03 January 2012

SRBP at Seven #nlpoli #cdnpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers turns seven years old today.

The purpose remains simple enough, as described in the first anniversary post:

While much has changed in the past year, the core goal for the Bond Papers is still the same: to contribute to an informed discussion of public policy issues. It started with the offshore and in the first few weeks that proved to be the issue that dominated.

Since then, there have been posts on everything from the fishery to alleged spy planes flying through Newfoundland and Labrador, Titan missiles and economic development. Some posts are light-hearted and humourous. Others have been deeper and wordier. Whether they succeeded in being funny or serious, as the case may be, is best left to its readers.

On the fourth anniversary, in 2009, your humble e-scribbler posted draft whistleblower legislation. 

In 2011, the anniversary post went by the wayside in favour of the daily fare:  Muskrat Falls financial problems.

This morning, your humble e-scribbler started a new short series on democracy in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

All are typical of what this corner of the Internet has become in the last seven years.  SRBP is not just about adding to the voices out there.  It’s about getting at the layers underneath.  It’s about explaining the why behind arguments and beliefs.

SRBP has also become about advocating for new initiatives.  When the province’s most popular politician Danny failed to deliver his promise of whistleblower protection, your humble e-scribbler delivered it.  Look through the archives and you’ll find all sorts of policy ideas for the fishery, the economy and education and early childhood development.

And in some areas, your humble e-scribbler has been telling you things you won;t find anywhere else.

SRBP was an immediate opponent of the Abitibi expropriation.  It was fundamentally wrong, as a matter of principle.  The government never told the full story of why the expropriated the hydroelectric properties in central Newfoundland.  Finding out that the government botched the whole thing and expropriated environmental cesspools made it only more stupid than it was at the beginning.

After a brief examination, your humble e-scribbler also became a firm opponent of Muskrat Falls.  In the year since Danny Williams announced the scheme, more people have joined the ranks of the critics and opponents.  As more people learn more, they invariably realise the project is wrong.

SRBP’s critique goes much further than just picking at bits and pieces of one small part of a much larger problem with the current administration’s policy.  Your humble e-scribbler has already proposed an alternative way to manage the province’s electricity resources that will genuinely work in the public’s best interest.

As SRBP enters its eighth year, the ultimate judge of its success or failure is you, the reader. There are many thousands more of you today than there were seven years ago.  You send e-mails, make comments on posts or in some cases, pull your humble e-scribbler aside for a quick chat.

Politicians used to make angry phone calls in 2005 to gripe about a comment or opinion.  In 2007, the Old Man took to threatening your humble e-scribbler publicly.  In 2011, his successor gave the ultimate compliment to those of us who toil online by singling us out in her year-end interviews.

All of that speaks to the fact that people are interested in what they read here.  As long as they keep coming and as long as your humble e-scribbler can keep going, the Sir Robert Bond Papers will be here.

Thank you for your support. 

Thank you for your interest.

And to each of you, every wish for a happy and prosperous and healthy New Year from your humble e-scribbler.

- srbp -