01 May 2007

Fair deal of bureaucratic gobbledygook

Update: Sometime after the original post went live, the according2.ca crowd wiped out the website entirely.

There's now just a white page with some black text about a rally at noon on May 11.

The budgetary process thingy is gone (see below) and instead, we are all being encouraged to "Stand-up for Newfoundland and Labrador."

Let's see what happens in the next 10 days.

**********Original post begins:

The Giant Rally in Support of the Great Leader is taking its own sweet time getting off the ground.

If the website is any indication, the whole thing is going to die a slow and painful deal. Tons of pages aren't even up as dummys with an "under construction" note.

Including the "Rally" page itself, which, as of May 1 leads to a "page cannot be found" warning.

Then again, if you look at the objective of the whole thing, then maybe it's just as well. Someone please put the whole thing out of our misery.

Apparently, the Giant Rally is designed "to prove it's place in the Canadian budgetary process."

The "it" in there is Newfoundland and Labrador. While Bond Papers is given to its fair share of typos, it's a one-man affair. The steering committee for the Gumball Rally has produced enough typos on the front page as to be painful to the eyes. Like the objective which is "to prove it is place...".


Just think about that goal for a second.

It isn't to secure Newfoundland and Labrador's rightful place in the universe.


It isn't aimed at getting the prime minister to fulfill his commitment to this province and to Canadians from coast to coast.


Apparently, the steering committee's goal is nothing quite so emotive, quite so edifying.

This bunch of fellows has decided we must all band together to secure our place in something called the "Canadian budgetary process."

Are you getting all tingly yet?

Didn't think so.

Even government's own financial accountants wouldn't get misty-eyed at that idea. Talk about words sucking the life out of something.

Here's a suggestion, if the steering committee is intent on steering this whole thing for a few more days or weeks.

Just set the goal for what it is: "securing Newfoundland and Labrador squarely on the fore-tit of Sow Ottawa."

Meanwhile, while these guys are busily promoting the independence in growing more dependent on federal hand-outs, the rest of us will be figuring out how to get the province's oil and gas industry back on track.

And Steve Harper?

He's likely quaking in his boots just like he did when Sue started the Recall Harper campaign.

That one lasted...what was it?...a month, before it folded under the weight of its own uselessness.


Update: One of the Gumball rally organizers called Bill Rowe's Crap Talk shortly after this post appeared. Peter Whittle chatted at some length with the host.

Here's a clue Peter. By excluding politicians you have denied the premier his sopabox and the chance to lead the crusade. Therefore, the Pitcher Plants have taken a dim view of your efforts. In case you haven't noticed, Peter, Bill Rowe is a pipeline straight into the Premier's inner circle. If there's a line to be spread, odds are good Bill has it.

Therefore, he is branding your idea silly because it doesn't showcase his patron.

Now the rally is still a waste of time, but at least if you listen to the Premier's unofficial spokesperson, maybe you'd get a clue as to why the whole Rally hasn't been getting much support.

People would come to see Danny.

Would they come to see you, Ward and Ron?


Independant said...

I got to say Mr Hollett - you are an exact version of why we as a province are where we are! You wouldn't know how to support your mother if she asked you! You find negativeity in everything - just as most people in this province find ways to prove holes in solutions, rather than patch the holes up.

Learn to shoot with a mouth full of ideas and support instead of bicker, banter and self-pity. Reminds me of Gerry Reid. If you are so wise and enthusiastic, get out and help the group rally - show your colours and abilities to make change, demonstrate your committment in person, instead of behind a wimpy computer, correcting typos!

Atleast they are trying - all you do is bicker!

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, given that you make your comments from behind the cowardly cloak on anonymity I think I'll take your remarks for what they are worth.

Independant said...

Anonymity...my inital and surname is not good enough for you Ed?

BTW the internet is no place for personal information - don't you know that? Your lucky you got that much. Oh and for the coward comment...I suppose a mirror would serve justice!

Why won't you run for elections if you have all the wisdom and ability to make change through critism.

Anyway, bantering here is only fruitless feeding of a lame fire. Join me on the Hill next week!

Edward G. Hollett said...

If 500,000 people turned out for the rally, what would change?

The answer is simple: nothing.

This entire issue is not affected by the number of people supporting the provincial government or complaining about the federal government's decision.

The source of the problem here is the strained relationship between the federal and provincial governments. The way to advance any issue in dealing with the federal government is to correct that relationship.

Bear in mind that the original promise of 100% exclusion of non-renewables from the calculation is politically unattainable. It is unattainable because it adversely affects or is perceived to adversely affect too many people in too many provinces.

If that was different, then there'd be some chance of attaining.

So as it is, the provincial government can continue the existing Equalization regime for a period of time and at some point in the future opt for the new one (50% exclusion of all resource revenues).

That's it.

