After Dunderdale, don’t forget the rest

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Although this indeed represents a modicum of good news for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, it is unfortunate that Madame Kathy Dunderdale is the only one to step down. The electorate is also done with the arrogance, bullying, narcissism and self-serving attitude presented by other ministers, not to mention stripe-changing opposition members.

We are done with the petty bickering and abuse of privilege in the House. Done with mismanagement of our resources and unfettered squandering of the treasury. Done with ill-maintained infrastructure for the sake of building personal and corporate legacy investing in poorly planned and executed mega-projects.

We need to strenuously remind our honourable ministers individually that poll fixing, secrecy, spin-doctoring the truth, opportunism and hypocrisy will not be tolerated, never mind rewarded.

This government’s collective air of elitism, entitlement and lack of accountability are especially dangerous threats to a well-functioning democracy.

Let us never forget that our elected MHAs do not run the day-to-day, medium- nor long-term functioning of our government. Our highly qualified, well-educated, underpaid, hard-working civilian deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers, advisers, strategists, analysts and supporting network of grassroots staff provide these essential services.

They are, however, and regrettably, oft misled and poorly guided by unqualified and all-too-frequently self-serving elected premiers, ministers, and back-benching MHAs.

We must remind ourselves and those in power that our elected members’ only purpose is to provide strong leadership, strategic and tactical guidance to the underlying bureaucracy. This leadership and guidance must represent, respect and be accountable to the people of this province.

One final note. Some of our “leaders” publicly professed that last Wednesday was “Kathy Dunderdale’s Day,” as though we should now all turn a blind eye to her and her government’s record of arrogance and abuse of privilege.

This was not her day, this was our day. Even on near-tearful resignation, she could not muster an iota of acknowledgement for her lack of leadership or her clear detachment from the will and needs of the people of this province.

Not one word of remorse, regret, conciliation or apology. Nothing. Spouting Ecclesiastes as though she experienced some profound defining moment of catharsis that finally allowed her to remove herself from the binds of the people who forced her into this position.

Arrogant to the end.

Let’s move on.

Brian Johnston

St. John’s

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Maggy Carter
    January 29, 2014 - 09:27

    I very much endorse the sentiment of this letter from Brian Johnston. My one reservation is with his characterization of the relationship between elected government officials and their bureaucracy. The function of the latter, of course, is to inform and execute the decisions of the duly elected government. In and of itself the bureaucracy has very limited power to act. At least that's the theory. Admittedly there are times when the roles come dangerously close to being reversed. An argument can be made, for example, that the head of NALCOR has wielded an unprecedented and perhaps inappropriate degree of influence over this government's direction. It comes close, I think, to being a government within a government. Crown corporations that are large, well heeled and only in the broadest sense subject to government oversight are at risk of becoming the tail that wags the dog.

  • Cashin Delaney
    January 29, 2014 - 00:45

    TC Media and Steel Communications are glad to print this letter I suspect, as it resonates with the population, yet holds no facts, except: - Kathy Dunderdale the faithful Protestant quit and quoted the bible, Turn, Turn, Turn! - Tom Marshall the faithful Jew accepted the Premiership and quoted the bible, justice, “Justice, justice, you will pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving to you (Deut 16:20) Pete Seeger is dead. If I had a hammer.......I'd beat and smash religion out of our HOA once and for all! Tom Marshall is trying to attach himself to WWI, as his first 'surprised' speech references this shame of the world, as well as the Bible, like Harper with the War of 1812, like Harper going through metaphorical fire and water in the Knesset, while they bankrupt us into the position of having to go to war again, for nothing, someday soon. I don't expect people with emotion and familial ties to the wars (blood sacrifices) or politics (truth sacrifice) to accept my understanding of modern war as ritualistic extermination - a way of controlling a state via a cull of sons (see Carthage/Moloch). I don’t expect Tom Marshall to take the Winston Churchill poster down from his den and become a pacifist vegan. Beaumont Hamel just seemed like a cull, to me, a cull to prevent any brave boys from growing to men and challenging the rule of the old vultures who would rather offer NL resources to their friends abroad, than foster social or economic progress inside NL. Progress at home ends their rule, but salutary non-progress encourages resettlement, and makes resources harvesting easier - so much so today with technology to reduce manpower needed. A weak NL, open access to resources, and a crowd silly, poor and desperate enough to send sons (and daughters) to fight Russians someday because old men (and women) are afraid of little sons (and daughters) growing up to question authority and lead their people to prosperity. NL has a nasty history of looking the other way as our little sons take it up the bum. It must end. We are just getting over being hypnotized by insane anti-life, anti-sex, anti-thought monotheist idiotic religions, so why not cast this current government off as well as a part of that mockery of happiness, destroyer of weal, and admit that war is blood sacrifice, not a solution to any known problem, except the problem of those little sons growing up to beget little sons.

