Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Alberta and Newfoundland Politicians and the Embarrassment of Premature Congratulation

It is easier to keep half a dozen lovers guessing than to keep one lover after he has stopped guessing. - Helen Rowland

Warning: The following post deals with mature political matter and may not be suitable for all readers.  If political arousal lasts longer than 4 hours, please seek immediate assistance as this may indicate a rare but potentially dangerous sanity-threatening condition. Please consult your doctor before engaging in any political activity to ensure that your skin is thick enough and your mind is alert enough.

As the PC Parties of Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador continue to exhibit their weakness in the area of public optics management, I am intrigued by the growing confidence of the Opposition Parties as they salivate over their inevitable victories (as they perceive it) in their respective upcoming provincial elections.

Dwight Ball, Leader of the Official Opposition in Newfoundland and Labrador, tweeted this today:

Dwight Ball tweet

What is fascinating about this tweet is that:

  1. Dwight Ball is the Leader of the Official Opposition with an election a couple of years away.
  2. Cathy Bennett is currently campaigning but is currently not and has never been a member of the Newfoundland Legislature.

The old adage “counting your chickens …..” comes to mind.

What makes the tweet even more fascinating was this tweet by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Caucus.


I would think that after being in the Official Opposition for over 10 years that the Liberals would already have a policy platform and in fact, would be sick of looking at it for so long.  It’s difficult to say since they have not offered any platform of value for the public to examine.

On a similar note, Wildrose Party supporters in Alberta are rubbing their hands with glee while still not offering really concrete, measurable solutions to the problems at hand in Alberta.  They have offered lots of fuzzy stuff but nothing measurable despite what some trolls and zealots insist to the contrary.

What both Opposition Parties need to understand is that while the people may have become disenfranchised with their current governments, becoming the new partner of choice is not a given.

The people will still need to be wooed.  They need to feel that they are the most important person in the Opposition Party’s Life.

They need to be caressed, with promises of a great future whispered softly in their ear.

They need to see daily reminders of how a future together will produce years of bliss for everyone.

They need to be shown the love in demonstrable, measurable ways that show the people that this relationship is meant to last and is not just a marriage of convenience.

And most importantly of all, it is critical that the Official Opposition not get too hot and bothered nor too wrapped up in their own excitement.  They need to pace themselves and focus on being the ever attentive partner focused on the needs of the other.

Otherwise the impulse to rush to a climactic conclusion may result in the embarrassment of a premature congratulation.

And in the course of the afterglow (for one side, anyway), the question “Was I good for you?” might remain unanswered as the people reflect on the current disappointment and wonder “Maybe the other side wasn’t so bad after all”.

They say that love is fickle and fleeting.

The same can be said about public support regarding political parties.

I think neither should be taken for granted.

And come election time, you want the people screaming your name in ecstasy and not someone else’s.  You also don’t want to hear the dreaded question “Are you done yet?”.

What do you think?

In service and servanthood,



  1. Love the metaphorical analysis, Harry. But on a more serious note, Dwight Ball is going to have to spin Cathy Bennett in a political dance different from the current jig they now gambol. Cathy Bennett has never found the "correct step" to questions about her support as Chair of Nalcor for Muskrat Falls and so on closer observation, she clumsily continues in her "two right feet" reel. While people don't expect, and wouldn't accept with any level of trust, a complete flip flop on the issue of Muskrat Falls, the liberal party does need to find some strategy to assist Cathy Bennett and Dwight Ball to create sustained form and alignment on the Muskrat Falls issue. Dwight's Ball's more than obvious hint to people as a pre- pre- pre- campaign assurance that Cathy Bennet is "cabinet material", well it remains unconvincing.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I agree with you 100% on all your points. :-)

      Create a great day!


  2. “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”

    ― Thomas Jefferson