28 October 2009

Kremlinology 11: Words that start with “p” and “o” together

Just notice in the by-election follow up media how much the Premier and others – including Memorial University profs like Alex Marland and Michael Temelini  - base their assessment of the importance of Marshall Dean’s win in the Straits pretty much exclusively on how popular Danny Williams is showing in the polls.

Just notice it.

Pretty well exclusively.

It doesn’t really matter, they say, because we are/he is hugely popular.

Just keep that in mind.





Winston Smith said...

Here's a line worth noting: "Williams acknowledged the district has been traditionally Liberal and said it was the many small communities in the area that pushed the Liberals over the top."

The Liberals don't need to demonstrate that the Tories have a problem in rural NL; Williams himself just admitted as much, so they can just quote the Premier.

Anonymous said...

After six years of governing it is no suprise that they have seen better days. Would I classify this Lib win as a huge shift....no!

What people are forgetting is that the number one reason for general election wins is based on leadership.....byelections are usually lost on issues and a vehicle to send a message to government. In this case the message was sent loud and clear

I know Danny has stated that he is running in the next election and I would assume that Yvonne is running as leader as well. If the case, then with all certainity the Cons will win the next general election. Barring an all out scandal...it is a given.

Without doubt, the Starights win and a good showing in Terra Nova will whittle away the unworkable majority , however to think that this is the beginning of the end is foolish. Our history has shown that the shelf life of government is approx 3 terms and to think that the "shift" in a district's popular vote, is a bellweather, is not news.

Unless the Libs change leadership and provide a realistic alternative for Premier, then we will be faced with another 6 years of Con rule. This, I believe, is undisputable and the only question is to see how quick the rot takes over in the Con Party. It should be noted that Yvonne is doing a good job in her position, but to think that she is competent to become Premier, is riddiculous.

If the leadership remains the same then we will only be discussing the number of seats the Libs will win as the next Official Opposition.

Wm. Murphy

Anonymous said...

"It should be noted that Yvonne is doing a good job in her position, but to think that she is competent to become Premier, is riddiculous.

If the leadership remains the same then we will only be discussing the number of seats the Libs will win as the next Official Opposition. "


I agree, it is one thing to be a leader in opposition, quite another to be a leader of a governing party.

Jones has been doing a good job at getting under William's skin, however for the liberals to give the tories a hard run in the next election, they will need a premier in waiting at the helm, Yvonne ain't it.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Anonymous comments are always so persuasive especially when they offer assessments of someone personally.

I dunno about the rest of the world but I usually chuckle and shake my head laughing that some people actually think such an approach is convincing.

Both these comments betray the current dominant political theme. Not surprising, really but they do.

Elections can hinge on many things, but there is no way that leadership is the one and only decisive factopr all the time, everywhere even if we restricted it to just all general elections.

There are several ways to frame a party successfully in a general election.

Sometimes, playing up the team works really well and can demolish a "leader" based message especially if the leader has picked up a huge pile of negatives (like bully-boy, tired, dictatorial etc etc.)

Depending on how things play out in the next couple of years, you might be very surprised at what takes place in 2011 (providing there isn't a snap, panicky election before then)

The shelf life of a government in this province is not three terms, Wm. Murphy not by a long shot.

Smallwood lasted 23 years and a number of GEs. Frank Moores was seven years and two GEs. Peckford was 10 years and three GEs. Rideout's administration lasted 43 days. Wells was seven years and two GEs. Tobin was four and two which is really only one term given the unnecessary second one.

Tulk was in there for a few months, grimes was a couple of years and now Williams has been there since 2003 with two GEs to his credit. There may not be a third for him.

Time will tell.

You make way too many assumptions in your comments including that they are indisputable.

In this instance, Williams framed the terms of the by-election and the basis on which it was fought. His decisions drove the major issues. It's more than a bit disingenuous now to be trying to reframe the whole discussion once his proposition was rejected.

Incidentally, to you and Anonymous there, the very fact that you both would be so frightened of Yvonne Jones to attack her as you have, makes for the most interesting part of your comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly not frightened of Yvonne, I just simply do not believe she is premier material.

As I stated, it is one thing to be a leader in opposition, you can promise the moon and not have to worry about delivering. It is when you have the title of 'Premier' that expectations from the citizens run high.

If the liberals are serious about ousting Williams and the PC government, they will need a leader in place who can be seen by the electorate as a serious contender for the Premier's office. In my view, Yvonne would be a good cabinet person, just not a good Premier, but that is merely my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Please let us know an election in NL that was not decided by the strength of its Leader or the lack of Leader on the otherside. There isn't one.

Are you saying that Yvonne's leadership attributes will resonate further than Danny's?

On the contrary, my intention was to not attack Ms. Jones. I am merely stating the fact that she is not Premier material. Do you agree with that? Where would you get the idea that i am attacking?

Wm. Murphy

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well right off the bat you are limiting the sample, there Mr. Murphy in a way you didn't originally. You made a sweeping generalisation about all general elections no just those in NL.

But to drive home the point:



And if we went back before Confederation I am sure I can find a raft.

Even some of the other elections may have had less to do with whatever you define as leadership thatn it might first appear.

