Is it ok for me to seriously hate the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador right now? I've had my moments of disliking the Liberals over the years. Lord knows I saw enough boneheaded stuff when Tobin and Grimes were in charge. And yeah, that was worrying because they were running the province. But the opposition was normally half-way competent so there was at least the odd racket if something truly demented was being contemplated.
But the Liberals right now...I don't know. When was the last time there was this level of incompetence by a political party? Seriously. There must be a political scientist or Newfoundland historian out there that can point out a political party acting this dumb.
It was bad enough the Liberals let Jim Bennett win the leadership without even so much as a hint of a challenge. That was pretty gutless. Then, three months later (surely God, that has to be a Canadian political record) the long knives come out and they do him in. But not before the fiasco with Kelvin Parsons.
You know, I kind of respected Parsons a bit. Thought he wasn't a bad guy. But honestly, if this story is true (and he doesn't seem to be denying it), that he offered to resign for a judge's seat and that, just for icing on the cake, his son would run in his abandoned seat for the Conservatives, well, that's a spectacular piece of scumery. You stab your party in the back, cost the taxpayers money on a useless byelection and get your son a job. Not bad for a day's work.
And all of that, all of that, would be bad enough under normal circumstances except the premier of the province just announced plans to undertake what is quite possibly the riskiest venture in the history of the province by developing the Lower Churchill on our own.
Dear God. I mean, that statement terrifies the hell out of me. The number of things that can go catastrophically wrong with trying to do Churchill solo are unimaginable. What we need is a strong opposition to question and hammer away at the Conservatives, to make sure that this makes sense. And that if it doesn't, that they break the deal. A good opposition can do that. They have in the past.
The Liberals right now couldn't break a piggy bank. Helpless, pathetic, ill-organized, stupid and selfish. This is Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Dear Christ.
I hate them. Fiercely. Because any group behaving as stupidly as the Liberals are right now doesn't deserve to live.
And yes, I know the NDP are still there. I'm trying hard not to think that the sole hope for protecting democracy in Newfoundland is the NDP. It's almost as depressing a thought as where the Liberals are right now.
At this rate the Liberals are going to be wiped out in the next provincial election, a mere 18 months away. Which is the worst thing that could happen to the province - Danny Williams in charge with no opposition.
But you can't blame the people of the province if they decide to pick a government that seems half-way competent vs. an opposition that can't find its ass with both hands. But it's still a terrifying thought. No good can come from that. Then again, considering the quality of Liberals currently in office, no good can come from voting Liberal either, apparently.
Greatest Hits - Gordon Lightfoot