06 May 2010

The Polling Month Issue

Yes, CRA is in the field again.

No, not Conestoga-Rovers and Associates doing more environmental work for Charlene in the battle against the Great Satan of the Moment.

Corporate Research Associates.

While many of you might think something else might wind up being a big issue in public during that time, offshore drilling might well top out whatever you’ve got on your list today.

The Globe’s got it started with questions about Chevron’s planned deep water exploration well offshore Newfoundland.

And @cbcnl Morning Show in St. John’s is adding to the discussion with comments by biologist Bill Montevecchi who had a go at all comers, including the offshore regulatory board.

Let’s see how things shape up.

-srbp-

Imho-humtep Update:  This story is not going to develop any traction whatsoever if the best anyone can do is start quoting implacable offshore drilling foe Ian Doig.  Apparently someone has managed to resurrect Doig for a quote.

If all we get to listen to are people who thought Hibernia was a bust then let’s just quote Wade Locke and be done of it.  Next thing you know we’ll be hearing about aluminum smelters in Labrador again.

13 comments:

Jerry Bannister said...

And if anyone doubts how much importance the provincial government places on CRAPolls, Mr. Kennedy's comments in today's Telegram provide another reminder:

"If anybody knows about nonsense it should be that person over there; and there is no excuse, Mr. Speaker, for the way she gets on," he said. "We can see why she is at six per cent in the polls."

This from the same politician who said, in March 2009, ""I don't think we have to convince the public that what we're doing is right."

In between awkward pauses, he then refered to the "still very good figures out there in terms of the way the public looks at what we're doing," i.e., CRA poll numbers.

Somehow it always comes back to poll numbers.

Jerome said...

That probably explains why Danny didn't show up in Corner Brook for the opening of the new court house. After all, there were protesters there.

Ed Hollett said...

Jerry, they long ago passed the point of believing their own bullshit.

WJM said...

That's funny. He showed up to the press release. In fact, it's credited to Executive Council, saved in the "exec" directory, and has Press Thing One and Press Thing Two off the top of the Press Thing contact list.

Super-appropriate verification word: asizing

Ed Hollett said...

Not really, WJ. That release about the Law Courts is about Hisself's district so it only natural he should be in it.

Even if he wasn't there.

As for a couple of the others, it seems to represent a government effort - like stuff related to doctors and negotiations - so the Exec Council banner makes a bit of sense.

Jerry Bannister said...

Ed,

I disagree with you on this point. My sense is that the Tories do, in fact, believe most of their own rhetoric. They may not believe every single last word, but they believe enough that they can convince themselves of the rest when they appear before the microphones.

The Tories change courses and flip-flop as the polling winds blow, but that does not mean that they have abjured what they're spouting at any particular moment. My impression is that most of their rage is genuine, which is why it has polled well in the past.

Their rage may be irrational, it may be expedient, and it may be utterly counter-productive; but that does not mean that it's artificial. No matter how you slice it, the Tories seem angry and embattled. Claiming that "they long ago passed the point of believing their own bullshit" is giving them too much credit, I think.

If Oscar Wilde is one reliable source of aphorisms, Friedrich Nietzsche is another. Here's one worth applying to the current NL polity: "Men believe in the truth of all that is seen to be strongly believed in."

As for how the Tories' rage plays publicly, I have no doubt that pitcher plants play their role in stoking the pyre. But pandering to the public's most basic instincts is not exactly a losing formula. In reading the online responses to the CBC story on Mr. Kennedy's confrontation with the delegation from St. Anthony, my sense is that quite a number of commentators were one click away from typing "Kill the Pig!"

Jerry

WJM said...

Not really, WJ. That release about the Law Courts is about Hisself's district so it only natural he should be in it.

Perfectly natural that he should be in it, yes, as MHA.

Not perfectly natural that the release should have been co-ordinated by Exec and not the line department.

Cf. this example: Minister makes announcement in district represented by another Minister. It's in the line department's directory, the line Minister's contact is the primary one, and the other Minister's contact is his MHA's assistant, not his Ministerial one.

Similarly, this one.

Or this one.

Or this one.

Etc.

As for a couple of the others, it seems to represent a government effort - like stuff related to doctors and negotiations - so the Exec Council banner makes a bit of sense.

In Dannystan, EVERYTHING is "a government effort".

George said...

I wonder how much of the taxpayers dollar goes toward these "surveys" directly to CRA? Seems to be an awful waste of money when there's a huge communications staff and payroll up there in the building that should be doing the work themselves and earning their keep...

Any answers?

Ed Hollett said...

Maybe I didn't write what I meant Jerry.

They believe their own bullshit. They crossed the point where they did that (from not doing it) a long time ago. In fact one of major problems they have is that they have no sense of what is real and what is fake any more. When Felix Collins said "I imagine..." Rorke is doing a good job, that's pretty much the sum of it all.

Ed Hollett said...

There is a cost per question, I think George so it all depends on how many questions they want to pose.

Jerry Bannister said...

Ed,

"They believe their own bullshit."

Yes, I completely agree.

And that explains a whole raft of the seemingly inexplicable, like why the Premier insisted, again, on raising the obscure issue of some Facebook page in Question Period. Before the Tories finish with this little red herring, they will end up ensuring that everyone knows all about the earth-shattering news that someone posted an anti-Tory Facebook page.

Word verification: KINCT. Sounds to me like an acronym for Knocked Into NinCompoop Toryland. Perhaps the entire interweb is now participating in a vast, anti-Tory conspiracy.

Jerry

Ed Hollett said...

The Facebook thing goes way beyond believing their own bullshit.

That's a symptom of just how inordinately thin-skinned a bunch they are.

They can throw all sorts of shit and people are supposed to tolerate it as part of their "passion". But others? No way can they stand anything even one tenth as vicious and petty as they shit they sling.

But hey, that just reveals more about them than anything else.

That Facebook stuff is just an over-weaning concern with image and this obsession with the idea that people will do to them exactly what they did to others before 2003.

WJM said...

That's a symptom of just how inordinately thin-skinned a bunch they are.

Pffft. Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth. Himself told Craig Jackson, in the wake of the "Danny Chavez" comments:

It's like water rolling right off my back. I can tell you right now these comments roll right off my back. Before I got into politics I had a really thin skin and I was reactive and I realized pretty quickly that the only way you can survive on this, is to have a thicker skin. So, when people make comments like that, I don't pay any attention to them.

Then again, this was just a few weeks after he told the House, "I have learned to get a thin skin since I have come in here. You have to, that is the only way you can survive in this racket, but people who come in genuinely prepared in order to try and present what they think are solutions, and then for it to be said that there were no solutions offered - well, the hon. member, when he came in, did not offer any solutions. He just basically stated out, he stated the facts. He basically said everybody was partially responsible for this, but there were no solutions presented."