including some not normally preoccupied with political issues, were forced to
take notice of the shoddy treatment of the St. John’s Centre NDP MHA, in the
House of Assembly, on Tuesday. As much as I tried, I am unable to remember
another political event that arose as suddenly or as forcefully; such was the
magnitude and immediacy of the firestorm. Of course, the Gerry Rogers Affair
was all backlash.
thousand people responded to a VOCM on-line Poll, two-thirds of whom expressed
a view that was unfavourable to the Government’s position. Thousands took to
Facebook and Twitter, too, using their favourite social media to communicate with
the like-minded and to give rebuke to the Premier, the Government and to the
Speaker of the House of Assembly.
How could I
not think: if only such a reaction had erupted over Muskrat Falls?
Now that the
dust has settled, there can be no doubt that the Government has suffered a
severe blow to its fast declining credibility.
learn from the Gerry Rogers affair? Most people recognize that the Facebook
fiasco will fade quickly, but not without consequence. Ms. Rogers has survived the attack and is
politically stronger. Her Party is
gleeful that it has been cast under a light that is both large and favourable. People’s
faith in politicians is poorer but it was not strong, to begin with.
the public has been given a peek at the political leadership though a lens they
can understand and on a basis they can grade. They are not impressed. The
Government has truly embarrassed itself by offering proof, if any were needed,
that it is fundamentally incompetent.
obvious part; there are other results.
Affair has eroded fast declining respect for the Government by the media. The dismissiveness of The Telegram’s MacLeod
on Twitter and the handling of Tory Paul Lane by Cochrane on CBC’s Here and Now
Panel, which bordered on contemptuousness, suggest they are running out of
patience with a leadership that is well out of its league.
proves that the Government is suffering mortal fear over the NDP’s lead in the
Polls and that it will go to great lengths to tarnish the image of that Party.
(and the social media sites confirm strong evidence of this) it has succeeded
in galvanizing not just the NDP support, especially in the St. John’s area, but
eroded the support of its traditional base.
can any person, of integrity and possessing minimal expectations of the same
virtue in its elected Government, claim to support a group so badly misbehaved?
the Government has been diminished. It has expended political capital it ought
to have retained to help it through two more long years. The public’s poor perception
of the Premier and her Administration including her hopeful successor, Darin
King, and the Speaker of the House of Assembly, too, is far worse than it was
For a public
aghast at how poorly prepared were the Government’s recent restraint measures, they
should not need reminding that this same Government, just a few months ago,
sanctioned the $7.4 billion Muskrat Falls hydro Project. Is it possible that Bill 29, a bungled
“austerity” program, poor fiscal management and the biggest deficits in history,
still leave the Government with enough intelligence to analyze the risks of the
largest single capital expenditure in the history of the Province?
people recognize that there is a disconnect here? Unfortunately, folks may not get their heads
around this question, before it is too late, unlike the Gerry Rogers Affair.
Yet, when descent
people look back on this sordid episode, in the coming weeks, how can they not
worry that they voted for a Government they truly do not deserve?
may not be the right response.