Floundering in shallow pools of self-praise

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Among the many words of advice my mother gave to me when I was growing up, I remember this gem — “My son,” she would chide me, “self-praise is no recommendation.”

In retrospect, I’m not too sure how much good Mom’s admonishments made on me, but of one thing I’m absolutely positive — no truer words were ever penned than this old adage. And, secondly, the words should be emblazoned on a huge banner in neon lights and hung centre stage in the House of Assembly. Why? Here’s why.

“I am so proud of this government, so proud of the road we are taking …” PC MHA Kevin Parsons.

“I will stand by this premier and this government and defend all the great things we have done …” PC MHA Paul Lane.

“We will provide a ferry service to the people of Bell Island that they have never had in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador …” PC cabinet minister Paul Davis.

“Mr. Speaker, we are builders, we are doers, we have a vision for this place and are committed to economic growth …” PC MHA Steve Kent.

And on and on, ad nauseam. It’s sickening — it would turn your stomach. Enough of this self-praise. Permit me to make a few observations.

First of all, nobody believes a word you’re saying. Indeed, you’re becoming a laughing stock by putting your foot in your mouth in this fashion.

In the second place, your pitiful efforts not only don’t carry any credence but convey exactly the opposite in that you portray, without realizing it, a government floundering in one big mess after another.

Thirdly, every utterance begins with “I,” “We,” etc., as if the world begins and ends with our wonderful MHAs. Such egotism. No wonder you have problems.

Finally, the tenor of all such comments is merely a carbon copy of each  other.

Where’s your individuality? Does the position and income of an MHA buy you, lock, stock and barrel?  Why do you make yourselves look like another Peter Penashue — reading lines passed down from above?

No indeed, you can praise yourselves to high heaven and, as pointed out, that will not recommend you or your government to the electorate. What then, you may ask, should you do?

May I suggest you ponder the words of another familiar adage, one we have all heard about. Remember this one? “Actions speak louder than words.” Oh, oh, wait now … if you follow that path and we look to your actions, you’ll never get re-elected.

No matter which way you turn, it appears to me, Premier Kathy Dunderdale, that you and your party have a problem. A serious problem.

And the irony of it all is that it’s not a problem brought on by a strong opposition or anything like that. It’s entirely of your own making. Imagine that.  

George Martin


Geographic location: Bell Island, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Ben
    May 06, 2013 - 21:12

    Not sure what world you live in if you expect politicians to get up and say what a bad job they are doing. One thing you have to remember is that you can't satisfy everyone! Sometimes you have to do things that you think is right...whether its popular or not!

  • Voter
    May 06, 2013 - 19:56

    George, well said.

  • Corporate Psycho
    May 06, 2013 - 19:52

    Way to go George. This government is so far out of touch with reality.

  • Eli
    May 06, 2013 - 15:37

    Mr. Martin provides an excvellent analysis of our MHA's but listen-up guys, you keep throwing bullshit (a la Steve Kent and Paul Lane) and a surprisingly lot of it will stick. Remember, to a lot of Newfoundlanders if "he's a good talker" he got 'er scald. So we just might turn out to be as stund as those MHA's know we can be.

  • Alec C
    May 06, 2013 - 14:39

    Ebbing support for loud PC MHAs whom offer little intelligence or substance inside and outside the HoA will face an insurmountable battle in 2015. In 2011: Kevin Pollard 52.8% 2,552 votes (won by 725) Eli Cross 46.5% 1723 (207) David Brazil 55% 3059 (769) Kevin O'Brian 52.5% 2393 (978) Darin King 68.5% 3271 (1953)* Tom Hedderson 69.6% 3600 (2610) John Dinn 58.4% 3347 (1420) Nick McGrath 50.9% 1843 (701) Keith Russell 50% 1741 (532) Steve Kent 73.3% 3727 (2733)* Paul Lane 54.6% 2375 (700) Joan Shea 49.3% 2004 (708) Dan Crummell 43.3% 2004 (275) Sandy Collins 63.2% 2785 (2137)* Paul Davis 68.4% 3860 (2353) Ross Wiseman 66.9% 3211 (1964) Kathy Dunderdale 60% 3371 (1663) * 3 LOUDEST members bar none* 16 districts where gov members were buoyed by a Popular Party and still riding DWs coattails - neither of witch currently exists. On an individual/District level these gov members will have to fight with far greater emphasis on their own singular abilities and merit. After internal polling by the 16 listed members it WON'T be surprising if MANY of them don't bother to run in 2015. Self adulation and praise equates to a defense matrix on the heels of disastrous public policy as show in the pre budget polls. Post budget poll with all of the bull gov has pilled on since might be under 20% or 1/4 of the support PCs had with DW. Louder the dog BARK the lesser its bite - PCs now using gums only in NLs political arena.

  • Turry from town
    May 06, 2013 - 08:34

    Your exactly right George.These ploititions,especially the wagon hoppers from the Danny era,like Kent,sitting in the backbenches hoping the supreme leader will notice them with their praises and sucking up,seem to think they are an honourable and an elitest group of expert leading the peasant masses.They need to be reminded how and by whom they got to where they are,and that a person who wraps themself up in their own praise makes a small package.