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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Political Bombshell or Bombast?

Recently someone posed a question to me that I found more than a little interesting in both concept and potential.

Why doesn't Premier Danny Williams' office abandon its Anyone but Conservative (ABC) federal campaign and publicly support a locally managed party that's answerable to the Province rather than to a national body?

Indeed, I immediately thought, why not?

Wouldn't that be a much more postive approach than "Anyone but Conservative"?

Wouldn't it be more likely to lead to real change in the way Ottawa has to deal with the province?

Wouldn't such a positive move have a better possibility of success than the current negative campaign?

Recent poll numbers show the Premier's approval rating at 80%. This, combined with his almost "star like" appeal with many voters in the Province puts him in a unique position in our political history.

As a popular leader Danny Williams has the tools at his disposal to quickly and effectively take a locally focused federal party from being a complete unkown to an immediate success on the campaign trail.

For years the people of Quebec have understood the value of electing a federal party answerable to the province, rather than to federal party leaders. They clearly understand that in order to make federal MPs listen to your concerns and fight for them on the Hill, even when an election is not looming, you need to ensure that those MPs are beholding to you and you alone.

Perhaps the status quo is working on some level in other parts of Canada but it's clearly not working in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are too many events on the historical record of this place that prove the point.

With Premier Williams already talking publicly about defeating the federal Conservatives on the local scene in the next federal election, what possible reason could he have for not taking the campaign one step further and throwing his full support behind an alternative party?

If, as Williams says, he is determined that the Conservatives not win a single seat in Newfoundland and Labrador in the next election then who does he expect the voters to turn to?

As a Progressive Conservative he is not asking voters to turn to another national party is he?

Where then does he expect those who would follow his lead to mark their X?

Surely he doesn't expect people to stay at home and give up the only chance most ever have to influence their political future?

By offering a a negative campaign (with no option available to those who wish to participate) Premier Williams is single handedly undermining his own position rather than ensuring its effectiveness.

By not supporting a new voice on the national scene a valuable opportunity for the province's future is being missed and the chances of his ABC campaign being successful are severely deminished.

Nobody doubts the intelligence of the Province's Premier. He's shown time and time again that he can out maneuver even the best strategic political, business and legal thinkers when the situation calls for it, but this appearently directionless approach to "ABC" has started the rumor mill turning in earnest.

The question now being whispered is whether Premier Williams is really out to defeat Stephen Harper's Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador or if all the bombast of past months is just a means to make a point.


Calvin said...

"A man's country is not an area of land, mountains, rivers, and woods, but a principle. Patriotism is loyalty to that principle." ~George William Curtis

Its a very nice quote Patriot.

Anonymous said...

Quebec can elect a local party at federal level, so why cannot Newfoundland?

Calvin said...

Saskatchewan can also elect a party at the federal level ? The only question I have here is why is it that we seem to always be the last of the provinces to fall into such grooves and more importantly why isn't the premeirs office taking a more active role in this anybody but "Conservative " campaign.

I know I risk burning at the stake for this question Patriot,but could this be the mentality of defeat that seems to hang constantly over our heads.Why is this topic not being discussed thru the towns and out-ports of Labrador and Newfoundland this very day.Are we appeased now that we have a little money from big Oil.Has the fight gone form our bellys.Are we satisfied with the pennys we are to get from our Central Canada Overlords.

I think that I will write the premeirs office and ask a few questions myself.Maybe i will recieve an answer that will surprise me ,lets write it and see.

Gods knows Im not satisfied with it .

NL-ExPatriate said...

If Williams doesn't see the futility of supporting the other national parties in our systemically flawed political system and come out and support the only real choice for change his ABC campaign will be nothing more than

ABC; Anything But Change.

What ABC should really be at least in the NL context is

ABC; Anything But Centrist!

If culture of defeat means that voting for any national party will never lead to change and the betterment of NL within a united canadian federation due to thte practices of democratic discrimination against the minority provinces by the national parties in their never ending bid to buy the next election than yes I guess I do subscribe to that idiom and realize the futility of continuing to elect national party representatives MP's who will toe the national party line of doing what's in the best interest of the majority ON/QU 181/308 to get their national party into power even if that means betraying your own province.