21 June 2014

Welcome Back, Cochrane #nlpoli

If you are needing a political fix this weekend you can get two of the better variety online.

David Cochrane is back from an extended absence and to celebrate, he’s clacked out a synopsis of recent going’s on in the Conservative leadership fiasco.  He’s got all the details of stuff that’s been flying around town, right down to the story about how the victims of the Friday Night Massacre found their security passes to the building cut off while they were trying to move out that fateful Friday.

There’s a hint in Cochrane’s piece of another story worth telling but that we’ve been largely missing out on in conventional media reports of the Coleman fiasco:  namely the “why” bit.  People are still wondering, among other things:

  • why Coleman ran in the first place, 
  • why everyone else dropped out of the race so easily for a guy who was clearly a political non-entity,
  • why he picked the political team he picked,
  • why his political team seemed so grossly incompetent that they miss his anti-abortion beliefs entirely,
  • why Coleman delayed taking office for so incredibly long,
  • why someone decided to punt the entire staff of the Premier’s Office six weeks in advance,  and,
  • why Tom Marshall went along with it given what happened to Tom Rideout when he did the same thing in 1989. 

In other words, the whole thing remains an enormous political mystery before you even get to wondering why Frank bail-out suddenly and – as Cochrane notes – to the apparent surprise of everyone at the centre of the Tory party and the current administration.

The result is a bit easier to make out:  whoever takes over the party now has to cope with a mere shell.  The Friday Night Massacre just added to the internal fractures and divisions that were already apparent since 2010 when Williams left.  Hint:  anyone remember his complaint about having to deal with internal party problems?

For a lighter touch,  check out an old favourite:  Townie Bastard.  The greatest insight you will find into local politics comes from someone physically removed from the province altogether.  Okay, well, technically, he is only the distance from Iqaluit to Cape Chidley but  he could be a million freakin’ miles away given how clearly Craig Welsh sees things.

Bring back Commission of Government” may have a light tone but that just masks the razor sharp points coming at you.  Newfoundland and Labrador is only a one and a half party state, for starters.

Least you think this means I love the Liberals or the Tories...I'm not sure if you've noticed, but they're the same damn party. There was a story that came out of the Liberal convention last weekend about all the people wanting to run for the Liberals in the next election. Same thing happened when Danny Williams took over back in 2003. Or Brian Tobin in '96. Etc, etc...Not because people suddenly became Conservative, or suddenly became Liberal, it's because people like winners. And right now, Red looks like a winner. In 2003, Blue looked like a winner.

Allow me to gaze into my crystal ball and tell you the next 12 years. Dwight Ball and Red wins the election. He'll win re-election around 2019 and will step down about two years into that term. Then Red will elect a new leader, who will start to make a hash of things, but will still win re-election in 2013. But shortly after that, people will get tired of the colour Red. Blue will have elected a new cult of personality who passes as a leader. People will start leaving Red and wanting to run for Blue, because Blue is awesome and Red has always kind of sucked.

And so the cycle continues.

Go to Memorial and apply for credit for Newfoundland Politics since 1949.  You just got the course synopsis right there.

Don’t stop there.  Craig gets better and that would be a hard thing for normal people to do, given that those two paragraphs are pretty damn good. 

Craig does it.

That’s right:  Craig isn’t normal.

Those two pieces will give you a solid political fix that should last until next week sometime.  By then the bizarro world of local politics should have offered up another hit for you. 

That’s just the way it is.