29 September 2007

The past in our present

One of the great services done by John Gushue in this election is the CBC election website and its connection to resources on past elections.

crosbie Take, for example, a 16 minute national CBC documentary on the 1971 election, the one that marked the beginning of the end of the Smallwood reign.

You'll see a style of campaigning long gone, in which politicians like Joey Smallwood [note the preference for the diminutive of his first name], Frank Moores and John Crosbie delivered political speeches to large crowds without benefit of notes. They spoke extemporaneously and eloquently, an ability lacking in far too many politicians - let alone party leaders - these days.

walshYou'll see a very young Jim Walsh, the New Democratic Party candidate in Humber West.

You'll see an incumbent premier dismiss Labrador issues as nothing more than crass opportunism on the part of Labrador Party leader Tom Burgess. You'll see Burgess - eloquent and extemporaneous - telling an audience in Labrador West that the mines in that part of the province had contributed 25% of the provincial government's revenues. The part not aired included telling the audeince that not much of that wealth had been returned to Labrador.

mooresYou'll hear Frank Moores talking about government party candidates handing out cheques from government funds in their districts - Moores calls it a slush fund - and the orgy of road paving. Moores attributes it to a lack of planning and a mere desire of the party to be re-elected.

How times change.