night’s election, which made Justin Trudeau Prime Minister-elect, should serve
as a reminder to all elected governments that the public will sink their ship
if they persist on the wrong course.

citizen isn’t a policy wonk or a political junkie, but the collective has a way
of understanding when they are being led astray.

Of course,
the problem wasn’t just policy; it was about tone, too.

Canada, Stephen Harper grated on our collective nervous system; like a rusty
hinge on an old gate, he became more aggravating at every turn. The Senate,
corruption in the PMO, the restriction of rights in favour of imagined security
threats, an abuse of Parliament, and the contradictions that accompany ‘tough
on crime, tough on drugs’ as he kisses up to Ford Nation.

He had to go.

In times
such as these, even the economy takes a second place – which it did.
The federal
Liberals would do well to understand the reality of why Harper lost.
veteran John Crosbie, when asked for comment by local media recently, commented
voters were in the mood for change after 10 years of Harper Government. That is
like saying change occurred because the public were bored.

In fact, the
contrary is true. They were galvanized to act!

The award of
a majority government to the Liberal Party, which won only 34 Seats in the last
election, was a display of unbridled unified determination. Rarely does the
public, from coast to coast, express open antipathy towards a Prime Minister, using
words and phrases eerily similar.

Rather than
bored, they were impatient enough that ten per cent of voters cast their ballot
in the advance polls!

Indeed, a
solid argument can be made this election ought to have been over economic
issues given Canada’s increasingly poor economic statistics. But, no one heard Justin
offer a better economic platform or hold up new ideas, except more spending (an
old idea) for improving Canada’s (especially central Canada’s) moribund
economy. No one expected an economic program from him, anyway.

Truth is
voters were so dam mad at Harper’s attitude and antics they exhibited anything
but boredom, even setting aside the very issues with which they are normally
Perhaps, Crosbie
was trying to be glib but his comments did not reflect the striking clash of
values that have increasingly set Harper against Canadians of the political

Likely, the
rift caused many voters aligned with the NDP to abandon that Party. It is tough
to draw any conclusion other than that they were unwilling to take a chance the
third party had only temporarily found Jesus in its historic lurch to the right.

The public
may not know the intricacies of policy, but they recognize and understand
values.  They have spelled out, in the
clearest terms to Justin Trudeau, the kind of Canada they want and the value
system they expect him to be guided by.

An excellent
editorial by John Ibbitson of the Globe and Mail “How Harper Created A More Conservative Canada” suggests both Trudeau and
Mulcair were stuck with Harper’s policies anyway, regardless of which one got
elected.  He argues Canada’s immigrants represent
a major influence on Harper’s right-wing politics.

Ibbitson doesn’t consider the role of leadership expected of a Prime Minister
when values are at risk. Nor does he note that views become hardened when racist
attitudes are incited by someone of the PM’s stature.

Conservative Party of Canada is in need of change. Now that Harper is effectively
gone, the “progressive” wing which Harper, and his ilk, alienated in favour of a
group who have earned various nomenclature, including “wing-nuts”, must take
What was
John and Ches Crosbie doing among that lot, anyway?

The ballot
box can be a blunt instrument; just ask Jack Harris and Ryan Cleary.
McCurdy is right. The Liberal sweep implies Newfoundland and Labrador is absent
an alternative voice; one capable of giving a critical perspective to partisan

There is no
depth to which politicians will not go in the interest of partisan fealty. The stain
on the provincial Liberals for their slavish support of Trudeau, the elder, and
Jean Chretien at a time when the Atlantic Accord was being sought, can never be
erased.  More recently, the absolutely
miserable job the Dwight Ball Liberals offered, in Opposition, is a reminder
what is lost when partisan conflicts submerge public interests.

Then, too, a
sweep for the Liberals, federally, will likely be joined, after the provincial
election, by a Liberal victory proportionately even larger.

There will
be little room for the truth; even less for an airing of competing views.
That is a
price we will have to bear until alternative governing parties, in this case the
Tories at both levels, have experienced reincarnation. (I have deliberately
avoided the word “reform”.)

optimism that the province has gained additional leverage by sending seven Liberals
to join Justin, should be checked.

Voters in Nova
Scotia sent 11 Liberals to Ottawa; Ontario 80, and Quebec 40.
If any crumbs
are sprinkled this way, they will have been filtered by Nova Scotia first,
after they were picked over by central Canada.

Make sure
you listen when your seven Liberal MPs make a big deal of tiny victories.
Some things
never change!

But, then, this
election was about getting rid of Stephen Harper.

The people of
this province will have to be happy with just that much.
Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


If a Big Mac costs McDonalds $10 to produce and it is sold for $1.50, McDonalds will go out of business. They would not declare a profit!


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


  1. Uncle Gnarley….your progressive/liberal bias is quite apparent in your last few ad hominem attacks on Mr. Harper's character rather than policy is quite telling. You use the word "racist" quite flippantly yet offer no evidence to back it up. What is Mr. Harper's ilk? I'd like to know so please define. Who are the wing-nuts? Are they one's that have a differing view than you?

    I'm guessing in your Canada there is little or no room for a different view? How incredibly arrogant of you. But that's no surprise given the moral highground taken by you and your ilk. How quick you are to cast dispersions on others who for any number of reasons might disagree with you. Apparently the 5,600,000 that voted conservative are to be silenced.

    The mean-spirited attacks of the left, centre and right is quite apparent to me. You are wearing it proudly I'm afraid.


  2. While I appreciate that we all can't all agree when it comes to politics, one has to also accept the majority view. Stephen Harper was in my opinion one of, if not the worse PM this country has ever seen. While certain aspects of his time in office did produce some positive change for many..that being said, it's not all about finance. Harper lost the respect of Canadians and when you hold the office of PM, you cannot survive. He was the master of his own demise.

    Finally, when the right honorable John Diefenbaker passed away, he lay in state in Ottawa and on his final journey by train to his home province, Canadians of every political leaning waited by the side of the track to pay their respect. That to me is what Canadians value. During Stephen Harper's time in office he did not conduct himself in a manor that would warrant anything near the respect shown for John Diefenbaker or other PMs before him.

  3. Regarding: Muskrat Falls
    My visit last evening to Nalcor's Muskrat Falls website (Procurement section) shows, at long last, that Contract CH009 (Construction of the North & South Dams) has been awarded, to the Barnard-Pennecon Joint Venture, with the award date given as August 15, 2015. Interestingly, on my last visit to the same site, on October 31st, the award was still pending. It took Nalcor ten weeks to post the award !
    SECONDLY- When bids/proposals were received on October 22nd, 2014, Nalcor's projected contract award date was "before Christmas, 2014". Christmas came a little late, it would seem.
    As of October 2014, Nalcor's numerous schedule milestones seemed very ambitious, if not outright impossible. With the year of delay in awarding the contract (unless new dates have been agreed-upon) these dates are totally unrealistic. What is the cost impact for a delayed start?