23 June 2016

The truth behind the key message #nlpoli

Paul Lane, left (not exactly as illustrated),  says both the Liberals and Conservatives trained him to deliver scripted messages.  People are tired of that, Lane says.  "I believe people want the straight goods."

Straight goods.

The truth, in other words.


But did Paul actually say he would speak the truth?

"I'm no member of any particular party.  So whatever messages I'm going to convey are going to be my own messages," Lane said in a recent interview with CBC's Anthony Germain.

Not a member of a particular party.

Just on his own.

Now Paul Lane won't be reciting what other people write for him to say.  He'll just write his own scripts.


That's certainly not the same as saying Paul will speak the truth, whether it's the absolute truth or just the world as Paul sees it.

And apparently it doesn't even mean Paul will be saying what Paul wants to say.   As a politician, you "got to represent the views of the people,  Lane said.  "You got to speak your own voice. You weren't controlled in any way by anybody else."

So Paul really means that as an independent member of the House of Assembly,  he won't follow a political party's line, he will just parrot the words of "the people."  

Uh huh.

What Paul Lane is really saying is what he has done all along in politics.  He's promised he will do whatever is popular.  He'll pander.  There is absolutely nothing new in that at all.  Politicians have been doing it since the dawn of time.  Pandering is going with the flow. CBC left out part of his interview with Germain.  That was the bit about Bill 29.  Paul now claims he quit the Tories because he disagreed with Bill 29.

The truth is that he quit the Tories in 2014 about 18 months after he'd voted for Bill 29.  He told a story about complaining to Kathy Dunderdale and his other fellow Tories about Bill 29 but you have to notice the language.  He brought it up after the Bill cleared the House.  Odds are it was long after,  once it became clear Bill 29 was very unpopular.  With Tory fortunes slipping, the chances Paul would have won his seat as a Tory started to look dim.  So Paul bolted to the Liberals who were foolish enough to take him.

Flip ahead.  Paul barely won his seat against a strong Conservative challenger.  With the Liberals dropping in the polls,  and with folks in Mount Pearl giving the not-so-popular first term politician a hard time,  Paul did what came naturally:  he ran.  The difference this time is that his old friends weren't interested in taking him back.  With Paul Davis and Steve Kent evidently on the outs,  Davis wasn't interested in bringing along reinforcements for the ambitious former mayor of Mount Pearl.

Paul didn't say any of that, not because it isn't true, but because that is hardly the story he wants to tell the voters he expects to send him back to the House or into city hall in Mount Pearl.  What was it Paul said?  Oh yeah:  "whatever messages I'm going to convey are going to be my own messages."  Not any more true than the stuff he spouted when he toed the Tory or Grit line.  Just lines in his own interest.

Take a step back and look at the whole political landscape.

Paul Lane will do whatever is popular.

That should sound very familiar to you.

Think back a couple of months.  The Telegram's James McLeod asked NDP leader Earle McCurdy and Conservative boss Paul Davis what their parties would do differently from the Liberals had done in the budget.  Both replied they would do precisely the same things as the Liberals.  They'd borrow as much as they could get away with,  hike revenues and make minor cuts to spending.  They just wouldn't cut libraries, introduce the levy, and put a tax on books.  Exactly the same, except for the unpopular stuff in other words.

To see just exactly how slim are the differences among the parties consider this. The Conservatives are still hammering the Liberals because they didn't fight to get more handouts from Ottawa, which was precisely the foolishness the Liberals and the Conservatives and the New Democrats either tried to do or supported in the past 12 months.  That's another thing all three parties agreed on in the McLeod piece.

And just to show you how really small the pool of political ideas is in Newfoundland and Labrador, just recall that Dipper-Connie-Tory Ryan Cleary got on with the same bullshit just the other day, too.

Pandering is what politicians do when they have no ideas of their own. but they need votes all the same to keep their paycheque and ultimately get that pension.

Just remember that the next time you hear Paul Lane talking about how often he's been trained to deliver scripted answers to questions and then delivers something other than the straight goods.

Paul learned his lessons very well.