Time to change the focus

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I can only assume that the provincial opposition parties must feel that their best chance for winning the next election is to constantly resurrect the ghost of Kathy Dunderdale, and The Telegram is only too happy to aid and abet them in that effort. 

Wednesday’s edition of the paper is a perfect example. Peter Jackson’s column, “If the NL government ruled the world,” is a belaboured attempt at humour and an insult to the intelligence of any thinking person. A front page story about whether or not Kathy Dunderdale’s office received 46 emails about the power outages is a desperate grasp at straws because, to borrow a quote from Richard Nixon, “you don’t have Dunderdale to kick around anymore.”

Yes, Kathy Dunderdale made an unfortunate public relations gaffe in saying that the power outages were not a “crisis,” but she has paid the price for it. The Telegram has amply covered that story and trying to prolong its impact is becoming boring to readers who are not dyed-in-the-wool partisans of any political party.

As an undecided voter in the next provincial election, I offer a word of advice to the parties currently in opposition. On the next election day, I will not be thinking about what the long-gone former premier said or didn’t say about the power outages or how many emails her office may have received.

I will be voting on which party has demonstrated that they have the best understanding of the complex challenges facing our province and realistic plans for dealing with those challenges — whether it be economic development, health care or our aging population. So far, I haven’t heard much from the opposition parties about anything of real importance or what they would do better than the government in power. Frankly, “it’s time for a change” is not a convincing campaign slogan for me if I don’t know what that change might actually involve.

I hope you’ll also permit me a word of advice to The Telegram. For several years you have claimed the right to serve as an “unofficial opposition” because the government majority in the House of Assembly has been so huge.

I can buy that, up to a point. But you have more than done your job. The current governing party is behind in the polls and the premier has stepped down. It’s time for The Telegram to move on and to resume its role of responsible, non-partisan journalism. Part of that role is to hold the feet of all political parties to the fire so that your readers are in a better position to make informed choices on election day.

Sandra Janes

Riverhead, Harbour Grace

Organizations: The Telegram

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Recent comments

  • Joey
    March 09, 2014 - 14:23

    Virginia, If you think the Telegram will hold the Liberals accountable for anything after they get elected, you'll be sorely disappointed. During the time from Clyde Wells to Roger Grimes, the Telegram virtually disappeared from the political scene unless it was to promote any Liberal accomplishments. They'll do the same this time.

  • Virginia Waters
    March 09, 2014 - 11:59

    Well Sandra, I know you and Charlotte and the PC party would like to put this whole Dunderdale thing behind you like a bad dream but it doesn't work that way. Yes the polls show a small blip for the Tories with Marshall temporarily at the helm. It isn't that Marshall is so great, just that, post-Dunderdale, the bar isn't set very high. Dunderdale is gone but the damage wrought under her leadership lives on. It will - and it should - become part of the record on which the PCs will be judged in the next election. Nor did Dunderdale act alone. She had by their own account the full support of her cabinet and caucus when she sunk the province deeper and deeper into debt, when she introduced draconian measures to ensure her government could operate in complete freedom and secrecy, and when she stood by while so many lives were unnecessarily put at risk by the failures of a crown agency for which she was responsible. So she might be gone, but each of her loyal ministers and members must still account for their failure to act in the public interest. I have always voted Tory, but come election day I will be voting Liberal. Am I certain that Ball and the Liberals will be all those things that Dunderdale and the Tories were not. Hardly, but that's not the point. You can't renew the mandate of a bad government because you're not sure what will replace it. All governments go stale eventually; some just do it faster than others. And this government is about as stale as it gets. I expect the Telegram to continue holding its feet to the fire. And when the Liberals have formed the next government, I expect they will be just as demanding on them. It's how the system works.

  • Harry
    March 09, 2014 - 11:11

    Liberal are quiets happy to points out to the people what the PC's did wrong. But here is my question to Dwight Ball, and company. Offer up your solution to those so call problem you keep talking about. I thought so.. Nothing as USUAL..Mr Ball their one policy I like. when you said the liberal are a open party...LOL...We'll take anyone in, so long it help me get the big seat..

  • lisa
    March 09, 2014 - 10:27

    Here Here! What a great letter, right on the mark.

