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.

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