Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Marshall plan

If you're looking for a definition of contempt, then take a look at the provincial cabinet announced by Danny Williams. Oh, it's not the extra people suddenly, magically needed to run the province. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador managed to get by with fewer cabinet ministers for many years, but now when we have the smallest population in decades it takes a near record high number of ministers to run the place.

On second thought, that is a pretty good definition of contempt. But no, I was going for another one.

How the hell is Elizabeth Marshall still not in cabinet?

If they did IQ testing on the Tory caucus (and boy, wouldn't that be a fun Access to Information request to make) I have no doubt Marshall would be among the highest in this bunch. I know there was some bashing of her during the election, but hell, it's an election that's what you do during elections. She's the kind of candidate you pray you get when you run a political party - an intelligent, competent, ethical, thoughtful person. As an added bonus she's a woman.

She was good enough to be a Health Minister right out of the gates. Nearly four years later, she's still in the wilderness after standing up to Williams when, oh yeah, she was right to do so.

I know Williams can hold a grudge like no one's business. But honestly, he's really going to keep someone that talented wasting in the backbenches for at least another year or more until there is another shuffle? That's a little beyond vendetta. That rolls right into contempt.

Dave Denine, who has been described by some in Mount Pearl as "a nice enough fella, but has done shit all the past four years" gets to be a minister ahead of Marshall. Ross Wiseman, who is so devoid of personality that my former boss tries not to quote him in her paper for fear that it might put people to sleep and that would be bad for business. He gets to continue as Health Minister.

And so on and so forth. I suspect I could through most of the cabinet and ask how they got in ahead of Marshall. By any standard other than skills at kissing ass, she's more qualified than most of them.

There's something strange going on there. Maybe Marshall doesn't want back in cabinet, although I find that hard to believe. I really have to believe that Williams has that much contempt for her. It would be almost impressive if not quite so sad.


nadinebc said...

Only people with pukcer power will serve under Danny.

Ron said...

I don't think it is a perfect example of contempt altho it fits the dictionary definition. I think it is a very good example of Williams inability to see past a grudge.

ok I have to be honest I am a PC. Admittedly a pick PC but non-the-less PC. T

he problem is that with such a strong personality leading the party and obviously crushing any dissent we have to ask if this is good for political debate in the PC party and therefore in the larger body politic of the province. At the risk of sounding silly Williams would do well to follow Mao advice and allow "a thousand flowers" to bloom. Newfoundland needs strong leadership - Williams victories over the past years ahve shown the benefit of that. It also requires a strong political debate. We are too small and too marginal to ignore the advantages of innovative stratagies.

We could do an end run around the maritimes to become the leading province east of Quebec. Considering the corrupt political economy in maritimes this is not as farfetched as it may sound.

Anyway Williams immaturity on this issue might not cost him in the short run but it will cost him in the history books. Ignoring a former auditor eneral is too big an act to be left out of the history books. Williams ego may insist that "there can be only one" but his legacy and the political health of the province suggest that he should climb down off his high horse.