The blue machine roars ahead

Bob
Bob Wakeham
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That byelection in Topsail Tuesday to replace the soon-to-be-forgotten Elizabeth Marshall - she the once highly respected personage who plunged into the senatorial pool of floating, impotent nobodies - was as predictable as they come. It had all the appearances almost from the get-go of a wipeout, a Newfoundland political version of the take-no-prisoners annihilation of George Custer and his soldiers by the Sioux Indians at the Little Big Horn (the arrogant general earned his fate).

Sitting Bull Williams, or, as he might be called, He Who Heads South to be Cut, chose a highprofiled smoothie, Paul Davis, to carry the blue colours into battle and lead his tribe of devoted followers through the Topsail plains against two no-names, a recipe for a token fight, a white flag, and another victory notch for Chief Dan.

That byelection in Topsail Tuesday to replace the soon-to-be-forgotten Elizabeth Marshall - she the once highly respected personage who plunged into the senatorial pool of floating, impotent nobodies - was as predictable as they come. It had all the appearances almost from the get-go of a wipeout, a Newfoundland political version of the take-no-prisoners annihilation of George Custer and his soldiers by the Sioux Indians at the Little Big Horn (the arrogant general earned his fate).

Sitting Bull Williams, or, as he might be called, He Who Heads South to be Cut, chose a highprofiled smoothie, Paul Davis, to carry the blue colours into battle and lead his tribe of devoted followers through the Topsail plains against two no-names, a recipe for a token fight, a white flag, and another victory notch for Chief Dan.

Anyway, enough with the Custer/Sioux metaphor. Mr. Editor is now pleading (as are more than a few readers, I'm sure).

It's too bad, really, that the former head of the Newfoundland Cancer Society, Peter Dawe, was forced from the race by bad health. Dawe - a man of considerable repute and practically adorned with the kind of halo that could have found a Liberal cloud on which to perch in that boring blue Tory heaven called the legislature - may have made the race half interesting.

(Off the subject here, but continuing with an American flavour: Williams might be willing to forgive Dawe's traitorous audacity to run against the spiritually ordained Tories long enough to recommend a good doctor south of the border; and if he's in a real generous mood, the premier might even give Dawe a decent rental price on his Florida condominium. The conservative right in the States could then have two poster boys from Newfoundland to parade on Fox News as they attempt to derail the Obama health plan.)

Easy pickings

As to the byelection: with Dawe out of the picture, the Liberals, in absolute desperation, plucked Shane Kennedy from the crib, a 26-year-old political neophyte (he looked even younger, the type of person you'd check for ID in a bar), anxious, though, to have his mug in the paper and on television for a few weeks before disappearing once again into oblivion.

Perhaps poor little Shane, who took a terrible third-place spanking, was thinking long-term. Perhaps he's hoping that when the Liberals ultimately form the government, at some point in this century (I like to go out on a limb occasionally), a backroom boy will recall Kennedy's embarrassing martyrdom in a long-ago byelection, and give him another shot at politics, or a patronage job at some provincial Crown corporation.

The NDP acquired the services of a human rights advocate (surprise, surprise) to join the lengthy list of lefties who've been trampled over the years by Tory and Liberal governments.

But I suppose Brian Nolan and the NDP could claim bragging rights in finishing ahead of Joey's party, even with just the handful of votes they managed to attract.

Meanwhile, Davis will be sworn in as the latest member of that boisterous, rebellious, outspoken Tory caucus, just in time to hear what promises to be a scintillating throne speech (another of those relics of colonialism, full of pomp, ceremony and little else except an overabundance of platitudes).

He'll take his place on the bloated side of the House of Assembly, an institution Chief Danny opens on very rare occasions, a chance for the province to get a brief taste of how democracy is supposed to work.

And you can believe there will be a great thumping of desks from the trained seals to welcome Davis, but also to herald the return of the Newfoundland saviour from the U.S. sick bay.

Butts kicked

All's well once again. The Tory faithful can roar; we kicked some serious ass in a byelection.

And Danny's back in town.

Or, to steal from the Americans again, and utilize one of the ways in which they pay homage to the president of the U.S. of A.: hail to the chief.

Bob Wakeham has spent more than 30 years as a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador. He can be reached by e-mail at bwakeham@nl.rogers.com.

Organizations: Newfoundland Cancer Society, NDP, Fox News

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Little Big Horn, Florida Obama U.S.

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Recent comments

  • John Doe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I guess we know who Bob voted for. LOL

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Whether or not Peter Dawe's health problems played a roll in his decision to step down , the front page article in The Telegram by Dr . Ganguly and his subsequent letter to the editor could very likely have made it impossible for Dawe to continue . Could the release of these articles coming only one day after Dawe's announcement to run for the Liberals be merely coincidental ?

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Polly Pickford from NL is it coincidental it rains the same day there is a blistering sun in a blue sky? It is what it is.

  • John Doe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    I guess we know who Bob voted for. LOL

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Whether or not Peter Dawe's health problems played a roll in his decision to step down , the front page article in The Telegram by Dr . Ganguly and his subsequent letter to the editor could very likely have made it impossible for Dawe to continue . Could the release of these articles coming only one day after Dawe's announcement to run for the Liberals be merely coincidental ?

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Polly Pickford from NL is it coincidental it rains the same day there is a blistering sun in a blue sky? It is what it is.