23 November 2010

Williams on his political future

CBC’s Debbie Cooper put the question to Premier Danny Williams last Thursday at the end of a sit-down interview on his Lower Churchill announcement.

“Is this your swan song?” she asked.

Williams has usually tied his political future to a Lower Churchill announcement. Your humble e-scribbler put it this way back in 2006 when Williams talked about not seeking a third term in 2011.  At that point, he’d already established a timeline for the Lower Churchill that put a decision to go-ahead with it in 2009 or 2010:
Williams announced his resignation - actually that he would not seek a third term in 2011 - in comments made to VOCM and then repeated in subsequent year-end interviews.
Williams' resignation, likely to come in 2009 or 2010 after a decision on the Lower Churchill, comes at the end of a year of continued set-backs for the premier who has been in equal measures petulant and posturing.
The prospect of his resignation came up earlier this year.  The Western Star – the province’s second daily newspaper suggested the Premier should consider resigning. He didn’t take well to the idea in April, but Williams was in a decidedly different mood with Debbie Cooper.

In answer to Cooper’s question, Williams called Thursday’s announcement the crowning achievement of his political career.  While he said he would likely run again, Williams did acknowledge there “could be circumstances that creep in, like health”.  Williams also said he was always reassessing the situation.
That, too, is a marked change from previous comments on his political future.

2011 could turn out to be a very interesting year in politics across the province.

- srbp - 


David said...

If there is a change of the Tory party leadership, I doubt the Liberals are in a place to even challenge any new Tory leader.


Wm. Murphy said...

It's good to speculate....doesn't mean a whole lot except when he does retire you can refer to your past posts and tell us how clairvoyant you are in predicting things.

What will be the biggest story in 2011, that you will never talk about or mention, is how the Libs never managed to field a full slate of candidates during the Oct election.

That will be the biggest news by far. Too bad that you can't recognize the HUGE elephant in the electoral room. Too bad that you will not mention the sad state of affairs as it relates to the poor Opposition the people of the province can expect for the next 5+ years.

What would happen if someone from the Telegram stopped you on the street and asked you a question about the provincial Lib Party...just imagine.

Mark said...

Wm.'s dead right about the state of the Liberal Party in some respects - but Wm. what about the state of civil society in general? You seem to think that the role of questioning the government between elections should fall squarely on those devoted old souls who lost the last election and the one before. It won't and it can't.

The elephant in the room isn't simply the poor seat count, polling results or media coverage of the province's second-place party.

The elephant in the room is that over the course of eight years this government has put every Newfoundlander on notice that their letters are being read, their expressions recorded, their emails preserved, their facebook monitored by deputy ministers, and spin doctors. They have made the state so prevalent in the economy as to be able to threaten any private dissent, and made the government so paranoid and controlled as to render any questioning within in or outside of it a punishable offence - either through direct retribution or by way of public shaming.
As you and others have snidely noted - were it not for the Liberal Caucus office, neither the Liberals nor the NDP would have a candidate in the current byelection campaign. Until recently, that office may have been the last remaining space in which people could think critical thoughts of the Premier withouit retribution. But the Premier has recently inserted himself in their hiring practices, too. (witness teh Westcott affair, e.g.)
So if you're going to lecture on elephants in rooms, Wm. Murphy, maybe instead of lecturing on the Opposition's potential inability to find candidates next year, you could enlighten us with your explanation as to why that is.

Opposition parties in Myanmar and Zimbabwe have similarly difficult time finding candidates these days. And for all the same reasons.

Maybe that pleases you too.

Wm. Murphy said...

So if you're going to lecture on elephants in rooms, Wm. Murphy, maybe instead of lecturing on the Opposition's potential inability to find candidates next year, you could enlighten us with your explanation as to why that is.

No lectures from me Mark. I think the word count on your last comment shows who was lecturing. I will give you my answers and take on the issue…..

