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

Thursday, December 08, 2011


The provincial NDP have, if belatedly, come to their senses, and are challenging one bit of Danny Williams-Government legacy, the utterly idiotic special ballot provisions, in court.

This prompted a particularly snotty response from Minister of Whatever Jerome Kennedy Is Minister Of This Month, Jerome Kennedy, who points out (correctly) that the NDP were for Danny Williams' special ballot rules, before they were against them:
PC Party responds to comments of NDP Leader on special ballots
December 8, 2011

The Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador today responded to comments made by Lorraine Michael, Leader of the provincial NDP, who attempted to defend her complete reversal in position on special ballots. The NDP has taken court action to have the election results for the district of Burin-Placentia West declared void. The NDP and Julie Mitchell are presenting the argument that the use of special ballots violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In June 2007, in the House of Assembly, Ms. Michael spoke in favor of special ballots and in fact advocated for their wider use in the electoral process.

“Ms. Michael’s about-face is disturbing on a number of fronts – first of all, her flip-flop on this matter shows a lack of principles and secondly, rather than taking responsibility for her actions, she tried to blame her staff for not doing adequate research,” said Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Natural Resources, Government House Leader and MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace. “Our party welcomes the opinion of the court on the matter of special ballots. We take no issue whatsoever with any scrutiny of our electoral process. What is interesting though is the timing of the NDP. If they were so concerned with the process, why didn’t they take this action earlier? And why are they only concerned with one district where the NDP lost? It is obvious that the NDP are so desperate to become the Official Opposition that they have no problem tossing aside the will of the people who voted by special ballot. Ms. Michael is essentially saying to those voters, your votes do not count and I will not respect the choice you made on election day. For a party which has said democracy can only be served with the House of Assembly open, their willingness to disrespect the decision of voters when it is convenient for them is particularly hypocritical.”

Minister Kennedy added “It would be one thing if the NDP were saying they want to improve the electoral process for any future elections, but they want to overturn the will of the voters in the district of Burin-Placentia West after the fact. Democracy is a priority for Ms. Michael and the NDP only when convenient.”

Superjerome seems to have a principled problem with "flip-flops". Flip-flops are bad now. People who flip-flop lack principles.

Also bad: blaming the help. However, in Ms. Michael's defence it should be noted, as a mitigating factor, she never suggested anyone "should be shot over there."

Flying the democratic flag of convenience, that, too, is a sin in Jerome's books. Or, it is now, anyway.

But here's the kicker. This matter is the subject of a long-overdue challenge under s. 3 of the Charter, possibly the most woefully under-argued of all the Charter rights. It is now before the courts.

Jerome Kennedy 2011, meet Jerome Kennedy 2008:
I say to the Opposition House Leader, as a former Minister of Justice, there is a basic principle that we do not comment on matters before the court. Now, that is accepted. It is one that I understand is enshrined in practice if not in principle. Now, how can one distinguish between the inquiry? Now, I do not know, I say to Madam Chair, the answer to that, but I think it would be prudent to seek guidance from commission counsel as to what should be going on in this House, because the last thing any of us want to do is jeopardize this inquiry.

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