So I've had an idea.
This comes out of my little rant I had yesterday about George Baker. Back in 2002, then Premier Roger Grimes announced the "Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in Canada." There are different ways to look at this report. Mostly it's collecting dust these days and is probably viewed as a desperate attempt by Grimes to save the Liberals floundering popularity. Lord knows I mocked it as a complete waste of money at the time. I honestly don't know if anything useful came out of the report.
According to the website, however, it was meant to...
"...consult with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to develop a broad consensus on a vision for the future which will identify ways to achieve prosperity and self-reliance."
But here's the thing, there's some merit to something like what Grimes was trying to achieve, but I think he just went about it wrong. I'm thinking it should be something more along the lines of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
What I propose is this. For one solid year, a commission travels around Newfoundland and Labrador and holds public meetings. And the commissioners have to sit there and listen to it all. Every conspiracy theory, every rant about how Canada screwed us, every slight - no matter how small or based in reality - will be listened to with patience and empathy. No one will be cut off from the mike.
We'll bring people down from Ottawa and the rest of Canada and they can bitch and vent about everything that drives them nuts about our fair province. Our whining. Our constant demands for more money. Our lack of gratitude. All of it.
One solid year of this. No kidding.
And then that...is....it. If it happened before March 31, 2009, you can't bitch about it again. Ever. We all gather at the end of one year and burn every second of tape as a symbolic gesture that we're getting on with our lives.
You've had your emotional purge. Now it's time to grow up and get on with things. No more screaming at slights or throwing temper tantrums. No more Newfoundland Independence foolishness. If a politicians starts wagging his finger at Ottawa and blaming them for things going wrong, you're compelled by law to jump up and scream "I call bullshit on you." Then you can legally drag them behind a shed and smack him or or her with something. Dear God, it all has to end at some point, doesn't it?
Oh, and in return the rest of Canada promises to give up the Newfie jokes.
Newfoundland and Labrador has been part of Canada for 60 years as of March 31. It's been a long and occasionally very rocky adolescence, but every province has to grow up at some point. Sixty is as good an age as any. And honestly, I am so fucking beyond tired of blaming Ottawa for everything. It's what sooky 14-year-olds do with their parents.
So purge and move on. What do you say?
1. Meet me by the river's edge - The Gaslight Anthem
2. Hello highway - Matt Mays
3. Party girl (live) - U2*
4. She loves you - The Beatles
5. Englishman in New York - Sting