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LETTER: Is Newfoundland and Labrador in a crisis, fragile or failed state?

Confederation Building

Keith Gosse/The Telegram
Confederation Building in St. John’s. — Telegram file photo

The London School of Economics has a taxonomic scale that defines states that are in crisis, fragile, or failed. Clearly, we are not a stable state and so it’s highly likely that we fit into one or more of the categories above.

Fragile states “reinforce stagnation or low growth rates.” Yep, we can tick that box.

Crisis states are those in which “reigning institutions face serious contestation and are unable to manage conflict and shocks.” Yep, that one too.

Failed states have “no effective control” although “even in a failed state some elements of the state might continue to exist.” Yep, unfortunately we can be identified as a failed state, too.

I’m not suggesting that Canada is a failed state, but it seems clear that if we in Newfoundland and Labrador aren’t, then we are close enough to smell its breath and feel its cold clammy grasp. As long as we accept a lack of transparency on the part of our politicians, an unimpressive politicized record from some of our civil servants and apathy from much of the public, we will inevitably become a classic case study for future students of crisis, failed and fragile states.

Bill Radford,

St John’s


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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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