The opportunity to deal with this issue was a year and more ago when it became patently obvious that the federal government would be opting for the 50% solution. At that point it might have been possible to secure the two Accords without a cap.

It might have also been possible to propose some arrangement, as suggested by Ken Boessenkool in which an additional 50% of non-renewables were excluded in some fashion based on an express commitment that the revenue would be directed to debt reduction.

That approach would have met the provincial government's stated objectives and met the broader philosophy of the current federal government on Equalization.

At this point, I wouldn't hold out much hope for any accommodation and I certainly wouldn't hold out the hope when the public message relentlessly attacks the federal government and commits to defeat the governing party.

It certainly isn't helpful to launch into personal attacks on federal members of parliament who are the people we must work with and must rely on to make the case. They aren't the only medium for the message but they are important ones.

Certainly if you go back over what has been written here on this issue, those points have been made to one degree or another.

You will also see the point here and elsewhere that, for example, if the debt was indeed so important the provincial government should be making an obvious effort to address it. So far it hasn't despite per capita annual spending that is double what it was 15 years ago and the better of double what many other provinces spend.

The key to moving forward remains as it has been since the beginning: diplomacy and a careful management of the relationship between the provincial government and the federal one with an eye to the long term.

So far, we haven't seen it, all the rhetoric to one side.

The rally will do absolutely nothing to change that in itself. It certainly won't do it when one of its key messages is that the federal government is somehow robbing the province of it future. The idea is preposterous and only serves to wind the gulf rather than build a bridge across it.

Independant said...

Ed, one point in all of what you stated is just as every other person in NFLD has done for centuries "Boys we got screwed, let's move on cause we can't do nothing about..now lets get back to eating our own kind again - it's easier than fighting"

Did you watch the news today on CBC with Peter and his political panel - they are even saying now that the harper party is in trouble - his lies, broken promises, dictatorship governance......hmmm...Danny is not too wrong in what he is trying to get Canadians to hear!

You say it's too late - too late for what? To stand up for ourselves, not to give in anymore! Surely you have a desire not to be living in a have not province? Quebec gets what it wants because they don't shut up long enough for anyone else to talk. They think they run the Country and they are achieving it. We got told what to do with our fishery, our hydro power, and jsut about everything else in this province...no one but Quebecers tell Quebecers what to do...it's the way to be if we are to survive. They were going to burn down any and every pole we erected accross their province for power. They harassed us into submission. Quebec is Canada's domestic terrorists!

So, getting back to NL, we sure as hell should never lay down our hats anymore, but die fighting for what we deserve and it's never to late. The only way to get anything done in this province is get us all wound up. When Crosbie shut down the fishery they all marched to beat his doors down and make away with him - but yet in 2007 the federal government is yanking us every which way and people are home squaking on the radio at each other. Amazing we haven't learned one thing from our past. Thats our problem.

And, that one point that I agreed with you on is that debt. I liked the budget but it's untimely in the sense that more focus should have been placed on paying our dues! When Joey put the pavement accross this province when there was none, people complained there wasn't enough paving done - we couldn't see pass our noses despite our faces...a cultural problem we still have today!

When I fire back at you, someone who at times may have a grain of sense, it pisses me off that you will do as the others and sit behind a desk and banter everyone, when you should be on the front lines fighting with the rest and not sidestepping your own, even if you don't agree 100%. What's the old saying - Don't talk down to him, talk to Him!

Edward G. Hollett said...

First of all your perception of passivity and those related ideas is, well, just not real. It doesn't exist. It is a complete myth.

Provide a couple of examples and we can discuss them, but as it stands right now the whole bit about the strong leader and the fighting Newfoundlander instead of the pile of wusses we supposedly are is a pile of horsecrap.

Second of all, at no point did I ever suggest simply accepting fate. Rather I said that your approach is totally, completely, utterly, absolutely useless because it accomplishes nothing.

There's a big difference between saying do nothing and saying don't do a particular thing because it is pointless; instead do something else that might actually work. Again this seems to be part of your basic myth that underpins your rally argument.

The rally can produce no result except garner a profile for the people organizing it. I am not saying that is their motivation. I am saying that's all it does.

Third of all, I have pointed out that the time to deal with this issue was a year ago. Not today. A year ago. Six months ago. That never happened. We should holding the right people accountable for that.

At this point we should be looking to building bridges and see what, if anything can be worked out. in other words, we need a firm goal and a plan to get there.

All we have is yet more empty rhetoric, a speech in Toronto that further inflames the issues by attacking people directly and well, just a continuation of the very approach that has gotten us into the jam we are currently in.

Perhaps one thing you might consider is this: whose interest is served by not finding a resolution to this problem, ramping up the rhetoric and by perpetuating the myth of foreign, i.e. Ottawa oppression of NL?

Who profits by widening the gap rather than building a bridge?