On the front page of Tuesday’s Telegram was a story on the provincial Liberal Party’s renewal process. it isn’t available online unless you have a subscription to the paper.
this renewal thing has been going on for a while. Dean MacDonald, Siobhan Coady, and Kevin Aylward are travelling around the province meeting with people and talking about the future of the provincial Liberals.
Numbers haven’t been big at these sessions apparently. According to one of the organizers, quoted by the Telegram’s James McLeod that was always the intention.
So what have these people been talking about? According to Siobhan Coady:
“They’re looking for a clear vision for Newfoundland and Labrador,” she said. “They want us to lead rather than just oppose. We’re hearing that.”
That would be pretty much the definition of a PIFO: a penetrating insight into the obvious. The only thing missing from Coady’s description is the old chestnut about “a strong voice.”
What else has the renewal group been hearing? According to Dean MacDonald, he’s been surprised that lots of angry people haven’t been showing up. Instead, the people who do show up have been talking about the future and their concerns.
Again, a PIFO for the most part. People generally are interested in the future and stuff that concerns them. You’d be scratching your head bloody if you tried to imagine how Deanny could think people would be showing up in droves to express anger.
If they were angry, that would mean that they gave a crap.
The last election showed that in spades.
Most people in Newfoundland and Labrador don’t care about the provincial Liberal Party.
And that’s it.
Aside from mentioning that the renewal team will report to the party convention in the fall, there absolutely nothing else in the story.
Well, there is one assurance from one of the people helping to organize the whole show:
“It’s not a PR exercise,” said Dan Kutcher. “It’s more focused on substance than communications.”
SRBP told you about this whole exercise back before Christmas 2011. By March 2012, it still wasn’t off the ground but some anonymous source told the Telegram it would be bigger than first rumoured. The renewal would involve more prominent Liberals. It didn’t.
So when someone involved says it is about substance, it’s time to quote Deanny’s friend Danny Williams: nothing could be further from the truth.
Incidentally, communications and public relations aren’t the opposite of substance. If you have something to say, something weighty and having great importance, public relations and communications will help you tell people about it.
If you don’t have anything of substance, that becomes pretty obvious as well and no amount of bullshit can cover that up. The Telly front page story proves that point in spades.