  • Corporate Psycho
    January 28, 2014 - 16:46

    The rest will be decimated.

  • Maggy Carter
    January 28, 2014 - 15:51

    I very much endorse the sentiment of this letter from Brian Johnston. My one reservation is with his characterization of the relationship between elected government officials and their bureaucracy. The function of the latter, of course, is to inform and execute the decisions of the duly elected government. In and of itself the bureaucracy has very limited power to act. At least that's the theory. Admittedly there are times when the roles come dangerously close to being reversed. An argument can be made, for example, that the head of NALCOR has wielded an unprecedented and perhaps inappropriate degree of influence over this government's direction. No doubt he is a talented and hard-working executive but the performance and behaviour of his agency in recent years is very questionable. NALCOR comes close, I think, to being a government within a government. Crown corporations that are large, well heeled and only in the broadest sense subject to government oversight are at risk of becoming the tail that wags the dog.

  • J.M
    January 28, 2014 - 14:31

    Looks like someone got a thesaurus for Christmas. Half the readers of this piece are going to need a dictionary to make sense of it. Have to agree with Gene that this comes off as a bit arrogant.

  • Gene
    January 28, 2014 - 13:44

    Brian, all one has to do is read this article and see that you are the one who is arrogant. If you think you can do better than our elected members, why don't you put your name on the ballot in 2015? Or would you even get elected? Typical attitude from an armchair expert. Arrogant to the end.

    • Ken Collis
      January 28, 2014 - 14:47

      We don't have to put our hat in the ring. The time is coming when there will be a union of concerned voters. That will be the only way to make lawmakers listen to us. Because politicians are owned by big business and banks currently, the people have no say. When there is a peoples union we can take major topics in politics and have an online vote and decide if we like the path government is taking or not. If not, we will go on strike, say every Friday no one shows up for work, until government changes it's mind. When big business feels the heat, they will tell their employees, our MHA's, to slack off. That is the only way we will be listened to. If the heat is not great enough we can stay home Mondays and Fridays. You get the picture. We will still bring home enough to support our families, but business will have to listen.

    • Dolf
      January 28, 2014 - 15:23

      R-O-N-G (as in wrong) Gene! Those so-called elected members become nothing more than stooges to the backroom manipulators.

  • have we had enough yet?
    January 28, 2014 - 13:34

    hear hear

  • Nothing New Under the Sun
    January 28, 2014 - 10:52

    Well said...."And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there." (Ecclesiastes 3:16)

  • p earle
    January 28, 2014 - 07:25

    Exactly. With out as much as hint of any self doubt of her actions as leader...actions which have been bombarded in the media since the last election. Just as Defiant to the end as in the beginning, unbelievable. But the whole of our government is entrenched in the same mentality ... who now would have us people believe that the premier was the fault of our dissatisfaction so they oust her and all is well again. You got to be kidding. Who voted for CETA and the give away of our MPR's, the last protection to the threat of losing our once great fishery? Who voted to destroy the economic stability of the future of this province with megabillions given to MRF's? Who ignores the failed shambles of our health care system? (24 hour waits in ER's to see a doctor, months to YEARS to see a specialist and communities were you cant get a GP). Etc. Who allows this to continue happening with out even mentioning it? Who? The MHA's that are the present government. Where is the government of the people and for the people? We all know where the government is with the cooperation's and mega projects and the negotiations with the federal government .. in mania deals that shoot at the stars for their potential immensity which temporarily burns bright on the sacrificial human fuel of our present and fleeting well being. In the fact of all of this...I ask sincerely, truthfully ..where is the government of the people? p earle

  • Dolf
    January 28, 2014 - 07:08

    Another contributor who hit the nail right on the head. Off with their heads, the lot of 'em!

  • Old Fogey
    January 28, 2014 - 06:49

    Well said, but, everything applies to all parties. Every single one of them should read this and heed it. We are fed up with this attitude. Thank you Mr Johnston for putting into words just what most of us think.