24 April 2012

The rule of opposites, Penashue edition #nlpoli

Federal intergovernmental affairs minister Peter Penashue wrote a letter to the Telegram to take issue with a previous correspondent in the province’s largest circulation daily:

In a letter you published recently, Kate MacDonald of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s suggested that Newfoundland’s concerns have been “neglected” in Ottawa under the current Conservative government.

This could not be further from the truth.

Penashue then rattles off a bunch of thing the federal Tories have done while “both opposition parties either opposed or flip-flopped on these initiatives”.

Big fat hairy deal.


Who gives a frig?

What’s really interesting about this letter is the letter itself.  A federal cabinet minister has to write a letter to the local paper taking exception to the comments of a vote.  The question most people would ask is “why?”.

The answer is right at the end:

In closing, Ms. MacDonald was wrong to call me a “lapdog.” She should know that our province has produced only two dog breeds, the Newfoundland dog and the Labrador.

Like me, both are excellent working dogs but very poor lapdogs.

It’s the rule of opposites.

Not X = X.

If it were otherwise - that is, if Penashue wasn’t some federal politician’s bitch -  Penashue wouldn’t have to write a letter and compare himself to dogs in order to rebut the assumption is a “lapdog”.  People would know it already.  And Penashue would be confident that people knew. So he wouldn’t have to write a letter to the paper.

Besides, Penashue’s letter is wrong.  More than two dog breeds originated in the province. He – or perhaps his mainland ghost-writer – should have checked.  There is the Newfoundland and the Labrador.  But the Labrador derived from another breed:  the water dog. 

And of course, people from Labrador are probably wondering how Penashue forgot about the Labrador variant of husky known, oddly enough as the Labrador Husky.

- srbp -