23 July 2007

The Confederation referendum and humour

Every now and again you hear someone repeating the line that in 1948, Newfoundland (the "and Labrador" part came later) should have regained independence and only after that looked at the possibility of Confederation.

There were even a bunch of people who tried to stop Confederation through legal manoeuvres.

It's not a new argument, by any means.

In fact, it was such a common argument at the time that The Confederate even took to lampooning it in an editorial cartoon.

Nothing quite hurts in politics like having a joke made at your expense or having your position lampooned.

Just ask Tom Rideout.

Anyway, as a summer treat, here's a vintage cartoon panel from the 1948 referenda on the future of Newfoundland (and Labrador).

It plays on the idea that the real proponents of the independence first argument were Water Street merchants and their associates who had dominated politics in the country. Oddly enough this was the same crowd who surrendered independence in the country by nothing more than a resolution of the legislature in February 1934.

There are proponents of the same anti-Confederate agenda around these days.

Wonder who they might be fronting for?