Sue's Blog

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wanted: Captain Obvious

I waited with interest to see what the headlines would be this morning on the definitive defeat of the PC's in St. George's - Stephenville East.

I was not surprised - which means I was disappointed in our media.

Last night the governing Tories were crushed with a wave of discontent - in the middle of their "exciting" leadership debacle. Last night the polls continued to send a strong message to the government that their time is done. Get out - we no longer support your policies or direction - the electorate seem to be saying.

The numbers in this by-election certainly put an exclamation mark on the feelings of dissatisfaction the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have with this government.

The numbers are as follows:

2011 General Election - Results St. George's - Stephenville East
Eligible Voters: 7959  
Votes Cast: 4287 
Voter turnout 53.9 %
PC's 49.3%
Liberal 32.7%
NDP 16.5%
Kevin Aylward was the candidate and the Leader of the Liberal Party at the time. A experienced politician - from the district - who actually did a decent job in helping to keep the Liberals in an Opposition position.

2014 By-election - Results St. George's - Stephenville East
Eligible Voters: 7274 (a significant reduction in voting population in three years)
Votes Cast: 3738
Voter turnout 51.4
PC's 25.4%
Liberal 59.1%
NDP 15.5%

A by-election in the last week of summer vacation almost matched the turnout of a fall general election - that's pretty remarkable. It is also remarkable that a Minister's seat was so soundly defeated.

The candidates were solid people in what appears to have been a clean race.

What does this mean for the three Premier wannabes?

1. It was not all Kathy's fault,
2. They are as to blame for the by-election defeat as Kathy and Tom would be,
3. As all are former Ministers of this failing government and have been directly involved in policy choices - that clearly the people do not approve of,
4. The leadership candidates are not making a difference in the mood of the electorate,
5. They should stop spending taxpayer dollars on deals or agreements and call an election.

They have clearly lost the support of the people as the by-elections in Virgina Waters, Carbonear-Harbour Grace and now St. George's - Stephenville East have demonstrated. In their arrogance they continue to spend billions on a project the people DO NOT want, continue to commit billions in multi-year schemes and plans, and continue to govern like they have the overwhelming support of the people.

Their desperation to hang on to every little benefit their elected office provides - and their desperation to get all the contracts nailed down on energy resources reflects a feeling of political entitlement that has nothing to do with the electorate. They are finished.

Whether the election is being delayed for reasons of gross incompetance or mass manipulation of their leadership circus - the people are being ignored. The much touted House of Assembly Act passed by the Tories that included a provision should a leader leave before the end of the third year in office is being blatently ignored. The media is ignoring this.

The headlines in the media this morning do not reflect the gravity of this situation. The headlines were as if the Liberals were a popular government and they won another by-election. The headlines should have been screaming as loud as the people. "It is time to call an election".

Perhaps our media outlets would be best served if they hired "Captain Obvious" as lead journalist.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Minister Hutchings unwittingly questions Muskrat

In a VOCM story today Minister Hutchings is responding to Federal Minister Gail Shea regarding the shrimp quota disaster.

As is usually the case from this PC Government the Minister talks about how good we are doing and what good confederation children we are. In part he says: 2007 there were 187 licensed fish plants; today there are 86, and at the peak in the '80s there were 250. He says the province has stepped in with the fisheries loan guarantee program and a host of others to give harvesters the ability to access capital or to buy out, all of which is consolidation and rationalization.

Yes there we have it. So in short - Look at us - we have downsized, cut, rationalized and sold out - so why can't we have more shrimp?

So this province has lost 164 fish plants, 2 pulp and paper mills, several mines and recently a shoe factory - we need more power? So this province has lost 50,000 people but we need more power? Our population has aged with many of our young families moving to other provinces and countries for work and we need more power for the seniors left behind? All of our houses are modern and energy efficient as are the appliances in them - so we need more power?

Better yet Hutchings alludes to even more rationalization meaning less fish plants - and we need more power?

Muskrat = somebody needs more money and they'll have the suckers of Newfoundland and Labrador pay for it.

Hutchings has no problem speaking confidently about rationalization - he just has a problem being rational. Kindly stop the BS - and while your at it - if you are seeking re-election you might want to tone down the - we are going to shut-down things to do better thing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Corner Brook company Turning Heads with creative idea...

Marble Auto Gallery a seller of premium, luxury, exotic and antique cars in Corner Brook has combined the love of cars and love of Western Newfoundland to create a one-of-a-kind plan to put a Car and Driver journalist and an Autoblog journalist in a dream car and make their way from California to our province's west coast.

In an hour there have been over 400 likes on's Facebook Page with plenty of comments coming in from all over the world.

This car: 1999 Ferrari 355 Spider

is now on route and will be enjoying the beautiful west coast of our province in 12 days - having travelled some 8500 km's to get here.

There will be many posts along the way and no doubt stirring up some major interest in Newfoundland and Labrador

The drivers

Johnathon Ramsey Associate Editor who writes:

No matter how many new boxes the court system, the human resource department, the college admissions office and the census come up with, we know that people are wildly ill-defined by their specs. And no matter how delightfully we atomize everything with wheels, cars – the most enjoyable ones, at least – are just as impossible-to-pin down as the humanoids who pilot them. That’s the world of transportation that interests me. Sure, it’s handy to pencil in some of the details, but we don’t drive details – we drive cars, camions, bi-, moto- and tricycles, Robins and roadsters, Gumperts and Gmunds and Goggomobils and anything with a motor and a “Go!” button. Where the spec sheets end and the high mountain road begins, that’s the story worth telling.

