Da Legal Stuff...

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Chicken and Egg.

Cart before the horse.

However you want to describe it, it’s becoming clearer all the time that most Canadians simply don’t understand Newfoundland and Labrador and never will.

When you listen to most of the national media pundits, federal politicians and even the man on the street in places like Ontario or Alberta, one thing becomes abundantly clear, they all believe that Newfoundland and Labrador Premier, Danny Williams, is power mad and dictatorial.

They believe, as former media darling and newly minted Conservative senator, Mike Duffy, recently insinuated, that Danny Williams is a greedy hot head with a swollen ego and that the people of the Province have under his spell.

I’m paraphrasing of course.

The logic behind the argument runs like this.

Danny Williams is combative, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are a friendly and happy people, so therefore Williams must be running amok and stirring up trouble.

The argument doesn’t hold water for anyone who knows the first thing about the issues that matter to Newfoundland and Labrador or has any insight into the collective history of the people in the Province.

In fact the misconception is a perfect example of putting the cart before the horse.

Simply put, Danny Williams doesn’t have an 80% popularity rating because he has the ill informed yet contented masses suddenly riled up.

He was not re-elected with a larger mandate during his second election campaign because the people are afraid of his dictatorial vengeance.

In truth, Danny Williams enjoys his impressive level popularity because he is doing the bidding of his constituents rather than ignoring them.

When it comes to addressing their concerns over economic development, the oil industry and, perhaps most of all, dealing with the inequities that the Province faces in the Canadian federation Williams is the first political leader the Province has had in years who is willing to speak up.

His approach is like a breath of fresh air inside the Province but this reality is something that has been totally missed in the rest of Canada.

This is not to say Premier Williams is perfect, far from it. There have been, and continue to be, issues inside the Province that have put him at odds with much of the population but this doesn’t take away the deep respect many have for his willingness to take a stand when it matters most.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been disheartened for decades by successive provincial leaders who have either failed to stand up when needed or have consciously chosen to ignore the public will and for their personal benefit.

From the backroom deals that led to a loss of independence, to Ottawa’s refusal to enforce the Constitution and force Quebec into permitting the transport of Upper Churchill power across its borders, from federal mismanagement of a 500 year old Atlantic cod fishery to the recent unilateral gutting of an agreement intended to ensure that the Province would be the primary beneficiary of its offshore oil industry, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have a lot of painful memories pressing concerns to screaming to be addressed.

Newfoundland and Labrador has a long history both inside and outside of Canada. Over that time the people, who have a far longer political memory than most, have been used, abused and misused for as long as anyone can recall.

No, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have not fallen under some kind of spell perpetrated by a ruthless leader.

Yes, they are indeed a friendly people, but nobody should ever take their sunny disposition for granted.

After decades of suffering most of the people have learned that in order to survive when the odds are stacked against you the best approach is often to simply smile and crack a few jokes, but in reality the anger run very, very deep.

As much as many Canadians might prefer to believe it, Danny Williams isn’t stirring up an otherwise happy go lucky people. He’s simply giving voice to their collective anger.


Chrystal Ocean said...

"When you listen to most of the national media pundits, federal politicians and even the man on the street in places like Ontario or Alberta, one thing becomes abundantly clear, they all believe that Newfoundland and Labrador Premier, Danny Williams, is power mad and dictatorial."

Och, don't tar us all with the same brush! This Vancouver Islander admires the man.

Patriot said...

Certainly not Chrystal. Thankfully there are always exceptions to every rule.

NL-ExPatriate said...

The more I post commentary on articles and read the feed back the more I'm convinced the only way we will ever get a fair deal in this phony federation is to go to the international media.

Hope springs eternal in a democracy.
Unfortunately for Newfoundland and Labrador it is eternally hopeless!

You feel you have a choice with the false gods of left and right wing parties, you feel your involved and can make a difference by marking your x.

Unfortunately for us being a minority prov NL in this parliamentary confederation with no equality voting for any of the national PROXY parties of ON/QU which represents the majority 66% it is ETERNALLY HOPELESS!

More spam but the truth never changes.

The Supreme Court of Canada basically said that the 'only' reason the off-shore could be considered to be owned by Canada is because of third-party international law. The court actually said that the status of these resources is very much in the hands of NL. They demonstrated their meaning by saying, and I paraphrase, 'not-with-standing international laws, NL brought those resources into Canada, and NL can take them back out'.

So in response to this the Atlantic Accord compromise was reached. In that deal the rest of Canada gets to suck the teat of yet more of our resources. Harper has twice unilaterally violated that compromise agreement in order to suck a little more out of NL's share. Talk about bumming off the poor!

Ussr said...

Well Patriot as crystal has stated you can’t paint us all with that brush. Everyone that knows me “personally” thinks that I’m a little bit differant because of my beliefs. The truth be told Patriot I would have to say that every single mainlander I know does not have a clue in regards to when their country was created. I have stated that a hundred times on your Blog.

What I wanted to discuss with you here today was a comment that was made on VOCM last night. On Mr. Cleary’s show, of course. A listener, Patriot, had done some really astounding research on the Church Hill contract. And you have brought that Point up here again to some degree.

“Ottawa’s refusal to enforce the Constitution and force Quebec into permitting the transport of Upper Churchill power across its borders”

This point Patriot, the fact that Canada did not enforce its own constitution in regards to Newfoundland and Labrador would and should constute a Legal dilemma for Canada. By not enforcing this Law to all provinces, Canada has placed itself in front of a civil lawsuit. The speaker along with Mr. Cleary also stated that “why is the Provencal government chasing the federal government over equalization payments. When we have the caliber of man, such as Premier Williams, why are we not taking the federal government to court (some court, any court) for damages done to the province brought on by Canada’s lack of enforcement to its very own laws?
Another point that both came to agree upon as well, is that “IF” we were to seek independence from Canada we would have far better chances to win if we were a separate nation again.

The more I study my culture .The more I read .the more I watch and listen to everyday ordinary Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans, the more I relies that Independence is a must, a need , a fact of survail for our culture and our heritage.

For those that say we must learn to give the Liberals a chance. We have to co-operate with Canada.

I say two words. Roger Grimes.

“Republic Of “

PS, whatever happened to that poll anyway, Ex-pat. The one done by NTV. Could someone post the results.