22 January 2009

Lacking Ig-magination in shadow cabinet making

The guy from Nova Scotia gets the oil and gas portfolio, even though his province doesn’t produce a gigantic slice of the country’s light, sweet crude.

The guy from the province that does, gets fish.


Go figure.

For a recycled idea, the only thing fitting is a recycled critique:

But for far too long, Newfoundland and Labrador has been politically regarded as the home of fish and whine.

Count up the number of times fisheries and oceans in any party has gone to a Newfoundlander since 1949 either as minister or as an opposition critic. You'll quickly get the point.

Second, there is an even greater conflict created by putting in charge of fisheries (or acting as the critic) any politician from a province where the fishery is less a business than a Frankenstein exercise in social engineering.

The tinfoil hat brigade, the anti-Confederate sasquatch hunters will leap forward to blame the evil machinations of "Ottawa" for the plight of the local industry.  The sad reality is that the current mess is entirely the construction of the political, social and business interests of Newfoundland and Labrador, over successive generations, who have forestalled, undermined and otherwise opposed any real and positive reform.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the fishery is a cult.  As with any cult, it has its high priests who will rush to the temple altar - in this case the local open line shows and fisheries broadcast - to declare any reformer as a traitor, as a heretic.  It is an inbred cult where satisfaction comes from shagging your own.  Onlookers are distracted from the spectacle by the claim that outsiders have covetous designs on the defiled or that foreigners need to be driven from what is left of the sanctuary.

Now don’t misunderstand.

Gerry’s a fine enough fellow even if – in his asinine crusade against Marine Atlantic – he forgets that this province is already connected to the rest of the country via a land link.   Hint:  Ask Todd about this mysterious place called Labrador.

Once again, we can only be underwhelmed by the potential for change represented by the Liberal’s latest shadow cabinet.