that he supported the immediate release of the Auditor General's Report on the G20. What he doesn't say is that he knew full well the report had to be tabled in Parliament, and could not be released when that Parliament had been dissolved. So it was safe for him to play innocent when he knew it could not be called. Same goes for the Afghan Detainee Report. He knew it had to be tabled with the committee that was over seeing the investigation in Parliament, and that when Parliament dissolved so did that committee. Love to release it, but nobody to release it to - sorry. Just  last week Harper's team was in Federal Court to prevent the Military Police from completing it's report on the Afghan Detainee investigation .

The cause of this is a catastrophic failure of leadership. Just like Somalia, where the senior leadership of the otherwise well respected Airbourne Regiment let the rules of war slide, and  paid with it's existence. Another case is the murder of a wounded Afghan on the battlefield by Captain Robert Semrau. Part of our instinct is to put something in pain, that has no hope for life, out of it's misery. However, the rules of warfare deem this action illegal. The reason there are rules of combat is to give a hellish action some guidelines so it doesn't spin out of control. It's a basic rule of survival of the species. Once one taboo is crossed then the next will follow and so on. The generations before us went through these experiences on a global scale, and designed the Geneva Convention to stop us from destroying ourselves. It became a part of the rules of our order.

The problem is expediency. The solution is the rules. Mr Harper is taking the path of expediency. His arbitrary and obvious flouting of our democratic principles place our democracy in peril. If our democracy is made a mockery then our foundation of problem resolution is destroyed. If our ability to resolve problems is compromised then our ability to function, economically or socially, is undermined. In other words we are left with democracy of expediency - anarchy. Anything goes as long as you can get away with it.

Consider then the near future. The province of Quebec is set to elect a separatist government. In 2013 the equalization agreement must be renegotiated. If Mr Harper wins the election he will be in charge and responsible for creating a fair redistribution of wealth within Confederation. The separatists will have learned from the example Mr Harper set that anything goes - nothing is sacred. There are no rules or responsibilities. There are no obligations to maintain peace, the country, or it's economy. All that matters is the goal - in their case a separate country. They will be able to break all the rules to achieve that end, because the Prime Minister himself did the same in the actions, and inactions of his government. Mr Harper will not be able to appeal to the higher ground, because there won't be one left. That is what happens when power is abused. That is why those that abuse it are supposed to lose it. It's called the proper exercise of power and self-preservation. They go hand in hand. The father can not abuse his wife and then lecture his son on hitting girls. It is that simple. Leadership starts at the top and the rest of us are expected to follow. Be careful of your example, and be prepared to accept the consequences.

It is time to end the breaking of the rules. It is time to win by the rules, and lose by the rules. It is time to return to honour and be seen as honourable. It is time for those that abuse power to lose it. Mr Harper take a good long look in the mirror.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Harper's broken promises to Newfoundland and Labrador (in writing)

In 2006, then Premier Williams wrote a letter with a series of questions, to all federal Party leaders. It's a great historical document to look at now, some five years later, and see what was fulfilled. Of course we are all well aware of the broken promise to exclude non - renewable resources from the equalization formula. It resulted in the famous ABC (Anyone But Conservative) campaign which saw the provincial government campaign against the federal Conservatives in the next election - and be 100% successful in their campaign. That broken promise cost this province billions. However, there are some promises made in that document that might surprise people here. Read for yourself:

The one promise that really jumps off the page to me is:


Does your party support efforts to develop the hydro-power of the Lower Churchill River System for the primary benefit of Newfoundland and Labrador, including the provision of a Federal Government loan guarantee to proceed with the project?

We support this in principle and believe that it is important for Newfoundland and Labrador to have greater control of it's energy mix. A Conservative government would welcome discussions on this initiative and would hope the potential exists for it to proceed in the spirit of past successes such as the Hibernia project."

Support in principle. Interesting wording. That was 2006. Here we are in 2011, and fighting another federal election campaign. Mr. Harper comes to St. John's recently and states: "With these criteria in mind...a re-elected Conservative government would provide a loan guarantee or financial equivalent to the Lower Churchill...there is still a lot to be decided and worked out. I would rather get to a stage where we are ready to be very specific with how we are going to proceed." Sounds to me like support in principle if the three conditions he stipulated are met - economically viable, environmentally friendly, and regionally beneficial. So what has changed? He made the commitment five years ago, and never lived up to it. Then he comes to Newfoundland and Labrador one week into an election and makes the same promise he didn't live up to five years earlier - trying to take advantage of this for votes.