1620, I go back to my original point. You frame the whole issue in a rather convention way that fits the current political climate. It just happens to be the common fallacy even among some of the supposed experience politicos. It has never worked that way and more often than not cloning is not a strategy at all.

The the jamieson descending from heaven election is a good example of the fallacy. Given the choice between a fake and the real thing people will usually chose the real. The trick is to change the basis on which the choice is made.

In other words, the Tories can be beaten without a Danny-clone. The party that does it would have to toss aside many of the shopworn, commonplace theories.

Steve said...

I just love it.

Anonymous said...

The 1989 election wasn't won on leadership...yea right...whatever.

"In other words, the Tories can be beaten without a Danny-clone."

Absolutely, couldn't agree more, you are dead on. But are you saying that Yvonne is one of those anti-clones? If so, then good luck with that!!

Wm. Murphy

Anonymous said...

So Ed...do you agree that Yvonne Jones is Premier material? Do you think she would a good choice to run the affiars of the province?

Best regards,

Percy Blake

Edward G. Hollett said...

If you recall Wm, the popular vote in 1989 was basically split with the Tories very slightly ahead. The Liberal campaign focused on a team, not the leader.

And Percy, when there is a Liberal leadership campaign, let's see who is running. Right now Yvonne is the interim leader. There's a leadership contest due next year. Maybe you and a few others forgot that little nicety. In the meantime, maybe you'd feel better discussing issues within the Tory party (and there quite a few from the looks of things)

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty straight forward question.....

Anonymous said...

That's amazing...I have been a long time reder and first time commenter.For some reason I ask a harmless question and I some how have the information on the Tory Party.
You are quite the "little Prince" aren't you!! It must be very tiring keeping up with all of the enemies. Get well soon. Sorry I bothered you


Edward G. Hollett said...

Gee Percy, you must be overly sensitive. You asked a question and I answered it. I just didn't give the answer you were apparently hoping for.

As for the remarks on the Tories I never suggested you had any inside information on the Tory party. Why did you assume I did?

Maybe you just misunderstood what I meant. Maybe I am hitting a bit too close to home for some people's comfort. I seem to recall a similar bit of silliness about questions and answers a while ago.

Anonymous said...

That's quite a ringing endorsement for the leader of the Libs.

Here's a couple of undisbutable things. These are certain, guaranteed, free from doubt and reservation, sure to happen....you get the picture.

1. Yvonne Jones will be the leader after next year's leadership convention.

2. Yvonne will lead the Libs into the next general election against Danny.

3. The Libs will be the Official Opp after the the 2011 general election.

4. The Libs will have another leader in place by 2013

It's all about leadership and the real and perceived ability to lead the province as its Premier.

Danny's popularity may well plumett however people will hold there nose and vote for a known commodity over a leader that does not have the ability to lead from the 8th floor.

I wish the outcome would be different...but it's not the way it will unfold. Sad but true.

If anyone disputes the outcome of the next election then they have their head up their ass. Simple as that!!

Wm. Murphy

Edward G. Hollett said...


I love the constant reference to supposedly indisputable things are really only indisputably disputable.

The world has to get through the next six to 12 months first. Your version may come to pass and then again, maybe it won't.

At this point, no one can even guarantee that the line up will be the line up you imagine will be there.

A few weeks ago, no one would have dared imagine two cabinet ministers would resign surprisingly, Dunderdale would reveal five years of secret Danny efforts to sell part of the LC to Hydro-Quebec disconnected from the 1969 CF contract and that Hisself would lose in the Straits.

If two months is a long time in politics, what the heck is two years?

Anonymous said...

nice bob and weave...I am only referencing who will lead the respective Party's into the next election and who will win the election.

Cabinet Mins will come and go....intrigue will follow the admin and bomb shells will hit the news. But the issue of who will lead and win is a forgone conclusion. Take that to the bank!!

Depending on how things play out in the next couple of years, you might be very surprised at what takes place in 2011

I have to ask you you to clarify that statement. Give me a minute, while I pick myself up from ROFLMAO

Edward G. Hollett said...

Sorry 902, 902-one-oh, Nostradamus, Kreskin, Karnac, or whoever you are but it is really simple.

You assume what will happen.

You then claim your assumption is absolute, sun-came-up-this-morning fact.

Well, it isn't.

It might be the case.

It might not.

And unless you are both Yvonne and Danny simultaneously and in disguise, then you really can't tell me with absolute certainty what they will be doing next week, let alone a year and two years from now.

Two years is a long time in politics. Depending on what happens in those two years, 2011 may look exactly as you have predicted.

Or it may be completely different.

That may be very confusing for you, but that's really your problem. I doubt very many other people have any difficulty understanding it.

Anonymous said...

Okay I agree... I can not assume the things I have. But what I can predict with all certainity is that Yvonne Jones will never, ever, ever be the Premier of the Province. Never. If you or anyone disputes this,,,then I am all ears

That is as guaranteed as the sun coming up tomorrow morning

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, I might have agreed with you until recently.

Not so long ago I would never have imagined Danny Williams spent five years trying to sell the Lower Churchill to Hydro-Quebec without redress.

Illusions die hard, but once they die...