27 November 2009

Constant motion = more delays and nothing new

In the perpetual shuffle process that is the provincial cabinet and senior public service under Danny Williams, three more changes took place on Friday.

Terry French, a parliamentary secretary and by-election organizer finally got his reward of a the extra salary that comes for sitting at the cabinet table.  He’s the last of the crowd elected before 2003 to get the extra.

Tom Hedderson evidently did such a miserable job in fisheries that he has been relieved of that purgatory and given the patronage portfolio.  Meanwhile, Clyde Jackman must be wondering who he pissed off to get fisheries from Tom Hedderson.

All in all, this turned out to be a set of appointments of such monumental nothingness that it makes one wonder why it took the Premier two whole months to figure out what to do.

You may recall that these shuffles were the cascading effect of Trevor Taylor’s departure  - which the Premier knew of before it happened and could therefore plan to handle – and the resignation of Paul Oram.  he lashed a few people into temporary jobs to get over the immediate hump, then lashed up a few more to cope with Diane Whelan’s illness.

Well, after all that time, the Premier didn’t do very much for all the cogitating he supposedly wanted to do. Perhaps he was too busy trying to figure out how many of his personal political staff could crowd into the backrooms of Sandy Collins’ campaign headquarters to make sure Sandy won the by-election in Terra Nova. The answer:  all of ‘em. 

All this comes on the eve of what will be a shortened fall session of  a provincial legislature with the ignominious distinction of sitting annually for fewer days than Tom Rideout was Premier back in 1989.

Very little legislation is likely to come forward.  There is plenty that is missing in action:  Grenfell autonomy, whistleblower protection, midwives.

As noted here before, the seemingly perpetual micro shuffles coupled with a few other things seem to produce a government which cannot actually do very much. 

They talk a lot about doing stuff but produce very little of substance.

And when they do produce something worthwhile, like say an act to provide for sustainable economic development, they don’t proclaim the thing.  Two years and not a peep on it.

Even a strategy on how to keep young people from,leaving the province to find work took 18 months, cost untold thousands and ended up with some really obvious ideas.

The first one was:  “create jobs”.

No wonder people sometimes wonder if your humble e-scribbler makes this stuff up.

Would but that were true.