People love to read posts that contain nothing more than lists.
You know this is true because every self-appointed guru of the Internet will give you a list of simple things to do online that will make you an instant success and somewhere on the list is the advice to always produce lists.
Who are we to argue with such collective wisdom?
In any event, and in keeping with a long tradition of lists around these parts, here is the list of the top 10 SRBP posts for 2014.
Nor surprisingly, The Great Blizzard/Blackout of 2014 was the most widely read post of last year. For many people this was the biggest political story of the year since it triggered Kathy Dunderdale’s rapid - and long-delayed – departure from politics.
Dunderdale’s central political problem during the crisis is the subject of the second most popular post: A tale of two crises. Rather than focus on the public and their considerable problems caused entirely by Nalcor’s mismanagement of the electrical system, Dunderdale spent her time claiming that there was no crisis. That is, she spent her time defending Nalcor’s corporate interest against the public one.
Nalcor’s interest and the public interest are decidedly at odds. but that is part of a much larger story for the Tuesday post.
The Friday Night Massacre is about the shocking fashion in which Tom Marshall fired all his political staff and slowly started replacing them with people tied to Frank Coleman. The story broke over a Friday night and while it got some notice in the conventional media, the story never got the wide public attention it deserved.
Old Twitchy versus The Telegram may have confused a few people if only because they did not know that Old Twitchy is a nickname for Danny Williams. Watch his shoulder when he gets agitated in a scrum. The Old Man’s shoulder twitches in proportion to his stress level.
The gap between the third, fourth, and fifth posts was small. At Number 5, Tom Marshall’s Puppet Government pointed out that Tom Marshall was acting not as premier himself but as the front man for a larger political clique that existed mostly in the province’s political shadows.
Paul Davis spent a lot of time in his year-end interviews as Premier defending his decision to pay back a political debt to his key organizers and financial backers by appointing one of them as a seriously under-qualified and definitely unelected cabinet minister.
Madness is the Number 6 post and the title came from comments by Tom Rideout on a radio political panel one fine day last October. He called Davis’ decision to appoint Judy Manning to cabinet as the greatest act of political madness he’d seen in his career in public life.
Premier Mulligan looked at the Conservative leadership dilemma in the wake of Frank Coleman’s abrupt departure from politics. The Conservatives themselves were excited at the chance to have a proper leadership, unlike the inside fix job that was Frank Coleman.
The problem for the Tories was that “all of the likely candidates demolished their credibility by the participation in the Coleman fiasco.” That included Paul Davis, the guy who eventually won but who wasn’t a contender at the time that post hit the Internet. Davis did prove the fulfillment of another part of that post, namely that the Conservatives gave no sign of changing even though change is quite clearly what they needed and what the public wanted.
The Manning-Coleman Correlation is about the similarities between Frank and Judy, as well as the big dissimilarity in the way people talked about each of them.
Perks is about the need to make sure we preserve the records from particular administrations.
The tenth most popular post - The World According to Kent – is about the fellow likely to be leader of the opposition after the next general election. The post is actually about more than that: there’s also a fair bit about the way politics appears these days.
So there it is.
You’ve got a list.
For those who like more meat on the bones, come back on Tuesday. There’s no list. There’s just the political story of the year. You’ll likely be surprised at first by the choice.
But by the end you’ll realise just how obvious the choice really was.