Friday, June 06, 2008

Similarities Between NL and Black America

In the sense that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and African Americans will be "have" entities, there is a similarity - and it is mainly pride. Next year this province is expected to attain the "have" status meaning that we won't need equalization payments that year. In the U.S. already there is a major historical milestone in Barack Obama becoming the first African American to lead one of the two major political parties for president of the nation.

The numbers tell the story. Right now Premier Danny Williams is enjoying an 87% level of support in the polls. Obama got that much and more among black voters in the primaries and caucuses leading up to his victory. Though there are people who are not Williams supporters - including few well known bloggers from the Newfoundland and Labrador, the general public here, as with Obama's black supporters, are feeling a sense of pride in the changing dynamic of their overall image and status.

Obama has a very good chance of becoming the first African American President of the U.S. It is very uplifting for blacks, whites, and people of every background everywhere. Not just 40 years ago was this unthinkable, but one CNN reporter David Gergen, said that even 10 years ago, Obama would probably not have won his southern state primary.

Back to Newfoundland & Labrador, Williams has an overall extraordinary level of support, and one assumes that people from every region of the province were part of the poll, including Labrador. The report on the poll results did not break down how much support he has where. It would be interesting to see just how many Labradorians are supportive of the government in this poll.

Media reports of Newfoundland and Labrador becoming a "have" province next year, along with record surpluses, have probably been a big factor in promoting a sense of pride, and hence, popular support. It would also be interesting to consider if it wasn't such a big deal in the media, would there be such a high level of support. After all, people everywhere are suffering through sickeningly high fuel prices, particularly those on low incomes. Then there is the dramatic rise in another household staple, flour, continuing problems in health care, and still high unemployment and outmigration.

Despite that, it seems most people are liking the direction of the province, and again, pride is a likely factor. People are tired of being perceived as the poor cousin who is mooching of "have" provinces. Danny Williams' gesture of offering help to Ontario probably boosted those poll results a few notches as well. Whatever else it was, it was funny.

It's good to see a changing political direction and attitude in the U.S., as well as a new African American pride. Black political analysts acknowledge this themselves, and people here also empathize with the feeling of positive image and status change.

2 comments:

WJM said...

Positive image?

Did you have a negative image? When and why?

I didn't.

Charles Cheeseman said...

Did you have a negative image?

I didn't say "I" had a negative image, but other Canadians do. You weren't aware of that?

I didn't

Good for you.

Many other Canadians have positive images as well. Unfortunately, there are those who feel it is their right to insult the people and the place. There are people who are insulted when away to other provinces. Stupid presumptions, and condescending attitudes.

Also, there was Margaret Wente's article in 2005 when she hinted several times that people here were moochers, and lazy, not wanting to move away for work? I guess there are people who don't realize that 1000s from the province leave to work across Canada and the world each year.

There was also a very insulting column from the Toronto Star after Brad Gushue won an Olympic Gold.

Sealing protesters don't exactly pile the compliments on when they conduct their annual seal hunt fund raiser. Lots of negative images there, and it gets perpetual media coverage as well.