Shams, scams and scoundrels

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Some years ago, a very good friend of mine had this astute but skeptical descriptor of politics and politicians: “When looking for your vote, politicians will kiss your ass; after they get your vote, you have to kiss theirs!”

Given the sudden and totally contradictory attitude and rhetoric of this present Progressive Conservative government, my friend is both wise and perceptive.

We are clearly now in the ass-

kissing mode where the PCs are attempting to rewrite their own history to entice the voters to like them again.

I am utterly amazed and absolutely flabbergasted at the totally false and hypocritical about-face of this bunch of scoundrels.

No wonder people have such a poor and disrespectful attitude towards politics and politicians. No wonder there is such a low level of involvement by voters in our democracy.

No wonder our youth feel so distant and disenfranchised from the political system and represent the largest group of non-participants.

This party became the government under Danny Williams in 2003.  Williams suddenly and unexpectedly resigned in December of 2010.

After initially expressing no interest in being in the position permanently, and after some back-room party politics, Kathy Dunderdale became the 10th premier absent a much expected leadership race. (As I write this, another sham leadership is unfolding where Danny’s most recent anointed one is about to be crowned.)

After winning a solid majority in the October 2011 election, the midpoint of Dunderdale’s tenure saw her party’s numbers plummet and her personal popularity slide to be the least popular premier in the country.

Her out-of-touch and insensitive remarks during the recent rolling blackouts seemed to be the breaking point for voters and her as she abruptly resigned in January.

Throughout the decline, supporters, MHAs and ministers defended the party and the premier (though some of the more spineless ones would cross the floor and/or lead a caucus revolt later).

It’s just poor communications, they would argue, and that’s what needed fixing!

As those same ministers and MHAs really know, the problem is not how you were communicating but what you were communicating.  

What the voters of this province did not like was the government’s passage of Bill 29, its secrecy over Muskrat Falls, its job-cutting budget, its lack of attention on search and rescue, its reneging of promised whistleblower legislation (now being rolled out), its response to the blackouts and much more.

Perhaps even more damaging was the closed-minded, know-it-all, condescending, defiant and absolute hubris with which premier, ministers and MHAs communicated to citizens of this province.

Now, on the road to low polling numbers, you suddenly see the light. Now you want to be a listening government, to reverse budget cuts and decisions, review Bill 29, and take on a mantra of social justice. Give me a break.

Perhaps the biggest overall scam is the back-room strategy of back-stabbing Kathy Dunderdale to have her be the front for the collective decisions, actions and attitudes of this government.

Whatever her faults, Dunderdale was not the autocrat like Danny. She was more of a collegial leader and would have likely listened to the contrary collective will of her cabinet and caucus.

The thing is, there was no contrary collective will. All these present ministers and caucus members helped formulate this government’s decisions, policies and strategies.

They supported and defended every single decision and policy and looked with vile and contempt at media and citizens who might have a contrary opinion.

So let’s call a spade a spade here. This present lot of PC politicians is not some suddenly enlightened and born-again group of politicians.

They are the same lot of defiant, condescending and out-of-touch legislators who governed us to our present state, and they are now attempting to kiss our collective asses so they can continue to govern.

And, make no mistake, should we fall for this scam, we will be back to kissing theirs again.

Ken Kavanagh writes from Bell Island.

Geographic location: Bell Island

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    May 08, 2014 - 17:04

    Nice article, I prefer to label this behavior as "Scheme's and Scam's by Scumbags!"

  • Anna
    May 08, 2014 - 14:21

    Yes, I just finished watching CBC video of Mr. Coleman and his clowns sitting in Danny Williams' box at Mile One last night. No wonder Mr. Barry decided not to run for leader when Mr. Williams hand picks the next leader and tells the MHAs how to vote, an outsider doesn't have a chance. I will never vote Conservative again.

  • We want HONESTY from our politicians!
    May 08, 2014 - 13:51

    Do those scoundrels that we have elected over the years know that we have figured out how they have spent our natural resources unwisely? They have negotiated a great package for themselves and then selected an outside entity to become the beneficiary of the raw natural resources to build vibrant economies in other provinces. We know what happened to our natural resources, Fish, Hydroelectric Energy, Iron ore, Nickel ore , Oil, etc., etc. Each and every one of these great, coveted resources are percolating vibrant economies somewhere else in Canada or the World, while our own province has languished for the past 65 years that we have been part of Canada. The latest insult is the give away of the Muskrat Falls energy to Nova Scotia and the severe reduction of the Shrimp quotas to the fishers of Newfoundland and Labrador who have adjacency to the resource , but Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have become the main beneficiaries of the Shrimp quota that was cut from the fishers of our province. The politicians let the fishery slip away from our people completely, simply because those in control didn't want to stir up the pot with Ottawa on their own behalf. We, the electorate, have to take a stand and tell the politicians that any dealings with our resources from here forward must be done for the electorate and the province's benefit only, and they should keep their grubby hands off with regards to looking after their own personal economies from the peoples' resources.

    • Dolf
      May 08, 2014 - 15:51

      No more giveaways! Wasn't that Williams' battle cry, along with his "open and accountable" government ? That all went down the tube with Bill 29.

  • Tony Rockel
    May 08, 2014 - 11:55

    It's bad enough being at the mercy of a government of scoundrels, but when they're INCOMPETENT scoundrels, then God help us!

  • Dolf
    May 08, 2014 - 11:27

    They'll just up and walk away (kicked out actually) leaving us just about bankrupt. It's a crime they can do that. A pox on the houses of Williams, Dunderdalel, Kennedy, Marshall, and the rest of those spineless clowns we thought would save us from Liberal thievery.

  • citizen kane
    May 08, 2014 - 04:41

    They are done the next election. I know of no one not totally fed up with their bull and ready to toss them out of office. Good riddance.