Saturday, September 15, 2007

Waiting for the hammer

Cathy asked me this evening what was going on since I hadn't blogged since Wednesday. I wasn't having a problem, more like there's only so much creativity I can tap into during the run of a day. Since Wednesday I've probably written about 8,000 to 10,000 words of my book. Which is quite a nice run, by my standards. I rather doubt that will continue, but I was on a roll. And you don't mess with creative streaks (I just finished watching Bull Durham, so I have the speech about streaks rattling around inside my head right now). When you get a burst where the words are flowing and you know exactly what each character is going to and say, you write until your fingers bleed.

Because you never know....it could end at any moment and the next thing you know you're doing something like the little dude to the right of the page.

I suppose with the election call coming up in Newfoundland I should be getting excited. But honestly, I'm trying to think of a less interesting, more anti-climatic election in recent Newfoundland history. And that's saying something. For all the bullshit you read about how interesting and complex Newfoundland politics can be, most elections are deadly predictable. The last one I can think of that was truly, majestically weird was in '89. Other than that, if you didn't know who was going to win the day the election was called, then you weren't paying attention. The only thing up in the air was how many seats the party in question was going to win.

Election '07 is going to be, if possible, even more boring. When elections are called, reporters normally start pools to guess who is going to win each seat. The person who gets the most seats right, wins. I wonder if there will be any pools this year? I almost doubt it.

Having seen the moves that Williams has pulled in the last couple of weeks - the Hebron deal, the energy plan, buying into White Rose and even releasing the MHA spending report which is managing to make the Liberals look worse than the Tories - I've come to a conclusion. I told it to a friend of mine back home last week and he agreed.

It's not that Williams is trying to win. It's a given pretty much that he will. It's not that he's trying to win every seat. I would have said that was impossible as recently as six months ago. Now, I'm not so sure.

No, I honestly think he's trying to eliminate the concept of opposition parties in Newfoundland and Labrador for the next decade. At least. It's quite possible he could destroy both parties (believe it or not, the Liberals are far more vulnerable. The NDP have a better chance of holding Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi than the Liberals do in holding any of their seats). Not only would that leave him unopposed in '07, it will make it almost impossible for those parties to rally any serious challenge to the Tories in '11, the next provincial election. They simply won't have the money, resources or profile that a party gets just from sitting in opposition.

It's funny. Nunavut doesn't have opposition parties either. Instead, it works using a consensus government. All the MLAs work together to make decisions. Individuals might oppose a decision, but there are no political parties that oppose the premier or the cabinet. So Newfoundland may well be just like Nunavut on October 10. Except the consensus will come from one man.

Hope you're all ready for the hammer to fall, folks.

8 comments:

WJM said...

even releasing the MHA spending report which is managing to make the Liberals look worse than the Tories

Only if u dont read it.

The NDP have a better chance of holding Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi than the Liberals do in holding any of their seats

2 wrds: cartwright l'anse au clair.

cat in arms. typing w 1 finger

WJM said...

Not only would that leave him unopposed in '07, it will make it almost impossible for those parties to rally any serious challenge to the Tories in '11, the next provincial election. They simply won't have the money, resources or profile that a party gets just from sitting in opposition.

1966. joey. election tories got 3 seats.

1971. no more joey.

still w/ cat.

Mireille Sampson said...

Don't all the territories have consensus gov't? How well does it work? When Mercer was up in NWT he seemed to think he'd died and gone to heaven. Sounds like a good idea to me...eliminating the party politics which often feels as though it serves no purpose to the average person...but, of course, I don't know the down side.

If Italy had had this they wouldn't have gone through so many colition gov'ts in the past. What a waste of time.

Jen said...

OFF TOPIC
Thought I would come right to you this time.
Actually this summer, I did get to try a digital Pentax. A German fellow at my brothers wedding had one and let me play around with it. It isn't a bad camera and it takes a nice a picture. The buttons were in all the wrong places, but I did get some good pictures.
About the moisture, I was only kidding. And if you do take it out, you will get moisture, it doesn't matter who makes your camera. It isn't getting into bits that will fry your camera, rather on your lenses. If you change a lens you have to wait a while for the inside glass to adjust to outside temperature. It can be irritating, and the last thing you want to do is give it a little breathe to wipe it off. I find the biggest problem is the cold juicing my battery, if you go out for a couple of hours bring a spare.
I won't knock Pentax, being a forefather in Photography, but I still don't think their digitals are at the levels of Nikon and Canon, and that said, I think Canon is even ahead of Nikon.

Anonymous said...

Just NWT and Nunavut have consensus governments. Yukon has party politics.

In Iqaluit

towniebastard said...

Ok, let's see...

WJM, three points.

First, I suspect most people likely won't read the report. I stand to be corrected, but if previous history is any indication, they'll read what the media reports, but not the report itself. And so far, the early media spin has tended to be more negative towards the Liberals than the PCs.

2. Yvonne Jones may well be the only Liberal to hold a seat, I concede that. But you never know. We'll have to wait and see how big the band wagon will be.

3. There is a world of difference between Joey in '67 and Williams in '07. Joey was well past his prime and beginning to lose his grip. It remains to be seen if that's the case with Williams, but I doubt it.

Mireille, I think consensus government is interesting to watch and the jury is still out on whether it works better than party politics in this territory. Remember, this is a very new government, less than 10 years old. Plus it has the additional challenges of governing a huge area, with a small population scattered throughout it, with not nearly enough financial resources.

Jen, I think I'm going to start a separate post later today about cameras. Keep an eye out for it.

WJM said...

And so far, the early media spin has tended to be more negative towards the Liberals than the PCs.

That's because David Cochrane can't read.

Yvonne Jones may well be the only Liberal to hold a seat, I concede that. But you never know. We'll have to wait and see how big the band wagon will be.

It won't be big enough to make Yvonne Jones the only Liberal elected.

There is a world of difference between Joey in '67 and Williams in '07. Joey was well past his prime and beginning to lose his grip.

In 1966? The year in which he reduced the opposition to three seats, the smallest he ever faced? I'd say at that point he was at the peak of his grip.

He lost it soon after, very soon, the results of the 1968 federal election showed that in spades, but 1966 was the zenith of Smallwood's power. Hence the analogy. If Danny gets a near-sweep like Smallwood in 1966, or even a strong majority like Moores in 72 or Peckford in 1982, he'll be at the peak.

He's promised if he gets two terms, he'll get out.

I predict that, soon enough into term 2, if he gets it, that he won't be able to change his mind even if he wanted to.


Hey, blogger.com, I AM ENTERING THE LETTERS AS THEY ARE SHOWN IN THE IMAGE.

Table Mountains said...

Kelvin Parsons Liberal MHA for Burgeo & La Poile will more than likely win his seat again. He was mentioned several times in the Auditor Generals report.