From time to time, some Minister or other feels compelled to issue a press release, to “correct” or “clarify” something said by the opposition, or to take other, even more blatant partisan swipes.
Thus, we have Monday’s snot-o-gram from the Minister of Twitters aimed at “the Third Party”, a number of directed swipes at NDP MHA Dale Kirby, who seems uniquely placed to get under the Dunderment’s inherited very thin skin, and the usual condescension from Jerome Kennedy.
In the remoter past, it’s been the Mastermind of Muskrat Falls defending Liz Matthews’ honour, John Hickey battling “misinformation”, Tom Lush calling for an end to “negativity”, or Paul Dicks setting the record straight.
But lately, you might think there’s been an upswing in Ministers using the government comms shops to take partisan swipes at opposition parties or even individual opposition MHAs.
And you’d be right.
So far in 2012, the Dunderment has issued over 30 press releases calling on opposition MHAs to get their facts straight, chiding their lack of understanding, expressing disappointment, “correcting”, “clarifying”, etc., etc., etc.
That’s more than any other year on record, since the provincial government started putting its releases onto the intertubes in 1996:
In fact, there have been more such partisan snot-o-grams issued by ITAR-DUN so far this calendar year, than in the previous five years combined.
Spikes in such condescending and snotty partisanship seem to be at least loosely associated with the phoney-war pre-election period — note, in particular, the protracted 2002-03 campaign and 2007. However, thanks to Danny Williams fixed-election date legislation, there’s no election scheduled until 2015.
So what’s up with all this, then?