We don’t need a political messiah

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The Liberals are about to select a new leader and I’m sure many Tories are secretly knifing theirs in the back based on a bit of recent polling and, as in the past, we start shooting our own.

What is it with Newfoundlanders and provincial leaders? The first thing we do is rake the whole potential slate over the coals and lobby for some potentially messianic figure to emerge from the heavens and save us all.

Get off your asses, friends, and start working on our problems instead of looking to a father/mother leader figure to take us by the hand. All we need is an intelligent, experienced and well-educated person with integrity and the interest and energy to help define and prioritize our goals and create sensible strategies to reach them. We still talk as if we are completely helpless and politically impotent.

To quote Joan Rivers, “Grow up, for God’s sake” and drop that Commission of Government mentality foisted upon our people decades ago by a pack of stuffy English commissioners who starved our population and cast us away with secret negotiations (read Greg Malone’s book).

We’ve come a long way since Confederation, and the funding of education and health has been stupendous while home-grown leaders (yes, including Smallwood, Peckford, Grimes, Williams and Dunderdale) have shaped our industrial and natural resource wealth to fund our goals. Of course, we  had some disengaged leaders many decades ago who evolved from money and sat in the House reading newspapers. We’ve also been fortunate to have had some quality leaders who were stymied by the lack of funding.

In 2013 we have many potential quality leaders, an educated population and funding potential. Let’s bring those  factors together and stop looking to the clouds for that deus ex machina to rescue us. Let’s look to our forefathers and foremothers, who had very little wealth but survived with dignity, and take  inspiration from their accomplishments. Let’s look to ourselves and our new generation’s accomplishments.

Aren’t you just proud to be a Newfoundlander Labradorian? I am and I am proud to be a Canadian. Yet the two are not perfectly the same. We, in this province, are like a small group of mis-stamped coins from the Canadian mint, a Canadian coin but just slightly different.

And what a unique culture we have woven as a consequence of that minute difference.

Aubrey Smith

Grand Falls-Windsor

Organizations: Commission of Government

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Recent comments

  • david
    July 05, 2013 - 13:51

    We don't need a messiah, no. But that's all we're interested in, that's all we ever elect, and that's exactly what we get...a unbroken string of incompetent, egotistical buffoons ---- and who eventually adopt a deep messiah complex. I wonder where they get that from?!

  • Jay
    July 05, 2013 - 12:20

    Why don't we take it a couple of steps further. This province of 500,000 people doesn't need a party system. By national standards, our population is not that of a decent sized city. But we waste time, resources, and creativity participating in an adversarial political system which encourages disagreement for the sake of disagreement over collaboration. Maybe then, the need for an icon would disappear.

  • Cyril Rogers
    July 05, 2013 - 09:53

    Mr. Smith, I fully agree with your basic premise and wish that the membership of the Liberal Party, or any party for that matter, would look upon leadership as being more than charisa and having a silver tongue. In NL, the problem is deeper even than that....in that the St. John's elite tend to usurp the process and we often get the "appointed" saviour they deem to be the keeper of their ability to exploit the province's resources. I see Ms Bennett in this light and hope the Liberals will have the good sense to retain Mr. Ball, who appears to have many of the qualities you listed. He may not be a silver-tongued orator but he is articulate and, given time, will prove himself to be an effective leader worthy of the Premiership of this province.