This time however he also extended that "support in principle" to extending federal loan guarantees, or financial equivalent, to all such projects across the country. A mind boggling "support in principle" considering the Conference Board of Canada report of two days ago. The report states that over $273 billion will need to be spent across the country over the next twenty years to build hydro projects. That's $15 billion per year in new projects every year for the next twenty years. Forget the impact of such a commitment on our federal finances. Try not to think of what this says about fiscal responsibility, or deficit reduction. The bigger question here is can Mr. Harper get away with playing the country today the way he has played Newfoundland and Labrador since 2006?

Note to Ms. Dunderdale: Support in principle doesn't mean much to those who don't have any - other than say what you must to get seats. Of course, you know that already.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stephen Harper and the Act of Accountability

Two weeks into a federal election, and the Prime Minister is micro-managing the press corps. The group of reporters following him around the country, at great expense are granted a total of five questions per day. The question that comes to mind immediately: "How can a national leader be held to account when the freedom of the press is suspended." It's the kind of political manipulation we usually find in fanciful dictatorships like Lybia. Case in point: Gadhafi held a press conference recently where he kept the press waiting for hours, and did not give them any access with questions. An overt manipulation of the press - which is what is happening on the Prime Minister's tour.

Take for a moment the Prime Minister's comments regarding accountability in government:

“Restoring accountability will be one of the major priorities of our new government. Accountability is what ordinary Canadians, working Canadians, those people who pay their bills, pay their taxes, expect from their political leaders.”

Restoring accountability -  the battle cry of his Reform days. On it's face a laudable goal. However, the most basic requirement of any democratic system in the world is a free and open press. It is their fundamental responsibility to report the news in an educated and unbiased fashion. By their very existence they act as the eyes and ears of the people, and carry a heavy responsibility to safeguard that system that allows their very existence - democracy.

The Prime Minister's control of the national media in this election does, therefore, subvert the freedom of the press. It degrades the freedoms our forefathers, and some current members, fought and sacrificed for on foreign lands. We believe in human rights to the point that we have a museum actually dedicated to it. We conduct ourselves in the United Nations as if we were the in the vanguard of this movement internationally. We enshrined these rights in our own Constitution. Yet for the sake of political expediency the Prime Minister shamefully and blatantly dismisses the national press to a dictated five questions per day.

The big question is whether or not the press has the right or even the obligation to demand an end to this practise? Can the media fulfill it's role to the Canadian people under these circumstances? My answer is absolutely not. The Prime Minister's press corps should boycott Mr. Harper until he changes this policy and allows free and unfettered questioning. Mr. Harper would certainly reverse his policy in quick order. We, the people, are owed this simple act of defiance. It is not as if the press would be choosing sides in a partisan context. Any and all federal politicians should be prepared to face the press, and explain themselves and their policies. It is obvious that Mr. Harper has abandoned his original principle of accountability, but that doesn't excuse our national press corps from defending their right and responsibility to properly inform the Canadian people.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Obvious Result of Harper's Gamble

CBC story today outlining how Ontario now demands equal treatment for it's hydro projects. I am projecting a further and much larger demand from Quebec. They will likely seek financing guarantees, or cash in lieu for the Romaine dams times four, and all the other projects they have on the go. Knowing Quebec, they may even try for retroactive compensation for projects they've built in the past. This is what happens when a Prime Minister acts irresponsibly for the sake of seats. He, above any other person in government, must not be irresponsible with power. Check out my previous post, How to Lose a National Election 101.

McGuinty demands 'equal treatment' from Ottawa

CBC News Posted: Apr 4, 2011 1:13 PM

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has waded into the federal election campaign after demanding that Ottawa subsidize the province's massive electricity infrastructure upgrade
McGuinty's comments come after the Conservatives promised last week to guarantee a $4.2-billion dollar loan for the massive Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Labrador.
McGuinty said the federal parties need to treat Ontario fairly because he says 40 per cent of federal tax dollars come from Ontario.

"So when Prime Minister Harper pledges specific aid to another part of Canada for a specific multi-billion project, 40 per cent of that money is coming from Ontarians," McGuinty told reporters Monday. "When it comes to support from the federal government for energy projects, Ontario is looking for equal treatment."
McGuinty's comments come three days after Quebec Premier Jean Charest slammed the Conservatives for the pledge, which he considers electioneering.

