Are you listening Mr. Premier?

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I can’t help but wonder just how foolish, stunned or gullible (you pick your choice, or all three if you wish) we, the electorate are.

Why do I say this? For many reasons, perhaps, but here is one.

According to the polls, Premier Tom Marshall’s popularity has almost skyrocketed — shot way up.

Why are we putting him on this pedestal? What’s he done? I ask again, what has the premier done for us to pour such adulation on him? What positive measures have been undertaken? Come on … what? What? And on and on.

The silence is deafening!

Oh, yes, one lone soul cries back “just a minute, now, he’s listening. He thinks many voters don’t like Bill 29, and he’s listening, and, yes, he might take some action about changing it. He’s listening.”

Since he became premier, Marshall has (to be conservative about it) told us a million times that his government is listening.

He has reiterated this idea so often that even he is beginning to believe it and, sadly, I think, voters are beginning to believe it as well. Maybe he will do something.

Praise be!

Finally we think the government is going to act. Great! Since it was this government that introduced this odious piece of legislation, they will now change it or scrap it altogether. Right?

Wrong! No siree.

Our popular premier is too smart to admit their awful intentions in creating the cloud of secrecy which Bill 29 is all about.

Admit they were wrong?

Come, now, Mr. Marshall is popular, remember?

So, here’s what we will do, taxpayers. We’re going to appoint a committee of three well-known public figures — a former premier and two others — to carry out a study of Bill 29 and make a report to government on their findings.

Sounds great, eh? However, there’s one vital element in this scenario that you cleverly avoid mentioning at all, Mr. Marshall. How much, in the name of the Lord, is this action going to cost us? Thousands of dollars? Hundreds of thousands of dollars? More?

In a very real sense this whole mess has all the signs of politics at its worst — spending wads of taxpayers’ dollars  just to bolster one’s own popularity (they hope) to fix a problem they made themselves and could solve quite easily and at little or no cost.

It’s nothing more or less than an exercise in procrastination — pure and simple.

The government doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Bill 29 yet doesn’t want to admit this so it gives the matter over to a committee to study the issue.

This action, the premier figures, will make government look great, and by the time the committee comes to some decision, the whole matter will be a thing of the past.

There’s more ways than one to skin a cat isn’t there, premier? Your popularity will jump even higher, and in the confines of your office walls you must be laughing hysterically at those “stunned” taxpayers.

Mr. Premier, you can do better than that. You’re popular, yes, but at what price?

We may be foolish. We may be stunned. We may be gullible. With all those failings, we still have high expectations of our politicians and, it seems, in instances like the situation outlined above, our Government has fallen far short of the mark.

We not only expect better government. We deserve better government. Are you listening?


George Martin


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Recent comments

  • Marshall Art
    April 22, 2014 - 09:36

    Excellent letter, Mr. Martin. Wouldn't it be nice to be a fly on the wall when the Premier and his advisors are discussing the committee of three that he's appointed to study Bill 29 ? Lots of guffaws and , when talk turns to the electorate, it's wink wink, nudge nudge. A Bill that stunk to high heaven from day one and was crucified by taxpayers, is now going to be 'studied' and we, the taxpayers , will pay the six figure cost for that study? Marshall and his cronies will find out in 2015 just how stunned the taxpayers are.

  • Ken Collis
    April 22, 2014 - 08:30

    With all due respect to Mr. Malone, my opinion on this letter is that the author is trying to impress on the reader the most likely way government is dealing with the issue. I happen to agree, after seeing this kind of thing from various governments before, that admitting failure doesn't happen. If government was truely listening to the people they would simply say "sorry, we made a mistake." and repeal bill 29. I would like Mr. Coleman's communications advisor to please write up Mr. Coleman's opinion on this matter and get it out to the public.

  • Bill 29 is dictatorial!
    April 22, 2014 - 08:22

    Thanks Mr. Martin for this interesting letter. And my advice to the Premier is that he should repeal Bill 29 pronto since there is nothing else he can do with this dictatorial piece of legislation to sanitize it or make it less sinister. Bill 29 only serves to make the political atmosphere in our province murky. Its sole raison d'etre was to keep the electorate of our province in the dark and it has already cost us dearly.

  • James R Malone
    April 22, 2014 - 07:11

    Oh my. Mr Martin sure seems to have a bee in his bonnet. Let's ignore for the moment that there is no "Bill 29" review committee. (It's a review of the ATIPP act. Yes, there *is* a difference.) The ranting and raving and name calling is completely inappropriate. Does the editorial page editors well-known hatred of the government color his decision to print this sort of thing? Surely there must have been one intelligently written, thought-provoking letter that Mr Wangersky could have chosen to print instead of this offensive childish rant? Try a balanced approach, and less name calling. Are *you* listening, Mr Wangersky?

    • Russell Wangersky
      April 22, 2014 - 07:18

      Hello Mr. Malone: just a quick clarification. I haven't been the editorial editor for quite some time now: I'm the news editor, and don't select letters. The editorial page choice of letters is made by Mark Vaughan Jackson. Russell Wangersky

    • James R Malone
      April 22, 2014 - 07:33

      I withdraw my statements about Mr Wangersky. My information was sadly out of date. Thanks to him for the clarification.

    • Bert
      April 22, 2014 - 14:52

      It's easy to see how you were confused with who's who with the editorial page editors. All seems to be mirror images of Russel Wangersky.

    • Frank
      April 25, 2014 - 13:43

      They print that drivel from Brian Jones on a weekly basis so the bar has been set pretty low.