17 January 2011

Rick Hillier? Tim Powers? No thanks, say NL Tories

Whatever is going on in Newfoundland and Labrador these days certainly is politics but it most certainly is not democracy.

What is dizzying, to borrow Tim Powers’ word, is the pace at which the province’s Conservatives are trying to keep a back-room political plot hatched over Christmas from exploding into a catastrophe as large as Danny Williams’ polling numbers.

“Everyone should have a right to put their name on a ballot assuming they adhere to the rules,” write Tim Powers in the Globe and Mail last week.  That is certainly true but it assumes that the rules are clearly known or, to be more accurate faithfully applied by the “officials” who, after exampling Brad Cabana’s nomination documents, “decided they didn't fit the criteria set out by the party.”

Perhaps the most useful way to look at this political farce is to use not Brad Cabana as our test subject but no less a person than Tim Powers. 

You see, when Danny Williams took to his heels and fed the Confederation Building, Tim’s was one of the first names some people offered up as a potential replacement.

Some other contenders, like finance minister Tom Marshall and then-education minister Darin King said they would take the time over Christmas to talk with friends and family.  They’d come back after Christmas end let the world know what they’d decided.

By Friday, December 24, though, that had changed.  Marshall, King and presumed heir-apparent Jerome Kennedy held news conferences to say that they’d be backing Kathy Dunderdale instead. Dunderdale, you may recall, was supposed to be the interim leader and had indicated she had no interest in the job. 

Off went everyone to Christmas holidays.

Another minister dropped out and by December 30, Dunderdale wanted the job. Virtually the entire caucus, she said, backed her.

Curiously that was the same day the party announced it would accept nominations for leader until January 10. 

Now if either Tim or Rick Hiller – living in Ottawa, were still pondering their future, they certainly wouldn’t have had much time to get their papers in order.  By the time the party announced that it would accept nominations, the race was effectively over. That’s exactly the point that cabinet minister Ross Wiseman and his executive assistant made to Cabana on January 5.  Since the entire caucus and their district associations backed Dunderdale, the odds of winning were very slim.

Besides, wrote Chick Cholock, Wiseman’s executive assistant, a contested leadership would put at risk Danny Williams’ legacy. “We do not want a Party [sic] divided now that Danny has moved on,” wrote Cholock in an e-mail.”

None of the arguments Wiseman and other Conservatives have offered about Brad Cabana had anything to do with following rules or his quality has a candidate. 

They had everything to do with an apparent desire within the caucus to avoid a contested leadership fight of any kind.  In other words had Tim or Rick decided to go all-in  now that the caucus made a decision, they would almost surely have been met with exactly the same arguments that faced Cabana:

  1. They wouldn’t stand a chance since all the people now determined to be party members had already decided, and
  2. a leadership contest in itself created the risk of fracturing the party beyond repair.

The Conservatives could lose the October election, as Cholock suggested in an e-mail he sent Cabana before nominations closed on January 10.

Wiseman and others did slide in another interesting qualification that doesn’t appear anywhere in the Conservative Party constitution.  Cabana hadn’t lived in the province very long, Wiseman noted in a scrum he gave after Cabana revealed Cholock had visited him on January 5 to try and discourage him from running. Nor had Cabana been very active in party functions, apparently.  There are two other grounds by which both Tim Powers and Rick Hillier would be disqualified.

If you are tired of the tedium that is federal politics, there is a drama unfolding in Newfoundland and Labrador.  But  the party that Danny Williams built is hell bent on showing that what they are up to is about as far from democracy as Parliament Hill is from excitement.

- srbp -


Wm. Murphy said...

Contrary to your opinion ...I have no idea what goes on in Tory bunkers however I find it bewildering that you would once again blow smoke through your ass making these pronouncements before the appeal process has taken place.

Ed Hollett is like the TMZ or Enquirer of local entertainment by the way you throw out these inuendo and speculation without any basis in fact.

I'll give you one thing...it is entertaining.

Simon Lono said...

I'm might see a movie I don't like just once to find out I don't like it. But then I'm unlikely to go to the same movie I don't like again and again and again. Why would I spend the time and effort (let alone money) to go to a movie I already know I don't like just to complain about it to anyone who will listen?

Apparently you have a different philosophy, Murph. You seem pretty keen on going to the same show you loathe repeatedly. Just so you can complain about it, I wonder? Or is there another reason? Just asking the question. . .

Wm. Murphy said...

I'm sucker for movies with a comedic bent and I occasionly enjoy movies that are full of dramatic flare and wild embellishment.
Sometimes I like to go back to the movie to see what I may have missed....and boy do I miss things the first time around.
Sometimes the srbp movies have the same effect on me and I just feel compelled to bring up the parts that makes one go ...wtf!
Tha's the reason Simon. Maybe if you don't like the reviewer you too should stop tuning in.

