04 October 2007

The Top Five most irresponsible comments uttered by a political leader in Newfoundland and Labrador

It'll take a while to dig into the files for some of the geriatric whoppers in local political history, but the past four years have been replete with irresponsible  - in some cases downright frightening - political comments from at least one political leader in the province:

1.  The hands down winner: Taking away free speech in the House of Assembly.  Joe Smallwood may have brought in the anti-IWA legislation but not a single political leader in Newfoundland and Labrador history ever said it would a good idea to stamp out free speech in the legislature.

2.  Close second: The threats to sue people exercising their right of free speech, a threat that included falsely attributing motives to the people he threatened.

3.  Par for the course:  Repeated, unfounded personal attacks, all of which the leader in question had to withdraw.

4.  This mill will not close on my watch. A quote so much ingrained now that people don't even need a reference to it. And before someone leaps in here, let's recall it is fundamentally irresponsible to make a commitment you just can't guarantee you'll be able to keep.  Like saying no more secret deals and no more give-aways. oh wait.  Those last two are within a leader's power to keep.

5.  Labrador:  the minute land.  Rationalizing why he left his lone backbencher from Labrador out of his first cabinet, the man who set the new standard for irresponsible political commentary said this whopper:

"You can't have it both ways," he said. "If you're going to cut the cabinet back then obviously certain portions of the province, minute portions of the province, can be left out." — Danny Williams, Canadian Press, November 7, 2003

There's a reason the Tories like to keep erasing their online record.

And why some people regularly archive the utterances.