Love can fizzle, in politics as in life

Brian Jones
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Think back to one of your worst  “I don’t like you anymore” moments. Everybody’s got one. Maybe more.

You look into those lovely eyes and see, no longer love and desire, but indifference.

There are many variations of “I don’t like you anymore,” some of which have become clichés — standbys for those seeking a quick way out of a relationship.

“I need more space.”

“We can still be friends.”

“It’s not you. It’s me.”

Some are more blunt.

“Don’t call me anymore.”

“My friends were right about you.”

“You’re just like my father.”

It’s no fun being jilted. So for decency’s sake and to show we’ve got some measure of empathy, let’s repress the inclination to gloat about poor Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s “We don’t like you anymore” moment.

According to a Corporate Research Associates poll released this week, Dunderdale has lost the love of the electorate. She is now less popular than NDP Leader Lorraine Michael and Liberal Leader Dwight Ball.

Her party, the Progressive Conservatives — whose name in romantic language could be translated as love-hate — now trails the NDP and Liberals in popularity.

This is a relationship in decline. The attraction has ebbed. Unlike in life, where breakups can occur suddenly and at any time, in provincial politics the official breakup cannot occur until October 2015.

In the interim, Newfoundland (and Labrador) electors and lovers should ask themselves, “Do I want to be in a relationship with someone who is domineering, sneering, arrogant, conceited, rude, manipulative, secretive and mean, and who takes my support for granted and seldom considers my wishes?”

Of course, loutish lovers are often given a second chance.

“Clean up your act,” they’ll be told, “and I’ll give you back your key.”

Dunderdale already made her first mistake. She stayed silent.

When turbulence strikes the love boat, it is best to deal with it right away by talking about it.

For example: “I know you think my sister is hot, but could you please stop undressing her with your eyes?”

Or, the Dunderdale equivalent: “I know you think the former sister is on a hot streak, but that’s only because of some mistakes we’ve recently made, which we intend to rectify.”

But Dunderdale said nothing of the sort. Instead, she left it to her sidekick, Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy, to address the discontent, dissatisfaction and lowered libido of the electorate.

No contriteness there. The government is not to blame, Kennedy said. Its decisions about Muskrat Falls and budgetary cutbacks were the right ones, he said.

(See above, about being in a relationship with someone who is domineering, arrogant, etc.)

In terms of romance, rather than politics, it is as if Kennedy invited voters over for dinner and then served meat and potatoes rather than something exotic and enticing, such as, say, Thai or Italian. No wonder voters say they don’t want another date.

Dunderdale, Kennedy and devout Tories are not paying attention, always a bad move in any relationship.

Voters are interested in the long term, not a mere one-night stand. People look five years, 10 years ahead and they see good times for the province. They don’t see a justification for slashing spending on education and health care, or cutting Crown prosecutors, sheriff’s officers, teachers, wildlife officers and others who were unceremoniously given the kiss-off.

The electorate is not some dumb blond. They hear the government say it cannot afford to keep adult education programs in public colleges, and yet see it set aside $90 million to lend to a pulp and paper conglomerate, and they naturally think, “The government is a cad.”

This is the poll’s message to Dunderdale and Kennedy: “It’s not us. It’s you.”

Brian Jones is a desk editor at

The Telegram. He can be jilted at

Organizations: Corporate Research Associates, Progressive Conservatives, NDP The Telegram

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Ben Turpin
    June 14, 2013 - 21:28

    We have wonderful politicians. Whenever a real issue gets broached, all parties do their job and turn the topic to accusations of racism, sloppy kisses, mumbo jumbo, or merely being an ayatollah, or a fool with a grade 6 education. We have a terrible government. They are allowed to govern terribly because there is no effective opposition. There is poor opposition because we have wonderful politicians.

  • Just Sayin
    June 14, 2013 - 16:34

    Kennedy said( in the House) of Muskrat falls " do we need the power? There is a simple trick I learned as a lawyer... you look into your crystal ball." And most people actually swallowed this nonsense. Proper forecasting be dammed. Efficiency improvements and many other proper assessments that show the forecast to be high, be dammed. Crystal ball forecasting was just fine, and this is the basis of us proceeding, and what a mess we make when we deceive. Meanwhile Holyrood use continues to drop, oil prices are not going up, natural gas in the USA killed the export potential, Nova Scotia may want out, and there goes the federal guarantee, and global warming with a few degree temperature rise and more winter rain will reduce energy demand further, new housing codes reduces winter energy use, the PUB has ordered a review of our efficiency plan, more customers are converting to efficient heating....... Did any of this show up in Kennedy's crystal ball just 6 months ago?

  • Corporate Psycho
    June 14, 2013 - 15:06

    One of Dunderdales biggest mistakes has been listening to Kennedy. I personally want a divorce from this government.

    • a business man
      June 14, 2013 - 20:31

      Since you cannot refute my comment based on logic or merit, you've resorted to attacking me personally. Fortunately, your opinion means as much to me as green spaces. Please post again when you come up with a reason why my logic is wrong (if you can)

    • Corporate Psycho
      June 17, 2013 - 17:53

      U Jerome or something? That would explain a lot.

  • Tony Rockel
    June 14, 2013 - 08:26

    A spot-on analysis: the Liberals were a bunch of louts, but the PCs are complete savages.