26 January 2012

No threat #nlpoli

In a meeting of the committee that manages the business affairs for the House of Assembly, the Tories approved an additional $150,000 for the Liberals.  The New Democrats got nothing, even though they have a significantly larger caucus.

Check this CBC report for a good synopsis.

The Tories used a 2008 report to justify the extra Liberal cash.  Back then, they denied the Liberals the cash recommended by an independent review and, instead, rewarded the New Democrats.

You can take all the political chatter about this little episode but don’t spend too much time on it.  Instead focus on what this little play by the Tories says about their opinion of which party poses the bigger political threat to the Tories.

Hint:  it ain’t the Liberals.

And frankly, that’s a pretty sensible call at this point.

Since last October, the provincial Liberals haven’t done anything to suggest they are sharper than they used to be, more focused or anything else positive. In fact, if anything, the Liberals have actually slid backwards. A series of internal problems garnered the caucus some embarrassing headlines.  Their media work – such as it is – remains clunky and amateurish.  There’s no sign they are doing anything to develop an A Game, let alone bring it. More money isn’t likely to make any difference to them.

On the other hand, more money would have let the New Democrats hire staff to reinforce the ones they’ve got.  The Dippers have been hitting the Tories hard lately;  well, a lot harder than the Liberals. If they’ve been able to do damage with few resources you don’t need much of an imagination to figure out what they could do with more.

So let’s see what happens over the next few months.

The Tories have never been more vulnerable:

  • Sound financial management, accountability and transparency? That’s been pretty much demolished by the latest Auditor General’s report. 
  • The Kiewit story points back to some serious problems with the 2008 Hebron deal.
  • We are pushing up on the latest deadline for Nalcor to cut a deal with Emera on Muskrat Falls.
  • Public opposition to the Muskrat Falls proposal is growing.
  • There’s trouble at the mill in Corner Brook.
  • The government is likely to run real deficits over the next few years:  money will be tighter.

Let’s see which of the opposition parties – if either – can actually score any points against the Tories.

The Tories have already shown us who they think is a bigger political threat.

How good is their assessment?

- srbp -