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 email@example.com.