Yes, let's talk about leadership
Dean MacDonald wants to talk about leadership. He started to talk about that subject in a speech yesterday. James McLeod The Telegram reports:
In the speech, MacDonald took several shots at Premier Kathy Dunderdale, saying she basically bought votes with “a truckload of money” in the days leading up to the provincial election.It is not entirely clear from the context how much money is in a "truckload". Are we talking a Mack truckload or a metric truckload? Meh, it doesn't matter.
What does matter, is the rather more important question of the whereabouts of Dean MacDonald — he who is so very concerned about leadership and all that — between 2003 and 2011.
Where was Dean, and his concern for leadership, and his eagerness to express that concern, as provincial public-sector spending, and the public-sector payroll, ballooned, especially in the past five fiscal years?
Where was Dean, and his earnest, principled opposition to vote-buying, in 2007?
Deanie took a shot at Dunderdale. Fair enough, and well-warranted.
Where were his gun and ammo while Danny Williams was in office?
He also slammed Dunderdale for leaving the House of Assembly closed for most of the year.
“The House of Assembly isn’t a pit stop on the race around the track,” he said. “It’s arrogant. It’s disrespectful.”Where was his concern about disrespect when Danny Williams called the House of Assembly "wasted time"?
Where was this man's opposition to arrogance in 2007, when Danny Williams gave his newly re-elected government a five-month break from the House of Assembly?
When, as in every year since 2003 inclusive, the House of Assembly sat for fewer days than at least one territorial legislature? When it sat fewer times during Danny Williams' entire Premiership, than it did during the first four of that of Clyde Wells?
Or when St. John's City Council has met as many, or more times than the Hous, in five of the past nine years?
Where did he conceal his concern for parliamentary democracy and its institutions between October 2003 and October 2011? What spider hole was it lurking in all that time?
On the divide between rural and urban portions of the province, he called it cheap politics, and destructive.Presumably, it was also the worst kind of politics back in 2006, when its practitioner was a guy named Danny Williams. Without a time machine to go back and figure out Dean MacDonald's whereabouts at that epoch, we will never know.
“It’s politics at its worst,” he said. “It’s not about the townies versus the baymen — we all know the baymen are going to win that one.”
And you better believe there's more:
But Macdonald also took aim at several of the Liberal party’s sacred cows — namely, Muskrat Falls and the divide between rural and urban Newfoundland and Labrador.A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a guy who shared Dean MacDonald's name, who melodramatically bailed from the board of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro over his principled opposition to a different proposed Lower Churchill project.
The Liberal Party has aggressively attacked the plan to build a hydroelectric dam at Muskrat Falls in Labrador. But MacDonald said he’s convinced it’s basically a good idea, and a good deal.
“While the debate will focus on the immediate, we have to think long-term again. If we build that thing, it’s there for 100 years,” he said. “When we think about a $6-billion investment in the Lower Churchill is expensive, well, talk to someone in 50 years.
That Dean MacDonald rationalized his opposition in these terms:
Mr. MacDonald said Newfoundland and Labrador should not sign the proposed agreement because it doesn't provide for significant amounts of electrical power to be diverted from the main transmission lines to proposed economic development in Labrador.Where is the modern Dean MacDonald's concern about the marginalizationof Labrador, or the affordability of power?
"Labrador is being marginalized by this deal," Mr. MacDonald said. "They would never have a steady stream of affordable power."
Perhaps Dean MacDonald, like more than a few others these days, is developing a case of buyer's remorse.
Or perhaps there's some other explanation for why there's at least three areas of public policy where Dean MacDonald was either silent, eerily silent, for as long as Danny Williams was in power, and one other where the 2011 version of Dean MacDonald is at odds with the Dean MacDonald from nine years ago.
Dean MacDonald may genuinely be concerned about leadership, vision, and the future of the province.
But Dean MacDonald is not a solution.
He is a perfect encapsulation of the problem.
Labels: Deanny Williams