22 July 2007

Summer fiction

On the day after the last instalment in one of the most popular works of fiction in written times, comes this endorsement of one of the great works of local fiction: the rigged Confederation referendum.


It had to be rigged.

After all, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians could never decide the fate of their country on their own. After all, as some of the townies told Lord Amulree, the ordinary Newfoundlander just wasn't fit for democracy.

In his own way, former CBC producer Bob Wakeham turned Telegram columnist repeats the townie nationalist fairy tale that is, after all, the only salve they can apply to their wounds from a half century and more ago.

There's no way they lost the referendum fight because they were politically inept, disorganized and that their fellow countrymen and women had brains enough to think for themselves - no matter how they voted.

Good heavens no.

Democracy? They weren't fit for it.

Why is it that it is only the local nationalists who tell Newfoundlanders how stunned they are? Sure they accuse everyone else of doing it but who was the last person who told you that Newfoundlanders always sign bad deals?

Anyway, here's Wakeham's version of conspiracy:
There’s no doubt that the Brits and the Canucks decided, without consulting the people who just happened to live here, that, by nook or by crook, the "Newfoundland problem," as described by officials in both countries, would be resolved by having Newfoundland become part of Canada; that Confederation was added to the ballot of the first referendum at the insistence of Britain (after all, how could the conspiracy to unite Newfoundland and Canada run its course if Confederation wasn’t a voting option?); and that Canada heavily funded the pro-Confederate, Smallwood side, making the process improper and decidedly unfair.
Confederation was added to the ballot after a popular outpouring of support, not by some underhanded practice. Apparently having choice is a bad thing, if one takes the logical conclusion of Wakeham's comment.

The Confederates raised money on the mainland from many sources, including ex-pats. (Confederation didn't produce outmigration) The Confederates raised cash at home as well

The anti-Confederates had plenty of potential sources of cash on the mainland and elsewhere as well. They just didn't tap into them. They were disorganized, not just badly organized.

And in the end, after all the propaganda and all the argumentation across the country for two years, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians voted.

They voted.

They chose.

They exercised their fundamental democratic right.

In the case of Labradorians, for the first time ever in a Newfoundland vote.

And for some reason, Wakeham and a handful of others others just can't get over it.