Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cabinet Minister Defends Campaigning Against Manning

One of the interesting things about having your own blog is that you can record a piece of history relating to the country, world and one's own province. As it stands right now, there appears to be a great deal of support for the Premier's Anything but Conservative campaign. A CBC news story yesterday received over 240 comments on a story about this, and Peter MacKay's visit to the province. By far most of the comments were very anti-MacKay, and pro "campaign". Some were against the Premier's campaign.

Also happening yesterday, three NL Government Cabinet Ministers were reported to have been campaigning against Fabian Manning in his riding of Avalon, specifically in the Bay Robert's area. Trevor Taylor, Minister of several portfolios, has made no apologies for doing this. (see VOCM again)

Understandably people were and are still pissed at Stephen Harper for reneging on his promise of excluding non-renewable resources from the equalization formula, which would have put $10 billion or so into NL's coffers in years to come. This blogger was also very ticked at Harper for doing this. It was a huge disappointment.
It will affect peoples' voting this time. For many others, it won't. After all, we are all individuals and can use our own best judgement to choose the best candidate we personally view as being the most attractive choice, without being reminded daily about who not to vote for.

Today in the local daily paper, Premier Williams mentioned that he "works 24/7, and puts 90% of his time on Newfoundland and Labrador domestic affairs." I do feel that he is sincere about this, and does work hard. I also commend him for working for the province and not taking his salary. As mentioned in a previous post, he is a bright, talented, capable and successful person. However, I would rather the province was not obsessing with it's anti-Harper and anti-Manning campaign. It takes people to run this campaign, but Cabinet Ministers now? If there was still a $10 billion goose egg as a result of a successful anti-Harper campaign, things would be different. But it is not the case, and it is unclear what the reward for the province really is.

I do think we have an extremely capable Premier, a man that can motivate citizens of the province to achieve to their highest potential. Certainly he is an example of this, and he can offer much to motivate people to build Newfoundland and Labrador.

While I didn't mind being reminded about Harper's broken promise, I respectfully disagree with a full out campaign to further cool our province's relations with the federal government. The preference here is for our MHAs and Cabinet Ministers to devote 100% of their work time strictly to matters that are immediate and essential to the province.

Here is an interpretative summary of how some commenters from yesterday's CBC story felt about the ABC campaign:

I guess all the work is done on matters of justice, trade and rural development, fisheries, and intergovernmental affairs. It's nice to know that with all that time on their hands they have willingly helped out the Danny
ABC campaign against enemies Fabian Manning and Stephen Harper. That should really help the province. It's also good to see that there are so many volunteers working on the ABC campaign. There must be, surely public servants who are hired to run provincial affairs would not have "extra-curricular" duties piled on them. Someone is moving the campaign forward. What a good use of time, money and resources. And no sir, this is not a personal grudge Danny has against Harper or Manning, this will benefit the province - no need for me to explain why, you just know it. Then once we've shown our hate towards Harper, the Conservatives and Manning, Tom Hedderson, can productively carry on his role as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and really get things done, ever more efficiently.


Anonymous said...

The benefit of the ABC campaign will be in having a prime minister we can trust. You don't think that's a matter of concern to this province??? Really???
Stephen Harper recently mirrored one of George Bush's speeches; you don't think that's a most telling and extremely dangerous reality??? You don't think it affects our province???
Stephen Harper lied to NLers just so he would gain a few more seats and get elected. What would he be capable of if he had a majority?
Your concern about further cooling NL's relationship with the federal government assumes that Harper will win the election. You seem to be missing the whole point of the ABC campaign; our relationship with the federal government will be much improved under a prime minister whom we can trust, don't you think? And, ultimately, that's the goal of Danny's ABC campaign.
You've said that Mr. Williams is bright. Well, then, give the man some credit. Do you honestly think he's engaging in ABC as a grudge?
Stephen Harper has made it clear he has no interest in Atlantic Canada. He has said he can win the election without Atlantic Canada. That shows you his true feelings. To support the PCs in the upcoming election would be to support Stephen Harper. And, as we know, the two or three PC candidates who have been elected in the past have done nothing but kiss Stephen Harper's ass. They voted against the Atlantic Accord, for God's sake!!! So, how can electing the likes of those guys benefit NL?
We need a prime minister we can trust. And, God knows, it ain't Stephen Harper.
Open your eyes, man! Vote ABC.

Charles Cheeseman said...

You're missing the point of my post Anon. I'll say it again, it's one thing to remind the public of what Harper did but to be sending out his own MHAs and Cabinet Ministers who you would think already have enough of the province's direct issues to deal with, to campaign against the Conservatives, seems unnecessary.

The public is well aware of the position Danny Williams has taken, it's been banged around for about a year and a half. The public has heard it very often and can make up their own minds, and it just might be to side with Danny anyway, seeing that he is very high in the polls. And if Harper gets put out that's perfectly fine with me - but it's looking like he will get back in as he is still far enough ahead in the polls.

My other problem is this campaign use of personnel to propel it forward. Someone had to put the ads, the web site together, someone coordinates MHAs trips and speaking engagements on this, and someone(s) rallies the troops (PR). Are these people all volunteers? If not are they doing extra duties besides their own day to day job? Do the Ministers and MHAs even want to be doing it? Or do they just have to?

By the way, I gave the Premier plenty of credit in this and previous posts. He has great potential to accomplish great things for NL. I like him but I don't have to like every single thing he does. So lighten up, he's human, not a God.

Trust is always a matter of concern to anyone, all the time, anywhere. That's an interesting point you brought up there because the two ABC options in the St. John's East district took secret bonuses of $2875, and one bought everything from underwear to perfume using the public's money as well. Harris himself said "I think the public is right to be outraged by this." So the public has some interesting decisions to make. Do they eliminate two people for their past indiscretions, and choose between three other candidates from the Green, PC, NL First, of whom very little is known about, or Craig Westcott who is well known, well respected, and from different accounts, principled? It's up to people to decide and if they don't like them they're history.

Again, I didn't mind being reminded of the broken promise but the bigger it gets, and more time, energy, resources and money (public money), that goes into this, it makes me question how wise an investment this is. If the whole province voted ABC that's just fine, it's a democracy. I just might be remembering back on Harper's record at the ballot box, and many will too, but in the meantime I'd like for the province to be as focused on fixing it's own internal problems. My eyes, and ears are very open and I'll be voting AWIW - Any Way I Want!

Anonymous said...

Our internal problems are set in the context of long being A HAVE-NOT PROVINCE OF CANADA. Since we rely on funding and various arrangements with the federal government to deal with internal, domestic NL issues, having a prime minister we can trust is vital.

Once the election is over, I have no doubt Danny will again focus on changes he has more direct control over, i.e. provincially directed policies and procedures. But, the time to deal with creating a new and better relationship with Ottawa is right now.

Who we support at the LOCAL LEVEL in this election will determine who will be the next Prime Minister.

You said that at the ballot box you "just might be remembering back on Harper's record."

Let's hope you do. And, before you mark your "X", ask yourself this:

Who has NL's best interest at heart? Craig Westcott, Fabian Manning, Stephen Harper...
or Danny Williams?

Charles Cheeseman said...

I will be remembering lots of things at the ballot box, including the type of choices in my district. Someone who is from Newfoundland and Labrador should have the best interests of the province, like the choices you listed. The ABC thing has done more to turn me away from that "option" than anything. It has been a negative campaign, and has closed some peoples' minds. Harper made a mistake, as has Danny. I Will be voting for someone who I hope will be an honest representative and hard working, but that campaign will Not limit my choices whatsoever!