It's a basic political tactic that when a minister screws up, the oppositions howls for that minister's head. The downside with that plan is that opposition parties start howling at the drop of a hat. Sometimes, the shallowest, silliest things or innocent mistakes get blown wildly out of proportion. So that when a genuine, massive screw-up happens, its easy enough for the government to try and brush off the incident as the opposition just making noise again to score political points.
Here's the thing, though....Joan Burke has to go now. This story along with the accompanying documents make that evident. She clearly interfered with the hiring process of MUN's president.
Plus, there's been a couple of other screw-ups, like accidentally issuing a press release without checking with the university or maybe the security breech regarding student aid information.
Here's the scary part....these are all stories from this week. If I were Jacquelyn Howard, the department's communications director, I'd be looking for a tall bridge to jump off of after a week like that. And it's only Thursday. There's still a time left for Burke and her department to screw up some more.
I know it looks unfair to blame the minister for everything. It's a bloody big department. But you can't tell me all this ineptness would be happening if Elizabeth Marshall was running education. So once again, for the love of sanity and reason, let the premier make the smart decision - demote Burke, who is obviously in over her head in education - and put Marshall in charge of the department.
I don't know how much more Burke can screw up and I'm really not all that eager to find out.
1. The mother who bore - Ron Hynes
2. Let it take you - Goldfrapp
3. Stupid now - Bob Mould
4. Free fallin' - Tom Petty*
5. Red light indicates doors are secured - Arctic Monkeys