Ontario is implementing a 20-year $87-billion to upgrade its energy infrastructure. That includes $33 billion in investments by government and the private sector to build two new nuclear reactors at Darlington and to refurbish 10 older units.McGuinty didn't put a dollar figure on what he wants from Ottawa, but says he'll be putting the issue to all the federal leaders.He said Ottawa has been pretty good at supporting the oil and gas sector in western Canada too, so he wants to see Ontario get its fair share.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What Happened to Principle?

Steven Harper, back many years ago, was the champion of the Reform movement in Canada. It's two primary principles: fiscal reform; and democratic reform. That seems like a different age now. Five years into becoming Prime Minister we see a different man. A man consumed with control of the democratic process, and a man whose fiscal conservatism depends on the political environment.

Take the Lower Churchill hydro electric project as case in point. On Thursday the PM flew into Halifax and said: "The details still have to be worked out...There is a lot of discussion still to come, but it is obviously an important project." He then travelled onto St. John's where he announced to a room full of newly converted PC's: "With these criteria in mind...a re-elected Conservative government would provide a loan guarantee or financial equivalent to the Lower Churchill." That same day, during a one on one interview with NTV, he stated: " ...there is still a lot to be decided and worked out. I would rather get to a stage where we are ready to be very specific with how we are going to proceed." Fair enough, then why endorse it? The only answer to that is pure political manipulation.

In another day, and with another politician, that kind of electoral manipulation might be expected. It is a lot harder to digest when it comes from the man who wanted to create a democratic revolution in this country.  The Newfoundland and Labrador loan guarantee request is roughly equal to 50% of it's current net debt. Forget that this province has a declining and aging population. Forget that it has the highest per capita debt already in the country. How can any government increase it's debt load by 50% on one project and remain financially viable.

Then there is the commitment to fund similar projects in a similar fashion thoughtout the country. Considering that most provinces expect equal per capita treatment when it comes to these things, how is the PM going to defend this? Quebec alone, with it's $234 billion dollar debt could conceivably demand $115 billion toward it's mammoth hydro projects. It could even demand compensation for money already spent on earlier or ongoing projects of the same nature. Then there is Ontario and Manitoba Hydro, and their projects. If the federal government provides loan guarantees for all these projects those funds will go against the country's debt. Even though it will be the provinces paying, and holding the debt, the value of the debt will increase our overall exposure. That will cause an increase in interest charged on the national debt.

This is being fiscally conservative? What it actually represents is a blatant attempt to secure seats in this province on the eve of a national election. Call a spade a spade. What it does do is buildup unrealistic expectations in one part of the country and inflame old grievances in another. Taken a step further, it creates a scorched earth policy in Quebec. Perhaps the logic is that "we can't win seats in Quebec, so we'll get them so upset they vote Bloc only and deny the Liberals any as well." That may be harsh, but inflaming separatist passions, and alienating the voters there can only have one result. Could also help the Conservatives as the Bloc has been supporting them for years. Is this the "new" democratic system that had been envisioned?

The bottom line is we have a Prime Minister coming into Newfoundland and Labrador making a promise to support a policy that is financially unsustainable - to say the least. His government concluded an offshore accord with Quebec that recognized disputed borders a day before his government fell. During the PMs most recent visit the federal government announced catastrophic cuts to the shrimping industry that hurt many regular Newfoundlanders. That was conveniently announced on the same day as the big Lower Churchill show. Our provincial government did not say a word about it. The red carpet was rolled out for the big show, and nobody cared about the thousands of rural Newfoundlanders that were to be devastated by the shrimp cuts. Again, the "new" and transparent democracy we have all fought so hard for. It is amazing how the principles that found and defined us can be set aside for power - a rather 'old school' practise for a Reformer.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Newfoundland and Labrador Poll - take note.

Here is the stats from today's VOCM question of the day. Note to Ms Dunderdale: Your betrayal of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is not going over well. Enjoy your weekend of back slapping and feasting while the ordinary people struggle to make ends meet.

Question of the Day

Are you pleased with Stephen Harper's promise of financial support for the Lower Churchill project? Why or why not?

Question Date: 4/1/2011

Total Votes: [10224]

Yes (27%)

No (71%)