his own political instincts, assuming he has any, he won’t last as long as did Kathy Dunderdale.
ridiculously premature. But it isn’t. That the Government’s first set of decisions
were so strategically ill-chosen, suggests the Premier is quite prone to
tax, though these measures are the predominant catalysts of dissension. His
public relations capacity seems to mirror his own lack of fire; a relaxed and
passion-less treatment of deeply felt political issues magnifies an incapacity
to connect with a public jolted by their vastly changed financial circumstance.
Budget Address by the Finance Minister, 20 points less than the 57.2% of the
popular vote in the general election. While that result is not surprising,
given the budget, the protest movement was then only starting to build.
sector unions, to establish the correct context for the Government’s fiscal decisions, and
to “sell” the Budget.
Engagement, as proposed in an earlier Post (and still the right thing to do), the
Government’s interface with the public could not have been more vacuous.
for budget saving tips, when the public lacked a clear idea of the sheer scale of the problem, is
difficult to digest.
the knowledge and expertise to interpret the implications of five successive
deficits, or net
debt estimated well in excess of $20 billion by 2022, once Nalcor’s multi-billion dollar fiasco(s) are accounted for. Why would Ball expect more from the general
the CBC Evening News having preempted the program for the Q&A session, is one example of politics badly practised.
Even if the pair had given the Budget
some context a thousand times in previous days, a few introductory remarks were
necessary to explain the depth of problem and how those unprecedented tax
measures might be expected to assist in its resolution. Instead, the two could
have been middle managers out of central casting, given their poor exhibition
of both empathy and insight.
penchant for repetition was legendary. In
the same vein, Peckford didn’t keep the public on-side and win the Atlantic
Accord just with an occasional mention of offshore resources jurisdiction. They took pains to capture public understanding and support. But let’s be clear. Public engagement occurs only after you have earned the public’s attention.
been insufficient. It still needed choices that were defensible; ones relevant
to the amount of money saved.
reflects no consideration of a strategic element, one that respected the
Liberals traditional rural base. The Premier forgets he capitulated to Paul Davis far
too easily on a Seat reduction scheme that reduced that base, last year. If he
is calculating the Avalon Peninsula, home to the bulk of public servants, is
the new Liberal bastion he will find those loyalties far more divided and transitory, too.
where services are scarce. The HST on books, a minuscule revenue source
anyway, is an affront especially to the arts community, an articulate group having
both a stage and a microphone. In place of cancelling full day kindergarten, its
necessity arguable in the circumstances, the Budget chose the very lightning rods of
protest. Even the Premier’s insistence on an allocation of $750,000 to study a
Straits tunnel, when penury beckons, is just proof of tunnel vision.
should have; expenditures having gone up, not down.
tough decisions that await.
could not possibly have fixed it within one budget period. But the first cut
should have gone for the big money, the bloat; now the Liberals face death by a
thousand cuts. On top of that, Ball has no idea what Stan Marshall will present
him on the Muskrat Falls project, except that it threatens to be a Hobson’s
The Government finds itself fought from every quarter.
|Bay of Islands MHA Eddie Joyce
Minister of Municipal Affairs
Cabinet Ministers, let it be known that they counselled against the deficit
levy, as CBC’S David Cochrane recently reported? In a place where secrecy, not just loyalty, is badge of honor it is telling
that such a story could be published, and go unrefuted by either of them.
|Corner Brook MHA Gerry Byrne
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills
Caucus has demonstrated a skill-set better than his. But that doesn’t count for
much. For the same reason, the Tories ended up with the Constable Premier.
If Ball continues to demonstrate the empathy of a rake, if
he insists on making decisions that put the public service ahead of the entire
voting population, if his key rural constituency is marooned by his own lack of
vision, having allowed the bean counters free reign to weigh what is politically
astute, some bucko, like Byrne or Joyce, might yet get to sup with the