10 March 2010



--and then all the people cheered again, and one man, who was more excited than the rest, flung his hat high into the air, and shouted (as well as I could make out) “Who roar for the Sub-Warden?” Everybody roared, but whether it was for the Sub-Warden, or not, did not clearly appear: some were shouting “Bread!” and some “Taxes!”, but no one seemed to know what it was they really wanted.

Once upon a time, as all good fairy tales must begin, one could explain how to pronounce the name of the place by saying that it rhymed with “understand”.

But since “understand” has gone out of favour both as a word and an idea, one must now try and find a replacement.

What better choice than “Wonderland” for a place that these days most resembles the love child of Tim Burton and John Waters after consuming a truckload of the Peruvian marching powder reputedly popular in local junior high schools these days.

After all, this is a province where cabinet minister after cabinet minister admitted over the past six months that they shagged up public finances – spending is “unsustainable” – and the public response is to give them the highest satisfaction level in the history of polling anywhere in Atlantic Canada.


Higher than flag stomping time.

Higher than the January 2005 handout cheque victory.

Higher than not one but two back-to-back record surpluses that put more money in public coffers than the entire provincial budget 20 years ago.

Even higher satisfaction than the poll taken after the October 2007 election.

Without any apparent reason, people suddenly decided to be hugely satisfied.

Ah, but it was Danny’s bum ticker getting sympathy, some of you smarties are saying.

Take a look.  In a question in which people could show love for Hisself alone, he could only manage to go from 79% to 81%. Less than half the margin of error.  Hardly a thing worth noting at all, let alone label a surge. Were the Telegram story signed it could have been a job application to the Ministry of Truth.

And if you deconstruct the CRA poll numbers, it is even more bizarre.  After 24 months of steady decline, support for the provincial Tories shot up enough to beat the poll taken right after the 2007 election.

But that’s not all.

Even with satisfaction levels that Sarah Palin and George Bush The Younger could only dream of, still 15% of the people polled actually want someone other than the current Premier to be Premier.  In fact, half the people who want Yvonne Jones running the place instead of Danny Williams actually think that Danny Williams’ crowd is doing a completely or mostly satisfactory job. or maybe all 15% of them do which is even weirder.

Such is life in Wonderland.