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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

They don't govern by polls

We are showing 80 per cent in the polls, the highest approval rating that any government has seen and any Premier has seen since 1949. Certainly that reflects on the leadership and it certainly reflects on the great programs that this particular government has brought in. So, we have everything to cheerlead.

Vulnerability - when you speak about being vulnerable, I remind members of this House and the member opposite particularly, that if I were the leader of a party who was only at 10 per cent in the polls, I, myself, might feel extremely vulnerable. What amazes me, Mr. Speaker, what truly amazes me - because I believe that the Leader of the Opposition is doing a half decent job. She has held herself well in this House and she has spoken eloquently in public on many occasions, and what is really surprising me is that her numbers in polls, since 2007, have not yet been able to surpass the former defeated Leader of the Opposition. Her predecessor, Mr. Reid, had reached some 12 per cent at one point in the polls and she has never been able to reach that level. That surprises me, I say, Mr. Speaker. I am truly surprised because I would have thought that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador would recognize that the current Leader of the Opposition is probably doing a much better job than the former Leader of the Opposition, but clearly, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador disagree with me because they do not think that she is doing such a great job.

Since we formed government in 2003, Mr. Chair, just look at what the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have been saying. They have said it in an election in 2003; they have said it in an election in 2007; they have said it in by-elections since that time, and they say it in public opinion polls. When asked: Who do you want to be the leader of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador? Who do they say? Our current Premier. When you ask them: What party do you want representing you in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador? What is it they say? They say the Progressive Conservative Party.

Mr. Chair, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, the members of this House just should not take my word for that, just look at what elections have said, just look at what opinion polls have said. They have clearly endorsed the policy decisions of this government. They have clearly endorsed the sound leadership being provided by our Premier. They clearly endorsed the fiscal platform of this government, because I say, Mr. Chair, it is sound, prudent fiscal management.

A Premier, rather than seeing a difficulty in every opportunity, we have a leader who sees an opportunity in every difficulty. In his address to the Province in January 2004, this is what he said, "Though the obstacles are great, I know that the opportunities are even greater." Now you wonder why we are so strong in the polls; there is the answer.

We have weathered the storm well and we have one of the strongest economies in North America as a result of decisions that this government has made, and I have no doubt that the growth will continue, Mr. Speaker. So it is no surprise that recent polls show significant support and satisfaction with this government. Why wouldn't people be confident and pleased?

Mr. Speaker, the strong results of this by-election speak volumes to the great job this government is doing in leading and governing Newfoundland and Labrador, and to the confidence that residents have in the leadership of Premier Williams.
This confidence has also been evident in in-depth research polls, such as those conducted by Corporate Research Associates, and we heard these during the campaign. Their latest poll suggested that 93 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are satisfied with the job this government is doing today.

I would say that if anyone knows about nonsense it should be that person over there, and there is no excuse for the way she gets on. We can see why she is at 6 per cent in the polls. I can only hope that she is around for the next election, so good luck to the Liberals when you elect your leader.

Certainly, next year will show as well that we will have leadership, regardless – and, regardless of an election year, we will invest wisely. That is exactly what we do: we invest wisely, we get a bang for our dollar, we get maximum value for our dollar, and that is what it is all about, before we spend. That is what this government is known for. That is why we run in the polls in regard to what we see, in regard to the popularity of the Premier, the popularity of this party as the governing party of Newfoundland and Labrador. That is exactly what we do.

We do not govern by polls, but it is always nice when you hear that people are endorsing the work that is being done by the government on their behalf.

Consultation, Mr. Speaker; we talked about consultation. I have to raise this because it is so funny. The member says there has been no consultation on Muskrat Falls relative to how people feel about this project. By the way, I understand through all the polls that more than 70 per cent of the people in the Province support the project.

I am hoping her positivity is going to spread like the flu over on that side because I think we need more people on board with this. We look at the polls and I hear almost a gasp of air come out of the Opposition's lungs when we see polls come out that say Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are overwhelmingly in support of this project, when we see the studies come out one after another saying this is the least-cost option, when we see studies coming out saying this is the most environmentally sound option we can do.

What do the people of this Province think? Mr. Speaker, if we just examine the latest polls we can feel confident that the people of this Province are behind us in moving this project forward. On a daily basis, they keep telling us: Do it, it needs to be done, move it forward. You have done all your homework, you have done a great job on it, we are convinced, let's make it work. Mr. Speaker, we do not govern by polls. We want to know what the people really think.



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