Before people get all fired up with my answer to your question, I have to comment that I am not being cold hearted or insensitive to the current situation with Ms. Jones. Far from it...I wish her nothing but prayers and support in her battle with cancer. It is tragic and unfair

I have spouted off countless times that the reason for the sorry state of affairs is solely based on ineffectual leadership and leader based direction from the Party. It is as simple as that. The Liberals have had leaders since 2003 that are/were seen as people in waiting. Ms. Jones is seen as a caretaker for someone who is ready and able to become Premier. It's starts from the top and the Libs have not recruited anyone that is able to carry the job. When that happens the sorry state of affairs that you referenced will gradually go away. With solid leadership comes the greater ability to not let intimidation and "goon" tactics by this Administration take over the discourse of the province. When we get an effective leader more and more people will rally around and stand up to the bullying of Danny Williams.

You mentioned...Until recently, that office may have been the last remaining space in which people could think critical thoughts of the Premier without retribution

This is true...sad to say. But if we figuratively and literally make the Office bigger then less of this shit will be tolerated. The grass roots are looking for direction they are looking for leadership to set the course, offer alternatives and more importantly they are looking for support when the bully and intimidation comes from on high. The Party should be ashamed that no one has taken the initiative to solve the leadership vacuum.

So Mark, there you have it. Until the Province has a credible alternative then this is what we will continue to have….unfortunately for everyone this will not change until well after Oct 2011……

Edward Hollett said...

Funny Murph how any mention of Danny and his imminent departure from the political scene brings on your usual pile of crap in an effort to change the subject.

Your smugness, though, seems to be nothing more than your own effort to calm your jangled nerves. This sort of discussion scares you shitless, evidently.

In fact, it bothers you so much to talk about internal Tory business that you just reposted your earlier comment again, while pretending Mark didn't already make his point in spades.

What is it about Danny's political future that frightens you so?

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

argh. I tried to fix a typo and deleted the whole thing.

Wm. Murphy said...

Funny Murph how any mention of Danny and his imminent departure from the political scene brings on your usual pile of crap in an effort to change the subject.

Nice response Eddie....I stand by my assertion that the political climate in this province is in part attributable to the lack of credible leadership among the Opposition.

My nerves are fine, I am not changing any subject...I was answering the comment by Mark in response to the “elephant” in the room. Maybe it was “smug” elephant Eddie!!

Truth be told there Mr. Streeter...I will cheer the day Danny leaves politics. I have been on record that I do not condone or appreciate his style or tactics. I have said that many times. So nothing about his future scares me at all. I have also been shouting praise on some of his successes…which you contend that the man has done nothing positive in 7 years. Ya whatever!!

At least I am not as arrogant to disrespect the electorate because obviously the electorate thinks the man has done some good things. Winning a couple of elections and countless by-elections will do that!! Unlike you, I do not think that the electorate is stupid to recognize both the good and the bad. You must find it quite distressing that this Admin is doing everything right as it relates to PR and the smoke and mirrors associated with the art of delivering the message. Damn..they are good and that rots you to no end because this is what you preached to the wide eyed PR students downtown

You see Sport, my contention is that you will never say anything about the Libs regarding their lack of performance, insight and lack of leadership. Until you do, which I know you won't, I will let you think that I am the sock puppet, I will be coy in reciting the talking points that upset you and I will even give compliments to the Premier when I think they are warranted.

You contend that the lack of leadership in the Opposition is not in play concerning the sorry state of democracy in the province. That’s fine if you think my contentions are crap…I think that your refusal to discuss leadership is equally as bad as the behavior demonstrated by Danny…as it relates to big picture democracy for the province.

So you can carry on Ed and ignore the HUGE leadership elephant in the room. By all means you carry on. But I do know one thing will all certainty, that until there is a credible alternative; I will continue to play the charade of sock puppet


Edward Hollett said...

As usual in this comment, Murph, you invent my position on this, that or another subject, and then attack it. Wonderful stuff and undoubtedly it makes you smile behind your false face.

Unfortunately for you, and as usual, it has nothing to do with what I am actually writing about or what my view really is.

Perhaps if you took the bag off your head you might actually see what is going instead of pursuing your obviously personal and entirely petty agendae against me, Yvonne or whomever else you chose to despise from your dark little corner.

Robin Brentnall said...

He's going Federal. Wait for it!