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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Newfoundland and Labrador's Future Past

Has anyone ever heard of Frankie, Bri, Tommy, Clydie, Bri (number 2), Bea or Rodge? Likely you haven’t. Maybe you know them better as Newfoundland and Labrador premiers: Moores, Peckford, Rideout, Wells, Tobin, Tulk and Grimes.

Generally speaking the people of this province, or anywhere else for that matter, don’t get all that buddy, buddy with the political leaders. Not enough to call them by their first names anyway and certainly not some overly friendly version of it with a cute little “y” tacked onto the end.

There have been two notable exceptions to this in the cases of, “Joey” and “Danny”.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying either man has all that much in common. Heaven’s no. I cherish my hide far too much to go down that road. Both have at least one similarity that’s hard to deny. Their popularity in the province, during their hay day, was/is phenomenal. Joey in a post confederation Newfoundland and Danny in today’s Newfoundland & Labrador were and are as popular as a big plate of salt cod at a Good Friday dinner.

The personal popularity of Danny Williams is unequaled. Even his arch enemy Steven Harper recognizes it. It’s a reality that must make for some sleepless nights in Ottawa and more importantly inside the homes of devout Liberals across the province.

Just like Liberal Joey before him, PC Danny is unstoppable and will likely remain that way for at least two more elections (should he decide to stick around that long). After that it’s anyone’s guess. Remember what happened to the Father of Confederation when he stuck around too long and the great unwashed masses tired of his chicanery and grand standing? I still get chills thinking about it.

The big question is, is this kind of semi-rock star popularity a good thing for the province? The jury is still out on that one. Likely the history books will decide the truth of the matter for Danny just as they did for Joey before him. Let’s hope they have reason to be far kinder to our current premier than they were to the former. It only takes a few shifting sands to turn a would be Moses into a David Koresh.

In his day Joey was believed by many voters to be God’s gift to the province but in the end he was seen for exactly what he was, a scared and pathetic individual with no head for business and an ego bigger than the land he led into the clutches of the Canadian wolf.

Will Danny suffer the same historical thrashing or will he retire at the top of his game with oil revenues flowing faster than power down the lower Churchill, under the straits and into New Brunswick? Will the day come when Danny also falls from favor and is seen as a curse rather than a blessing, or will he simply ride off into the sunset with his adoring fans cheering him on?

One thing is certain. Danny’s popularity with the electorate today is unmatched by anyone in the political arena across the Country or perhaps around the world. Like Joey before him Danny has no opposition to stand in his way. He is free to do as he pleases with our province and our future and for better or worse he is doing just that.

There are those who look back on Joey’s time in office and cringe at some of the things he did. They blame him for everything from winter snows to global warming. I don’t see it that way. I also don’t blame Danny for any mistakes me may have made to this point in his political career.

I doubt anyone will accuse either man of willfully trying to undermine the province and hurt the people. On the contrary I believe both had / have the best of intentions. If mistakes are made, as they were with Joey, the blame doesn’t rest with one person but the thousands of voters who put them in a position of unbridled and unfettered power to begin with.

As voters we make our choices and in the end we’re the ones who will either celebrate the victories or bemoan the defeats. We each put our collective future into the hands of politicians every time we go into a polling booth. All anyone can do once an election is over is to hang on tight and hope we made the right choice.

Most believe a governing party needs a strong opposition to hold it to account, others believe that every once in a while a strong opposition just gets in the way of a great leader and his ability to “make it happen”.

No matter the outcome of the next election one thing we all need to do in this province is pray that whoever we elect, or coronate, on October 9th puts his personal ambitions aside for the good of the province and makes far better decisions than the “pig farmer from Gambo” did.


Blogerwoman said...

Patriot: I hope we end up with an Opposition, even though I would like to see the Conservatives under Premier Danny Willams win this next election.

ussr said...

As Always Patriot A Great Article

All I can say Patriot is Good-Luck.If you think that Canada is not waiting for this guy to get out of office ,then the whole Island is in a Day dream.

Canada is on the border waiting for Williams to drop out of the picture and for Newfoundlanders ,and especially Labradorians to soften thier stance agaisnt Federalism so they can make thier move on resources there.Anybody out-side the province,or in it that says otherwise is simply ignorant to the fact or a liar ,or maybe both.

Like the Ol'man said Myles,"you dont know what you have my son till its all takem away from you,or lost"

I think we have fallen from grace with GOD because Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have not yet woken from the slumber in which we sleep.We do not see who is taking us for a ride ,and we simply enjoy giving away our resources to win favour with Ottawa ,so we can look like the "Good Canadains"Yet when we are stepped on we complain.We must start to relise that charity and self-worth start at home first and foremost.

I hate to start the ramblings of separtion again ,but I truely believe in my heart of hearts that no matter what we do as a Province ,we are "DOOMED."The only way to protect our nation is thru International Law and Borders.Soft nationalisam with-in Canada will never work.(ie),......do i have to start giving excamples of how we have been treated since Confederation.

Time to wake up boys and girls .Time to see what we have wanted to become part of .And it is one true sick mess.

Canuckistan is calling,will you answer the call agaisnt your own people!!!!

PS,........I love this new "Must be approved thing"I hope it works out.

Wince said...

I am loving the new approval standards for comments, and being a registered blogger is also a smart move by Myles. It's only been less than a week, but the comments are getting civil and constructive.

I'm one of those "soft" nationalists who often gets caught day-dreaming about what it was like pre-confederation. When I dream about taking a hard stance and splitting from Canada the dream quickly turns into a nightmare.

We'd be in for a very rough ride for quite some time, me thinks. Such is our dependency on Confederation. Letting go of the money we do get from Ottawa would be a huge blow to us.

Blogerwoman said...

I wish that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador had developed its resources to have created a market economy here rather than to have exported the resources out of here for others to create economies, we would have had become a much richer province.

One can't live and prosper on equilization payments that we receive as a result of giving in to Mother Ottawa and shipping our resources out. Equilization payments just help to keep the wolf from the door and keeps a province under the category of a Welfare State.

If the province had utilized its resources to create a real-Market Economy and thus the jobs that come along with that type of economy, we would have been a 'have' province from the beginning. We were stunned and we allowed other provinces to have our resources and thus they became the more prosperous provinces from he utilization of our resources.

Wince I am surprised that you hold the views you stated above. Don't you know of the resources that we allowed to be given away? Namely the resources were Fish, Hydro-Electric Energy, Minerals, and Oil? What do you think the worth of these resources are to the provinces which utilize them? The equilization we receive only amounts to a small percentage of the value of those resources, especially when they are put to work in a real-Market Economy plus the spin-offs that result out of such an economy.