Can't wait to see what his posts are on both the car and Newfoundland and Labrador.


James Tate of Car and DriverMSN Autos has this to say about James:

Cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trend and European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.

So all in all this is a great promotion for auto travellers who want to experience our beautiful province - our coastlines - mountains - fjords - parks - history - and culture.

No doubt the people from the west coast will deliver a warm welcome demonstrating once again how friendly and hospitable our people are.

Congratulations to this new company in Corner Brook - Marble Auto Gallery for putting together such an interesting promotion for both our province and the company.

For all you car enthusiasts in our province - and there are many - the west coast is the place to be in a couple of weeks.

a Grim/m Fairytale? Cop-Boyscout-Lawyer

 Is this a grim/m Fairytale?

You decide.
Stretching another 4 years out of this tired government is difficult when one considers the polling trends.

The back room of the Newfoundland and Labrador PC's must be abuzz with plotting, scheming, and planning in an attempt to squeeze another term in office. There are many more resources they want to "develop".

So let's pretend we are in the room listening to the suggestions for extended office.

The first discussion probably would have been dragging the election date out - to compensate for Kathy's early departure. That damn law they might have said - and we put it there too - they might add.

The first plan therefore might have been to use whatever method possible to drag the term the full 4 years - giving them more time to attempt recovery in the polls.

The second discussion likely was who and what to blame the poor poll results on. Well we cannot blame it on Muskrat they may have mused and we can't currently blame the feds - so what then? The second plan could have been to blame it on communications - if all else fails it was her failure to communicate our message. Not policy - they could not blame it on policy.

The third discussion might have been - yah maybe not all policy but some stuff is bad. Bill 29 for example. That we can blame on Kathy and all we need to do is extend it out - buy some time - pretend we are listening. It won't stop Muskrat from proceeding but it will get their attention. So the third plan might have been Bill 29 - off to examination.

On to the fourth discussion - okay but what about leadership - we need a new face they may have suggested. Okay but we got to be careful here - don't want any radical change to our resource development policy. Protect Muskrat - Protect Muskrat - at all costs was probably suggested. So the fourth plan they might have concluded was to "con"vince somebody - totally non-political - a business person - somebody who looks professional - somebody who supports Muskrat. Further - we have to get somebody who can eventually win a seat - and we need a seat where somebody is leaving. Not as easy as we think - they might have uttered - how do we convince such a person. Fourth plan - Voila - Frank - but how do we convince Frank. And so it might have been done. He was convinced. Poor fellow though - he looked and acted like he was being dragged through the political streets of Damascus - under the Dannymon Empire.

Now to the fifth and they probably have agreed to plead it - how do we drag this on to extend the election? They might have suggested, alright we gotta get a few months out of Frank - let him get used to the people - don't swear him in right away. Then if we extend that long enough - perhaps Frank could leave at the last moment - if he does not work out and we can bring in the back-ups.

 Picture Evening Telegram - See my back? Job done?
So the plan perhaps became to drag out Frank as long as possible - then call a new leadership process when Frank quit. We have the back-ups and we can assign each of them some Cabinet support - well who do we get? Well Kent is always ready to cooperate - he's a social media animal - we can get some twitter, facebook, and web page support out of him. And best of all - we might be able to robo-call the VOCM question of the day - to get the results we want and we are sure VOCM will report.

Be Prepared - to Robo-call and Tweet
How about the diplomat? How about the fellow who likes Harper and loves Muskrat.

Yes the silvered hair guy who looks knowledgeable and even-keeled. Good Tory boy  comes from the right schools - has a stately name - and can speak circles around Kevin O'Brien. Surely they must have considered this.

Remember Me? I don't remember me!

So Ottenheimer it is they might have concluded.

Finally we need somebody in-between - almost like Goldilocks - you know the just right fellow. That is a task - not too much political baggage, looks good in a blue suit or uniform - able to speak coherently - has communication experience - family guy - PC district and is re-electable. Can we build a resume that highlights some areas but downplays either the lack of ability or lack of desire to lead? A fighter - that's what he is - on the side of good - almost like running Spiderman for election. Spin a web - fight crime - on the side of good - and be able to hide any underlying deficiencies. Yes that's him they all might have exclaimed at once. We got it! We got it! Paul Davis -  they all might have chimed together on the Atlantic Place escalator.

I'm the Good Guy. Is Muskrat Falls a societal crime?

They might have mused that with mini-me in control of the party wing

 - we can keep Danny out of the circus while quietly helping delegates to make up their mind - with the exception of Mount Pearl - who will send in the city scouts to support their boy/man Steve.

Okay - Okay - they probably gasped with some short-term relief - now we need a plan - we need to attract the people back into our fold. Alright - spend money - lots of it. Employ people to do whatever up there in Labrador. Keep the trades involved - the nurses happy - and take advantage of the BBQ circuit. Announce - re-announce - put fillers in pot holes near and far. Announce hospitals, schools, arenas, fire-trucks, pavement (a km. each), a new penitentiary, and Muskrat jobs. Now do this right where if we happen to lose we already got the Liberals committed to billions over the next decade and if we win - we can delay delay - study study. In this way we can put it all out another 4 years - if we win - or torture the Liberals to make good on the billions in commitments we made.

Win win win - now - let's get at it. Nothing better than buying them with their own debt - they might have convinced themselves.

A grim Fairytale or a grim Reality?