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Sunday 16 September 2012

For the current Government of NL

So Tom Osborne has decided that he's had enough of being muzzled, and being strong-armed into voting for legislation he doesn't support. He's unhappy with the current leadership and he's jumped out of the current governing party to sit as an independent, at least for the time being. His departure is simply the manifestation of the current feelings of many folks in NL over that last year, and it's going to get worse.

People are loosing faith in this government and this leader, and before the next election the current government had better pay attention and work towards re-gaining public faith or it will be time for the ultimate cabinet shuffle. This downward trend seems to currently apply to both the Opposition Liberals and the Reigning PC's, and a while back I took a few moments to send some advice to the Liberal side of the equation in this entry here. Now of course they didn't seem to take too much notice to it, but it did spur a dinner meal with at least one sitting MHA, so who knows who'll call me after this entry!

My involvement in politics has always been from the standpoint of improving the system. I want better Government. It's true I consider myself a Liberal but I accept good ideas and policies for what they are, not who brought them forward. So if the current crowd were doing a bang up job I'd be happy enough to say so. But that's obviously not the case currently. The interesting thing is that due to their position in Government the current group still has incredible potential to make good things happen, and the bonus is that at this point they couldn't possibly make things any worse for themselves.

The simple fact is that unless they start inspiring people again the control of Government will change hands again at the next election. So with that in mind my advice to them is to look within the public sector and the general public to bring forward some ideas and policies that may be risky but could also be great for NL. Here's a few to get them started:

  • Privacy legislation. Repeal that ridiculous Bill C-29. Just admit it was a mistake and move on. Most will respect your honesty and the others don't really matter. 
  • Legacy Fund. Accept that oil isn't going to save us or be around forever so take some of that revenue, what's left anyway, and create some kind of legacy fund. 
  • Serious Government Reform. There are too many Districts and too many Cabinet Seats. As a province we are over represented and it isn't working out for us. Oh and while you're at it stop renaming Departments and painting red things blue. It's just silly and a waste of money.
  • Be Accountable. Stop blaming everything on past Governments. Accept successes and failures as your own.
  • Reform the public sector. We don't need more managers and less frontline staff. And actually let them do their jobs and stop getting in their way. 
  • Fund the opposition parties better. They have an important job to keep you honest. They have been underfunded lately and we see where that has gotten us...   
  • Scrap Muskratt Falls. At least for now until we can do the appropriate analysis of the new costs and the real alternatives.
There are many more great ideas out there that can turn things around, all you have to do is be open to the fact that you don't know everything and you'll be headed in the right direction. I want the best Government possible for NL and if it's a PC Gov then so be it! But I have no real fear that anyone in the current Government or in the PC party will take my advice, so I'll continue to hope that before the next election at least one of the parties, preferably the Liberals, can get their act together enough to plant the seeds of good government for NL. A guy can dream can't he?


  1. I would certainly say yes to the question posed but would add it could be one very long dream. Leadership seems in my way of thinking one very big problem and it is not going to be solved by Dean MacDonald.

  2. My hunch is that in 3 years we'll see 3 new leaders and neither of them will be Dean. But I could be wrong...

  3. Good to see you are still actively interested in the political situation here, Ryan, and you make some good points.

    My concern is that, without fundamental electoral reform, we will get more of the same no matter who wins. We have a broken system that needs major changes, including the concept of requiring each member to win by absolute majority. If this means run-0ff elections, so be it. I agree with you that we do have too many seats but let's be careful not to further dilute the influence of rural areas. There are numerous other reforms that need to occur but it would require an election platform carved in stone to ensure real reform does take place. No current party offers an option that would potentially be detrimental to their long term survival if in government but we DO need a future leader with the intestinal fortitude to do what is right for all of us.

    Like you, I consider myself a Liberal but feel betrayed by the current group and those who are enamoured of "potential" leader, Dean MacDonald. I don't wish to disparage Mr. MacDonald, or his achievements to date, but it seems to me that he is simply a Danny/Brian clone. The last thing we need is someone who wants to "lead" us in that direction.

    We need a leader with integrity, a vision based on real service to the people of this province, and the humility to accept that the ordinary person can offer wisdom and advice. Sadly, a far cry from our recent history and most of the folks who are being touted as possible leaders by the time the next election rolls around.

  4. Cyril, You and I are certainly on the same page. The kind of reform required is certainly not going to come overnight and not without some difficult struggle. Unfortunately no one seems to be coming forward with the passion, fortitude and integrity to put the well being of the province before their ego.

    I write about these issues from the sidelines because at this point its about all I can do. It's no secret I threw my hat in the ring to be Liberal Party Leader and I would do it again in a second if I thought the support existed for these kinds of reform beyond the simple goals of political party gain.

    The election last year was an incredible learning experience for me in terms of those willing to do anything to win, and with regard to who has the courage of their convictions. Unfortunately it looks that at least for now political/party gain comes before the public good. It will change but it will take a very bold leader to make it happen. And again this applies to each of the three major parties, not just the Liberals.