"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What a difference a week doesn't make

The week began with threats of a lawsuit and a Premier making intemperate remarks about intemperate remarks:

I'll tell anybody out there, if they're going to take down the reputations of people that are in public life, then they'll have to basically answer for it, and they'll have to answer for it in court. I told Gerry Reid in the House of Assembly, when he basically told an untruth about me in the House of Assembly, that I asked him to repeat it outside. And I said, when you get outside, if you repeat it, I will sue you. That goes for Roger Grimes, that goes for Sue Kelland-Dyer, that goes for Ed Hollett, that goes for anybody who may attempt to disparage the reputations of people. So I'm serving notice on people now, that there's people out there that are going to take away the good reputations of people in public life, then they're accountable to the courts...
Take that, ye disparagers!

The week ends with the Premier and the Deputy Premier making fair comments of a type that are to be expected in an open, democratic society.

Today, the Premier said, as paraphrased by The Ministry of Truth:

Premier Danny Williams says he's concerned about possible problems with the voting process in the Humber Valley byelection.
And yesterday, the Deputy Premier made the following fair comments in a perfectly ordinary press availability in Corner Brook on Thursday:

"The ballot box was moved from where it was set up and taken around to seniors' cottages so seniors could vote from where they were residing[...]"


On Friday, [Dwight] Ball said that while he owns the Deer Lake nursing home where the polling station was based, he had nothing to do with how Elections Newfoundland and Labrador officials managed the vote.

"I would imagine [the Progressive Conservatives are] trying to insinuate something, but I really don't know why," said Ball.

Neither of these reports go as far as suggesting anything untoward involving the mobile poll location set up in the seniors' residence owned by MHA-elect Dwight Ball. The fuller accounts of the Premier's and Deputy Premier's comments might be interepreted that way, but of course, that would be wrong. Because, you know, in this post-Hickey era, where Danny has laid down the (defamation) law, no politician, certainly not Premier Williams, certainly not Deputy Premier Rideout, would ever, ever, do or say anything that could be interpreted as "tak[ing] down the reputations of people that are in public life".

Dwight Ball is clearly over-reacting. Danny Williams and Tom Rideout, who are running the cleanest government the province has ever known, would never insinuate anything about anybody, anywhere, for any reason.

In any event, the Chief Electoral Officer came on VOCM this afternoon to thoroughly disabuse anyone of the ridiculous notion that anything untoward happened at all. And it was on VOCM, so it must be true.

It is very clear that the Premier and Deputy Premier are merely making fair comments of a type that are to be expected in an open, democratic society, and are doing absolutely nothing to disparage the reputation of Dwight Ball, who happens to own a private personal-care home.

Not only is this the case because Danny himself has said that all this disparaging and reputation-taking-away stuff has to stop, and we all know Danny is as good as his word and would never breach the Golden Rule, but also because it isn't just Liberals that own personal care homes that might have had, or might in the future have, ballot boxes set up in them during a provincial election.

This new era of open, honest, transparent politics, where all comments are above board, and no one ever personally slags or disparages anyone else, is so very refreshing. Thank you, Danny, for changing forever the way politics is done in Newfoundland and Labrador!


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