Lost opportunity

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I wore black yesterday because I mourn the loss to our province of a great, stalwart leader. Kathy Dunderdale has been an inspiration to me and many others ever since she burst on the political scene. She was a role model for integrity, common sense, compassion and understanding — something lacking in many public figures. To quote Joni Mitchell, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Sadly, our province will be much less without her political presence and many will realize that — now that it’s too late.

Marshall McLuhan wrote in the ’60s that “the medium is the message,” and you, my dear former premier, have been the victim of a savage, unrelenting media corps beholden to forces in opposition to you. I’m beginning to believe in conspiracy theories.

 On the other hand, I’m happy for former premier Dunderdale. She, more than most, deserves a reprieve from the remorseless hounds. She has done more than her share, much of which has gone uncredited, belittled by little minds. She can hold her head high. She bowed out with natural style and grace and I was never so proud as I was then of having been one of her humble constituents.

Premier Dunderdale, it has been a great privilege to have known you, to have been governed by you and to have been a beneficiary of the many good and sensible projects you have concluded. I thank you most sincerely, not only on my own behalf but on that of my children and grandchildren. You will be greatly missed in our household.

Beve Butler

Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • jude
    February 08, 2014 - 13:51

    After reading article and some comments it appears people think that we should be on one knee and forever grateful because former Premier Dunderdales government had no scandals , dishonesty or jailed politicans . As if it were a rare treat and not a right of the people of this province to have a moral and responsible government. As for former premier Dunderdale has it occurred to anyone that perhaps with credentials as a teacher /stay home mom she was just not qualified for top job in government ? Thats what I think was the problem all along not her looks etc . In my opinion that is a fundamental problem with most elected officials it more about being liked than being qualified I challenge anyone with teaching , nursing background to get a job as ceo of a major corporation it just would not happen . Why ? it is simple not qualified

  • GINN
    February 05, 2014 - 09:10

    She led an honest government, no scandals, dishonesty or jailed politicians. A woman raised in an outport hard working family and brought that ethic to government.

    • Tony Rockel
      February 05, 2014 - 14:18

      "No scandals"? Just wait until the true story about Muskrat Falls comes to light.

  • Anna
    February 04, 2014 - 08:14

    Beve, you got to be kidding me, this woman was one of the most arrogant people to ever grace Newfoundland and Labrador politics. Her lack of respect for the Opposition Parties was evident every time she spoke in the House. and who can forget her reluctance to open the House at all? She was her own worst enemy the media didn't bring her down, she did it herself thinking she knew better than all of the electorate.

  • Dolf
    February 04, 2014 - 06:53

    You can wake up from your dream now Beve.

  • Gina
    February 03, 2014 - 10:32

    Thank you Beve Butler for echoing our household's sentiments regarding Premier Dunderdale. When the media goes into a frenzy regarding anyone or anything, it is game over.

  • Maggy Carter
    February 03, 2014 - 10:32

    Please save us from these incessant, inane letters defending Kathy Dunderdale, coming as they do once a day as if carefully orchestrated by an impromptu fan club. Like a form of Chinese water torture, it is seemingly meant to break us down, fill us with regret, and make us pine for something - as described by these writers - that simply didn't exist. They typically acclaim her many accomplishments but are hard pressed to name one that stands up to scrutiny. Her downfall, so go these revisionist theories, can be traced to gender bias and cyber-bullying. That this woman was hand picked by her male predecessor and given an overwhelming vote of confidence by the electorate - male and female alike - attests to the absurdity of this claim. Nor did this populist uprising target Dunderdale alone. As the leader - albeit female - of a dominantly male cabinet and caucus (the male members of which have been more heavily criticized than the females), she was merely the lightning rod. As today's poll confirms, her exit has not suddenly improved the prospects for her surviving male colleagues. And those who live by the social media sword as did Dunderdale, can as easily die by it when those twitter thumbing tekkies decide they don't like the message you've been selling. It is a fact of life for every leader in the western world - get used to it! To be fair, Dunderdale left office largely under her own steam and absent any suggestion whatsoever of having placed personal gain ahead of public interest. It was her failed policies, her questionable judgement, her perceived arrogance, her penchant for secrecy, and her failure to connect with the public that brought her down. To her personal credit, Kathy Dunderdale did break the glass ceiling of politics in this province. For that, no doubt there will always be a favourable footnote below her name - as there should. But women coming behind her might well find themselves side-stepping the chards of glass left in her wake. Almost all of us were in her corner from the get-go, wanting nothing but the best for her and the province under her direction. There is no joy in mudville with her demise - merely disappointment.

  • Corporate Psycho
    February 03, 2014 - 06:34

    Integrity? Conspiracy theories? She did bring in Bill 29 didn't she? She was the author of her own demise. Good riddens.