05 January 2010

In your wildest dreams…

You likely never imagined a popular revolt at the idea that parliament would not be sitting for about the same number of days that Tom Rideout was Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

[Okay, well, it would actually be longer than that but just go with it for now.]

But revolting the people are.

Well, at least a chunk of them.

425168238v0_350x350_Front_Color-White Susan Delacourt surveyed some of the online efforts, including this tee being flogged by the crowd at rabble.ca. 

Click and you’ll get the rabble.ca Cafepress store.  Go ahead.  Click it. Your humble e-scribbler doesn’t get a cut.

Meanwhile in Newfoundland and Labrador, does anyone care that the provincial legislature only sits  - in total  - for the same number of  days Tom was Premier?



WJM said...

"Remember the prorogue"?


Ed Hollett said...

No one said it was genius.

Wm. Murphy said...

Meanwhile in Newfoundland and Labrador, does anyone care that the provincial legislature only sits - in total - for the same number of days Tom was Premier?

The simple answer is no however some do. I guess the real question is why?

The reasons I believe are once again based not on the shortcomings of the governing Party, but largely on the ineptness and lack of Leadership from the Opposition. It can be argued that if DW had formidable opponents and strong contenders to replace the ruling Party then their interest to show a strong, solid and effective legislative agenda, would follow.

While it is true that strong Leadership from the Opposition might in fact have the opposite affect...I think that DW would "step up" in the Legislature as opposed to "stepping up" in the media arena. The meek cries from the Opposition concerning this travesty, is inexcusable. Beside a few mutterings and the obligatory press release moaning about the lack of sitting days, the Opposition have dropped the ball miserably in informing the general public the need to have the House opened.

This disconnect... that the Legislative process to governing is not important... is the real question that needs to be addressed. This Administion's contempt for the House is the height of arrogance and for the life of me, I do not understand why this arrogance is not exploited by both the Opposition and the media.

Wm. Murphy

WJM said...

What I don't understand is why so many of the locals who are (rightfully) speaking out about the federal prorogation are absolutely and utterly silent about the withering away of the provincial legislature and other inconvenient bits of democracy.

New said...

It appears the entire government is MIA. There must be some sort of extended holiday for HIS Government this week. Two press releases? The first being from an outside agency. The second amounting to a TV Guide listing? For a province in economic turmoil they sure know how to keep their priorities straight.

WJM said...

For a province in economic turmoil they sure know how to keep their priorities straight.

Turmoil? Haven't you learned how to be economically optimistic yet?

You should report for re-education.

Wm. Murphy said...

For a province in economic turmoil

There is no economic turmoil. Problems..yes, but ...turmoil, no.

This province, put up against other provinces is doing comparitively better than others.
There are other areas of turmoil however you are off base to think it is economics

Wm. Murphy

Ed Hollett said...

I am curious about this variation on the bubble argument that is making the rounds. It holds that compared to others we are coming through the recession without much of an impact or that we aren't being effected as badly.

Is that true in the fishery?






No one states the comparisons being used. They just seem to make the claim. It seems to me to be pretty much a load of crap being spun out there for various reasons.

It's like CBC reporting on a US governmentment contractor and another manufacturer. In the first instance they guy is smart enough to do his numbers correctly so that he isn't counting on the dollar premium for his profit. All he has lost - in the short term - is his gravy.

But that doesn't say a thing about the impact the American downturn and high dollar is having on all the sectors that aren't one single manufacturing company:

like forestry, mining, oil and the fishery.

So on what basis are you making that "relatively better off" comparison." Compared to the US we are better off. But in Canada?

To me eyes the provincial economy is getting hit as hard as most are getting it.

You can't have such a chunk of your economy dependent on the US marketplace and NOT be significantly affected in this kind of downturn.

Wm. Murphy said...

Points taken.

A few indicators for me that we are better off comparatively are:

1. Consumer confidence and spending is up this past quarter. This is comparatively better than other prov. jurisdictions

2. NL reduced its debt by 2.2 billion last year. On a comparitave/ratio basis that is better than other areas in Canada.

I never mentioned that we are not significantly impacted by the global/US recession. I responded that we are not in turmoil. Relatively speaking, we "seem" to be doing fairly well.

Of course there is the argument... What does "fairly well", "seem" and "turmoil" mean?

Wm. Murphy

Ed Hollett said...

A large part of this first thing is psychology.

One of the reasons why governments (fed and prov) have been working to keep the illusion of a bubble going is so you and I will keep our wallets open and feed them taxes through our purchases.

Businesses like to pretend things aren't tight so we will keep buying their products. The latest CFIB release on business confidence shows some businesses are not as confident as they were the month before.

So increased consumer confidence or spending isn't a sign of anything other than the the effectiveness of the myth-making machine that everything here is magically unaffected by events south of the border.

It also reflects the effectiveness of measuring these sorts of things where the biggest single chunk of the population is located (St. John's) and where all those lovely public servants keep spending like there is no tomorrow.

In June 2008, no one believed there was a colapse coming. Even the Premier was in heavy denial in November.

My point: things aren't what they seem and things can and will change but not in the way everyone wishes.

On the second point, NL didn't reduce it's debt by anything like 2.2 billion. It reduced its net debt, if anything.

As taxpayers you and I owe as much in accumulated borrowings etc as we did last year. That's why I posted all those extracts from the public accounts back before Christmas. In some respects we owe more now than we did five years ago. (right off the top of my head)

And since some of that apparent reduction comes as a result of cash which is - to one extent or another - encumbered or will be encumbered shortly, it really wouldn't take very many more years of deficit spending to have us right back where we were in 2005/06 or so.

In others words, it wouldn't take much to put us back in hock up to our eyeballs.

But if you look at real measures - things like employment levels - this place is being hit just as significantly and in some instances more severely than others.

Even our own provincial government is really forecasting that we will be hit more severely than any other province. People seem to have conveniently missed that forecast of an 8.8% drop in GDP this year, increased from the March 2008 forecast.

Lots of people are in denial. I just hope their wishes are more accurate than the provincial finance forecasts.