Tories bums in the province must be a wee bit tighter than usual this week.
The province’s Dippers – new Democrats to the uninitiated – filed a lawsuit this week challenging the constitutional validity of a Troy law passed in 2007 that lets people vote when there are no elections.
You can tells Tory bums are tight. No, it’s not because of because of the agitated yelping of the local dogs who, alone among God’s creatures, can hear hypersonic flatulence.
Rather it is because of the number of Tories belching verbal flatulence against the New Democrats.
For starters, natural resources minister Jerome Kennedy told the Telegram that
“Ms. Michael’s about-face is disturbing on a number of fronts — first of all, her flip-flop on this matter shows a lack of principles and, secondly, rather than taking responsibility for her actions, she tried to blame her staff for not doing adequate research….”
An argument that starts by tossing aside a cabinet minister’s usual reluctance to comment on matters that are before the courts.
And then to start by impugning the personal integrity of one’s opponent. The vicious, petty ad hominem slur: there’s something you usually don’t hear from Tories in this province.
So sad are these comments: sad because Jerome Kennedy, the leading light of the administration, and one of the better cabinet ministers of the past couple of decades, has nothing of substance so he must instead rely on this sort of foolishness.
Sadder still are his words because Jerome knows that in the Tory version of the house of Assembly, opposition parties do not have the time to research bills properly and investigate them. the Tories won’t open the House or allow any time for such things.
More on that later.
Then there is another Tory who did a stint as the last caller on the morning open line show on Friday. He dismissed the lawsuit as being “particularly hypocritical” of NDP leader Lorraine Michael. Back in 2007, you see, the NDP leader voted for the Tory bill that made their special ballot foolishness the law of the land.
Said Tory claimed that if Michael was “legitimately concerned” then she would have used the “mechanisms available to her’ to suggest amendments to the election law.
Where might she do this?
Why, the House of Assembly, our Tory friend insisted.
This would be the same House of Assembly that has come to resemble a legislative house of ill repute under the Tories. They ram through a handful of bills through in the scarce number of days they let the place open. Parliamentary oversight committees don’t exist.
And even if all that weren’t true, the Tory on the radio knew full well that he and his colleagues would vote down any amendment any opposition politician came up with, just because.
Coming from these Tories, any talk of relying on the legislature would be disingenuous at best
These are the same Tories whose current leader has criticised the House for being useless when it comes to dealing with the truth where the real problem has been her own demonstrable distance from truthfulness in the past.
Their former Glorious Leader routinely made a mockery of accountability, himself, and once mused out loud that it might be time to get rid of free speech in the legislature once and for all.
The thing is, the Old Man wasn’t joking.
What is a bit of a joke though is that this whole onslaught of Tories is in defence of Clyde Jackman, the Tory who won his seat in the last general election by a handful of special ballots.
Where Jerome might be one of only a couple of high flyers in the current cabinet, Jackman is definitely at the other end of the scale. He might not be the most incompetent minister to hold office since 2003. The competition - Charlene Johnson, Kathy Dunderdale, Paul Oram, Dave Denine to name a few - has been extraordinarily stiff even in a province used to having some especially stunned-arse cabinet ministers. You’d be safe, though, if you suggested that Jackman would certainly be in the Top Three.
Jackman’s abilities are not the joke here, though. Rather, the joke is that the lawsuit against the special ballot voting provisions came as a result of the fact that Jackman won a tight race by relying on them, as it turned out.
He wound up in that tight spot as a result of some rather clumsy political manoeuvring by Jackman and his colleagues on the fishery and the Marystown fish plant, the Marystown shipyard and likely the government’s botched response to a hurricane or two.
Now his Tory colleagues are employing equally clumsy - embarrassingly clumsy - political claims to back him up.
And while that may not be particularly hypocritical, it is particularly funny.
- srbp -