  • Dianne
    March 09, 2014 - 09:09

    Please explain its to me, who do we have to vote for? Open and transparent, Liberal, who on July 5/2013 kill off democracy , People remember this was a party looking for a new leader...TRUE...Six people came forwards, and five got the go ahead , one was left behind. TRUE...But on two difference occasion , The liberal gave Mr Murphy the go ahead..TRUE...But this time they said no to him, without explanation to the people..TRUE..Reason they said no this time, they didn't wanted to look stupid in the eyes of the province once more, by making Dwight Ball Interim leader. Even Ivy question that decision... Then poor ole Ms Michael, all the hard work she done, was taking away by back stabbers...Yes we got good people to vote for...

  • Scott R
    March 09, 2014 - 08:46

    @ Ivy, What wrong with you, everything is red in your eyes, Why didn't the great white hope Mr Ball, Stand up and demand the break to be put on Muskrat Falls, And more money spend on maintaining our ( Electrical Utilities ). Its people like yourself who keep putting us behind, With your silly thought, Try having one for all the people, Not somebody in red, In the Liberal case, Zebra color. Ivy, go on youtube, their designing a suit now , for Mr Ball, and coat of many color.

    • Ivy
      March 09, 2014 - 14:53

      Scott if you have ever seen the House of Assembly during question and answer period, even you must have come to the conclusion that there was no dissuading the conservative party of NL to not continue with Muskrat Falls. Dunderdale didn't act alone she had the support of all her cabinet ministers one of whom is the premier at this time. People wonder why Dwight Ball hasn't come out with a platform yet, including myself, but seeing with Tom Marshall and boys decided to do with Bill 29 after Dunderdale's departure, I realize that should they tip their hand in any way as to an alternative to the way this government governs, it will be stolen and used by the conservatives in their Blue Book. No winning because we have so many people who wear blinders, such as yourself, who believe that no matter what a dictatorship is the only way to go.

  • Corporate Psycho
    March 09, 2014 - 08:27

    Sorry Sandra, I will be thinking of the power outages when I hit the voting booth and it has been one gaffe after another with this crowd. She made Steve Kent a minister for gods sake.

  • Ivy
    March 08, 2014 - 11:28

    I read the article and Jackson made a comparison of world events in which cautions were ignored and the actual events that occurred that if not ignored by the powers that be could have been avoided. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not many of the events of this winter could have been avoided. Cathy Dunderdale has not been the mastermind behind those problems the whole of government is. We have been governed by a reactive government in everything that has gone on in the past 10 years, certainly not a pro-active one.

  • Charlotte
    March 08, 2014 - 09:02

    Well said Sandra. I have the greatest respect for Mrs. Dunderdale. And if she were persuaded to take on the leadership of the PC Party again ,she would get my vote.

  • EDfromRED
    March 08, 2014 - 08:45

    Ha, ha, ha, thanks for the laughs. The PC's are biggest political bullies in the Province, and people have the gall to weep crocodile tears for the treatment their being given!? I think the negative news and opinion are just a reflection of the disgust the public feels for this arrogant group who cut, cut, cut, essential services and programs just so they can hand more money over to to Nalcor. Give us a break!

    • Just wondering
      March 08, 2014 - 14:02

      Ed, Dwight Ball obviously thinks the PCs are OK. He's taking any of them who wish into his party. Don't you remember Tom Osbourne and "Poll" Lane. By the way, he also supports Muskrat Falls, so Nalcor is getting their money anyway.

    • Frank M
      March 08, 2014 - 17:44

      Cut, Cut Cut, disgust?? They didn't cut enough! Your points illustrate how myopic you are. I look forward to your fawning comments when and if the Libs have been in power for a year. I have saved your email so I can send it back at you,. Stay tuned!!

  • Joe
    March 08, 2014 - 07:47

    Looks like the PC plan for reelection is to keep claiming that prior actions were Kathy's fault and we should forget about them because she is no longer in power. If it was only so easy to forget about the debts, we will have to repay.

  • Frank M
    March 08, 2014 - 06:27

    Well put Sandra, I could not have said it any better. Between VOCM and The Telegram I am not sure who was the biggest bully in its' daily attacks on the former premier.