02 August 2016

Gandhi, Mandela, and a guy in a chicken suit #nlpoli

If the provincial New Democrats had sent a garden gnome around the province, odds are that the photos he'd have brought back would be more interesting than the stuff Earle McCurdy is posting from his wanderings around the province this summer.

This is a picture Earle tweeted on Monday from a coffee shop in Gander.  Admittedly, it has been a few years since your humble e-scribbler has visited Suburbia-in-the-Woods, but recent news reports suggest that there is a sizeable population of folks still there.

Well, enough at least that a fellow of the political stature of Chainsaw Earle might possibly manage to draw enough of an audience on his own account as to populate a decent size photo.  And certainly enough if the local squad of New Democratic Party zealots got all together in one spot, they might be able to pass themselves off as  something resembling a handful, if not a bunch.

But one person?

That's just embarrassing.

Another picture Earle posted had more people in it but, as you can see, there is no suggestion from the general orientation of the folks around Earle that anyone in the shot was interested in Earle, except maybe the person taking the picture.

The New Democrats came up with a brilliant idea back when the House of Assembly was in session. Back then,  lots of people were fried because the government was closing a bunch of libraries around the province.

The Dippers proudly announced they'd send Earle around to visit all the libraries. Presumably ,this would let them score some political points by highlighting the dastardly Liberal attack on libraries.

So the Liberals decided not to close the libraries.

The Dippers didn't fall for that ruse.  They stuck to the original plan.  And so we get these shots of Earle standing in line at a Coleman's trying to buy a pack of hotdogs or something.  There's no media in it and therefore the whole thing is an enormous waste of time.

It's a bit like the guy in a Pikachu costume who screwed around with a major government news conference.  The chicken costume has a proud tradition in politics, especially in the United States.  If your opponent won;t debate you, send out a young staffer in a chicken costume to ridicule her.  It gives you a media hit and everyone gets a good laugh.

But, aside from the tie-in to Pokemon Go!,  what exactly did  Pikachu have to do with Dwight Ball?  In other words, if the stunt hadn't sent the staffers at Ball's event into a tizzy, then there wouldn't have been anything to it.  That's a pretty serious failure given that Ball tends to come off as the political love-child of Gerald Ford and Joe Clark.

The self-described political left in this province tends to be ineffective.  That's a given.  But it is also amazing given that the Liberals have gifted the NDP with second place in the polls.  What the Dippers should be worried about, though, is not the Liberals.  They should be wondering how it is that the folks that created this financial mess in the first place are now back in first place among voters.  The guy in the Pikachu suit is one thing.  But if voters would prefer to let the Tories back in power rather than the the NDP,  the Dipper leadership team should be taking that as a pretty hard kick in the crotch.