23 March 2012

Kathy Dunderdale and the “full force” of her political impotence #nlpoli


Okay, so the search and rescue sub-centre was never anything to go to war over anyway.

Still, that didn’t stop Kathy Dunderdale from pledging to do everything in her power to save all those really important jobs.


Kathy had some kind of special new relationship with the Prime Minister since she and her caucus campaigned for the Tories in the last federal election.  She made no apologies.

Here’s how your humble e-scribbler summarised her scrum last summer when this issue first came up:

Dunderdale told reporters that the “full force” of the provincial government will now be brought to bear to get the Prime Minister and his cabinet to change their minds.  She said she has tasked two cabinet ministers and their senior staff to take “every opportunity” to pursue the issue with their federal counterparts over the next year.  In addition, Dunderdale said she is also going to be doing the same thing, spending every available minute of the next year fighting to keep the 12 jobs in the province.

She tried a telephone call to her buddy, Steve, although apparently that kept the two staffs busy trying to figure out how to do it so that Steve and Kathy were on the phone together talking to each other. 

She even wanted to spend provincial government dollars to keep the thing going.

The Premier plus two cabinet ministers,  all their staff, doing everything they could at every opportunity and with the full force of the entire provincial government.

Well, all that they came up with with less than a little poof of hot air.

Kathy delivered nothing.




Sweet Fanny Adams.

And, of course, zilch.

Kathy failed.

You can tell Kathy failed because now she is telling everyone to frig off and go ask someone else. 

Go ask the feds, she told Liberal leader Dwight Ball in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

As you can see from that tweet CBC’s Jane Adey had later that same day, Kath was telling people to go after the federal members of parliament from Newfoundland and Labrador for answers.  Wednesday wasn’t the end of it. 

Dunderdale continued the foolishness Thursday by blaming Liberal members of parliament for her failure.  It’s like John Hickey taking Roger Grimes to court for defamation over something Danny Williams said:  obviously stupid. The federal Liberals wasted no time in lampooning Dunderdale anywhere they could in return.  Her ministers are going to be taking it in the neck as well.

She’s going to get roasted for failing.  She’s going to get hammered for her photo op with Stephen Harper.

And she brought it down on her own head. 

Here are the political take-aways:

Kathy Dunderdale has no political sense.  Smart politicians would never have been suckered into proclaiming the crusade in the first place. The issue wasn’t crucial to anything and the feds weren’t likely to reverse themselves given that no one could explain why the place was important to anyone for anything.

On the On Point panel last week, Liberal Siobhan Coady excused Dunderdale’s cock-ups.  She’s new in office.  Only a few months since the election.

That’s just crap and Siobhan should know it. Dunderdale’s been there since 2003.  She’s been Premier since the end of 2010.  Kathy’s got decades of municipal experience from before that.  For all that experience, Kathy Dunderdale has no sense of political judgment.

Big Problem.

She doth bestride her imaginary world like a Colossus… So why did she jump in with both feet?  Likely due to a completely unfounded but entirely unshakeable conviction that she can do anything, that she is all powerful and that she can do no wrong.  

That’s the most likely explanation. 

Dunderdale just got caught up in herself in her new job.  Think of it like John Efford in his famous “There it is, Mr. Williams.  There it is, Mr. Sullivan” news conference.  It’s not an act:  she displays all the same kind of prideful arrogance in other places.  And you know what they say about pride.

Stick to your own lane.  The root of this problem lies in Danny Williams’ stupid decision in 2008 to stake his entire political pile on the ABC campaign. 

He lost. 


And then he had to limp through another couple of years as a lame duck. 

Traditionally, federal politicians stay out of provincial politics and vice versa.  If they did campaign, they did it quietly.  No one took an official stand.

Courtesy might be one reason for it, but the real one lay in the simple and the pragmatic:  no matter who wins you might have to work with them.  Better to keep your mouth shut so you can have a productive working relationship.

Danny went one way and paid that price.

Kathy went the other way and will pay a different price. 

Her mistake was in getting involved in the first place.  Again it’s an amateurs mistake committed by someone  - supposedly – with decades of political experience.

How does Kathy legitimately criticise the guys she campaigned for?  What happens when they don’t come across with something you staked your reputation on? 

Kathy is going to find out and the lesson might be painful.  For the rest of us, we’ve already seen the full force of her political impotence.

- srbp -