Paul Davis wasn’t around on Tuesday night to talk to reporters about the by-elections. He had a family medical problem to deal with.
So the job of speaking for the government fell to Steve Kent, the self-promoting wonder from Mount Pearl whose fan club makes Danny’s look like a bunch of slackers. No biggie, said Kent of the losses. we are hard at work. Lots to do. Look how far we have come. Yada. Yada. Yada. Gotta keep our stick on the ice.
Steve Kent spews clichés so often he has become one. His buddy, Sandy Collins called the night time talk show on VOCM after the votes were in. No biggie. Lots to do. Keep our stick on the ice. They are all so scripted someone said to your humble e-scribbler. Not scripted, sez your scribbler: sharing a mind.
They all think alike.
Like Susan Sullivan, who backed John Ottenheimer in the leadership, and the guy who won, Paul Davis.
A day apart, they both said that there was no way of knowing what the by-election losses meant. All speculation, Susan said. People say they are very satisfied with the government. By-elections are one thing. General elections are another. By-elections are not reflective of what the people of the province want, according to Paul Davis, totally independent of Susan.
Or like Susan and Charlene Johnson, who got her political ass handed to her in the by-election in which her father was the candidate. The voters didn’t tell us what they wanted, said Susan. They only talked about cell phones and that’s federal.
If only they told us what was wrong, Charlene said. But they didn’t. Instead, they told us they were going to vote for Dad but they didn’t. Implicitly, they are liars, but Charlene didn’t go quite that far. Voted against us, after all we bought them with their own money, Charlene said. Pavement. Water. Fire trucks.
Ungrateful liars, Charlene called them, in so many words.
But she can say that now because she is not a politician any more.
As she reminded everyone in her scrum.
Ungrateful people, Charlene laughed, sounding like Danny after the people in the Straits voted for someone else.
If you asked her, Charlene would likely tell you that all the wins were about her. But the loss? Well, that was about the ingrates. The liars.
Those would be the people of the district she used to represent. The ones who used to vote for her, but now didn’t. Even after she came back, all the way from Brunei. Or Dubai. Or wherever she went not so much to be with her husband and daughter as just not to be in Newfoundland when the next election came.
There’s a joke in Steve and Sandy channelling Howie Meeker like that. Howie had three things he always used to say. Keep your stick on the ice, to be ready when the pass comes from a team-mate. Finish the check; nothing wrong with a clean body check. And put it upstairs.
But most of all, Howie taught the boys at his hockey stool to have dignity. To be respectful. To take responsibility for your own actions. And to be humble.
Charlene was a joke on Tuesday night. A sick joke. There was nothing humble, dignified, or respectful about her. After all, she had caused the by-election when she frigged off out of politics with some cock and bull story about her family. If Conservative Party insiders are to be believed, Charlene was going to go – as she once admitted – about a year earlier than when she did.
But she hung around. It wasn’t to help finish the negotiations that didn’t exist at all when she decided to stay. Charlene fancied herself the Premier, the insiders would tell you. Then she discovered not many people shared her opinion of herself. So she hung around a bit and then left. Took her stick off the ice, as it were, to be a stay-at-home mom, the dream job.
Whatever you say.
When the by-election came, people in Trinity – Bay de Verde voted for a fellow who lived in the district. Johnson the father did. But Johnson the daughter didn’t. Hadn’t for years. She didn’t even keep a district office there the whole time the voters kept sending her back to the House of Assembly. She just came back for visits.
So, the voters visited in their own way. Sins of the daughter, so to speak. Biblical, in its own way, even if backwards.
And Charlene claimed she never got a message in that.
Whatever you say.