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LETTER: Put your party platforms on the table

Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Leader Alison Coffin.
Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Leader Alison Coffin outlined her party’s plans for seniors dental care on Monday. — Telegram file photo

“Election called” was your weekend edition’s headline. I had judged myself to be as politicly informed as the average Newfoundland and Labrador citizen. But now I realize I have been hoodwinked by Andrew Furey’s use of press releases, and I am shamed.

Initially, I focused on the promise of wide deliberation on delivery from provincial bankruptcy by means of the path to be prescribed by Dame Moya Greene. Next I joined with many who condemned the secrecy of the Furey/Greene economic recovery plan, advocating for open consultation with the general Newfoundland and Labrador population, with specialists who have researched paths taken by other countries with similar economic distress, with our multitude of citizens whose expertise surpasses that of many of Furey’s appointees.

Then rumours surfaced regarding an early election. The Telegram’s editorial Jan. 13 (“Cards on the table”) said such an election call would be a “mug’s game” if it was called before release of Dame Greene’s recommendations. It became obvious that Furey saw this as the surest way to re-election.

Day after day, additional economic support and/or education for businesses and workers was announced. But no hard economic choices were detailed.

Urged by The Telegram, I scanned gov.nl.ca/releases. Day after day, additional economic support and/or education for businesses and workers was announced. But no hard economic choices were detailed. For example, in response to the demands for a PET scanner at the new Western Memorial hospital under construction in Corner Brook, a trust fund was to be set up.

Why did I not speak out when I suspected Furey and the Liberal party were using such bread and circuses to woo me into complacency? K.T.’s editorial cartoon (on Jan. 13th 2021) “Trust me” drove a nail into my head, and squarely hit the leaders of our political parties. Why was I focusing only upon Furey’s polices?

Today I acknowledge publicly that I cannot be an informed voter before each of our four political parties puts hard facts on paper. Each party must detail the path they propose to avoid bankruptcy while initiating provincial economic recovery. Just keeping COVID-19 at bay is not sufficient to win my vote.

Only after public debate on the four party initiatives, might I know my vote counts.

Penny Allderdice,
St. John’s

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