Lonenewfwolf said...

grow up and stop attacking each other. we got serious stuff to talk about.

bringing up powers (stephen harpers go-to guy for media spin) and hillier (a gun for hire) as the next leaders of our province scares me. they have their place in our society i guess, but do we really need to be considering them as the replacement for the lawyer-turned cable guy-turned millionaire-turned politician-turned energy mogul that just jumped ship? is that the natural progression the rest of you see? maybe i'm in the wrong room afterall...never could figure out the appeal of the salt beef dinner thing anyway.

came across a 'tell' by powers at http://www.thepolitic.com/archives/2009/08/20/timpowers/ last night where powers talks about williams and harper possibly getting together over energy. anybody have any ideas what type of energy deal might bring those two together?

also related yesterday was john crosbie talking about how the shared security border with the states idea is a good thing. harper and obama are going to meet soon to discuss this 'major sovereignty issue'. any thoughts on that issue here and what our hydro resources might have to do with the discussion?

Wm. Murphy said...

'...we got serious stuff to talk about."

No "we" there Lone...it appears that your comments are difficult for most of us to comprehend. From Obama, to Harper to Powers to Crosbie... all in one comment. You are way out of my league pal

Lonenewfwolf said...

sorry there 'other' suit guy.

guess you need that in either red or a blue tie version.

i'd simplify it for ya in detail, but i ain't got the time now.

your 'league' as you call it seems to be one which likes to present 'facts' and they proceed to call each other names, which i stopped doing when i was a boy growing up around here. moved on since then, so should you.

my advice if you wanna play...stop watching fox news, sit back and look at the world and consider where our place is in it currently. do that with no ego, no fear, and no greed fogging up the window of your soul and you may begin to get a clear picture of how all these events link together.

this is no joke, and to sit here and let you media people make it look like it is a waste of education and technology.

the time it takes serious people like me to open the conversation to the reality of our world is wasted because of your frivolous name calling and childishness. now please stop it so we adults can have a conversation about what to do about all this mess williams is about to get us into.

Wm. Murphy said...

Does "Out of the Fog" constitute getting a clear picture?

By the way Lone...Williams is not in charge anymore....just saying for when you and all the "adults" are having your conversation.

He's all yours Ed...

Edward Hollett said...

Thanks guys for the comments. It's really quite amusing to watch Murphy and his anal obsession or Lone and Murph crossing swords or whatever.

Murph even carries over conversations from other threads where he wants me to tell him things that are in the post. Then he insists that they aren't there when they are and he carries off making these wild claims like he does here.

Of course, Simon, as you know the stuff that gets him agitated is anything to do with Danny or any suggestion or comment about Tories other than that the sun shines out of the only part of them Murph obsesses over.

All wonderfully fun stuff but for all Murphs comments and a couple of bucks you can get a half decent cup of coffee at Tims.

Ursula said...

@ Murphy :

"He's all yours Ed"...

The handover phrase of the decade .Substitute "Buddy" for Ed , and you have that same smug sounding attitude of another Ed .

Cretinous behaviour insults no one but yourself .....

Wm. Murphy said...

Not quite sure why you would think I get agitated about anything you write Ed...please don't flatter yourself.

I do find it odd that you would comment on me making wild claims when you continue to make claims that are beyond wild.

If you would like I can fire out a few of your winners. I somehow doubt you will accept the offer because then you will have to talk about things you don't want to.
then again, I am sure there will be many more in the future

Edward Hollett said...

Well let's talk about your winner of a prediction, Murph: Danny will run for a third term and retire in triumph three or four years from now.

And that was in response to my noting regularly for the past 12 to 18 months that things were lining up for him to meet his 2006 commitment to leave politics in 2009 or 2010.

Don't think we need to go beyond that one, do we?

That would pretty much be your most famous example of catching me out saying things that are completely without foundation.


You nailed that one, there, man.

Spot on for your inside sources.

What was I thinking to suggest Danny would run from politics in an unseemly haste?

Wm. Murphy said...

Okay Ed...how 'bout the big public announcement on your blog that you have OVER 20 years SENIOR management experience.
Care to reconcile that hum dinger, Ed

Wm. Murphy said...

and another winner back in Decemebr from the Humble scribe as he has it all figured out about Dunderdale and her future...

"What she said today and what she does five months from now when she is no longer on the 8th are not necessarily the same thing. She's basically tulked up and as I suspect most people would accept the idea she's basically in a caretaker role as she heads for the exit. Fair enough. She's done her time and she's earned the graceful exit."

Nice one Ed!!

Wm. Murphy said...

There was another doozie too. When Ed claimed that the recent Terms Sheet will allow Emera to replace Nalcor in any export deal and enable HQ to gain ownership of 49% of the whole thing.

Just another wild claim thrown out there without any thing to back up the assertion.

I have a few more if you would like for me to continue?

Edward Hollett said...

Three comments, Murph or whatever your real name is?

I figured you couldn't handle that one and I was right. Then you brought up Dunderdale. You complained bitterly when I pointed out her less than sterling record.

The bit you quoted was from before anyone knew about this secret backroom deal.

So what is your point other than that you get very angry and hide your real identity for some reason? Batman delusion?

Wm. Murphy said...

what about the other two doozies ed?

Edward Hollett said...

Well since you have come up with exactly squat so far, Murph, do the math for yourself.

Lonenewfwolf said...

here's some math (and a bit of modern political strategy).

take nalcors projected annual income statements for the next twenty years, divide the average by the total number of nler's presiding here, then take that number and see if we can't figure out a way to give 'all our people' the dignity they deserve.

now call for an election with that as your platform. worked for chavez.