Friday, November 13, 2015

Newfoundland Politicians–Candidates For the People or For the Waterford

One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician's objective. Election and power are. - Cal Thomas

A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation. - James Freeman Clarke

The general election in my ancestral province of Newfoundland and Labrador is just around the corner (November 30, 2015) and as I ponder what type of future the citizens of that great province are contemplating, I can’t help but cast an eye of discernment over the candidates themselves.

As a person who evaluates people using data, I always examine politicians by the things that predict their behavior – things like their ethics, their morals, their values, their character and the people that they associate with.  It is contrary to how many voters evaluate candidates – based on their party, their looks, the selfish needs of the voters themselves or a small subset of the politician’s intentions or beliefs without looking at the larger picture.

It is because of how many voters select their candidates that they don’t foresee where their candidates will take the government and so today’s Leader-of-the-year, can-do-no-wrong hero becomes tomorrow’s despised, have-to-get-them-out-at-any-cost bucket of manure. 

The people leading us into heaven today become the people leading us into the apocalypse tomorrow and yet the funny thing is that they didn’t change and neither did we.  The only thing that changed was the revealing of their character, their motives, their abilities and their intentions.

And so now as I cast an eye of discernment over the candidates in the upcoming general election, some interesting things stand out:

  • At least two candidates who are heavily into BDSM.  I don’t care about their personal preferences but their spouses are unaware of their interests since their acts are performed with others.
  • At least one candidate who believes that they are one of ten prophets on planet Earth who have been selected to channel a new way of living on the planet, advice which is being sent from beings from another planet or dimension.  One individual tried to convince me that I was one of the ten as well.  Really.
  • At least one candidate who makes a living promoting products and services for a company founded by a man who has been fleeing US authorities for years, wanted for fraud, tax evasion and a pile of other things associated with this company.  We are the company that we keep.
  • More than one candidate who already has lined up lucrative deals with private corporations and individuals.  Forget the Tendering Act – it is merely a suggestion that is easily circumvented.  Some businesses are smart – they have secured the help of all sides.  The humorous thing is that each candidate is unaware that they are all being used.
  • At least one candidate who has spent so much time gathering dirt on other people ala J. Edgar Hoover that the candidate is unaware that dirt is being shared about them amongst others with the belief that this may be leveraged to their advantage some day.  Some people have been waiting for an opportunistic moment to take the person out with litigation – the timing may be right if the candidate is elected since litigation is as much about emotion and leverage as it is about facts.

The list in front of me is long, complex, disturbing and frightening and includes most of the candidates.

Don’t ask me for it – I won’t share it – at least for now.

When I suggested on Twitter that I might share it, eight candidates reached out to me to ask me who I was outing.

Seven of them are on the list.

Oh well.

I’m not expecting candidates to be perfect.

However, I am expecting candidates to be in a position in their Life such that they can’t have their personal interests used against them in order for others to achieve greedy or nefarious objectives.

For some, I would expect the candidates to at least be sane since they are leading the Province legislatively, morally, etc.

And while there are politicians who exist to serve the people and leave the place better and stronger than they found it, they are in the minority.

The rest fall prey to greed, ignorance, ego and opportunism – either their own or someone else’s and it either takes them off the focus of serving the people who elected them or it throws them into disarray as they find themselves serving different masters who use personal information to direct their puppets.

When these things happen, we find them ignoring data at the risk of the Province.  When I wrote the blog post Newfoundland–Should We Just Shoot It And Put It Out Of Its Misery? in March of 2014, where I discussed the concern of the Newfoundland Government projecting $105 / barrel oil while Goldman Sachs was projecting $80 / barrel or worse, I was contacted by the Government and told to stop fear mongering.  As I write this, oil is hovering around $41 / barrel and budgets in the near term do NOT look good.  Ego has a way of not listening, doesn’t it?  Ego’s favorite tool, unfortunately, is intimidation and not education.

When these things happen, we find people using power to promote the unqualified or their own selfish needs.  When I wrote the blog post The Power of the Four-Poster Interview in October of 2013, I created a fuss when I opined on why and how someone with a high school education and no relevant job experience could be appointed to chair the College of the North Atlantic Board of Governors (amongst other appointments).  I suggested that it was possibly related to the reality that the minister who made the appointment and the person who was appointed were dating each other.  No conflict of interest there.

When these things happen, we find people who forget that they exist to serve the interests of the people transparently and honestly.  When they don’t as I mused in the blog post Muskrat Falls–Mastering the Art of Communication Failure in October of 2014, people should rise up in arms.  Instead, they complained a lot in coffee shops, op-eds and call-in programs.  That doesn’t change much.

Such things suggest to me think that despite the quality (or lack of) in people who get elected, the Province relies on the hard work and insight of the bureaucrats to make the Province work at all.  I mused about this in October of 2013 in the blog post The Newfoundland Government–Headed For the Garbage Can.

If the great people of Newfoundland and Labrador dare to demand better of their government, I would suggest that they dare to demand better of their own level of discernment first, to understand why a candidate seeks to be elected and whether that candidate is truly capable, able and worthy of serving the people.

Desire to serve the people is not enough – worthiness, ability, capability and intention matter.

The Bottom Line

Many fine, well-intentioned, capable, intelligent, moral, ethical, character-driven people offer themselves for public office.  We should never forget this or the sacrifices that such people make in order to serve us nor should we become cynical of the great system of democracy that we live in.

Unfortunately, it is rare to find all of these attributes within a single body and so government often elates us during the honeymoon phase only to leave us seeking the divorce lawyer quickly thereafter when the elation of the early romance has worn off.

The interesting thing that voters should always ask is this:

Why is it that when most politicians are voted out of office or leave of their own accord, they often leave the place worse off than it was when they were elected yet magically their personal situation has greatly improved during the same time period, with much additional prosperity (however you measure it) projected for them in the future.

To the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, know your candidate well before casting your vote on election day.

To do otherwise is to subject yourself to something you may not like and which may be less than you deserve.

Or at least less than what you think you deserve, for if you don’t make your choices wisely, you deserve whatever you get.

In service and servanthood,


PS For those who don’t understand the Waterford reference, it is a facility that is part of the hospital system in the Province. The Waterford facility has at various times contained treatment centers for those suffering from various psychological concerns and so years ago, to suggest that you were sending someone to the Waterford was to suggest that they weren’t terribly well-balanced.

As for what motivates me to write posts like this, I ask you consider this quote from Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

People complain a lot about politicians but do little, thereby giving them more to complain about.

This doesn’t make sense to me.

Does it make sense to you?

What are you doing about it?


Addendum – The Courage to Not Conform – November 13, 2015

Many times when my blog posts muse about unethical, immoral, illegal or strange behavior, the people affected or people representing them reach out to me and tell me that I can’t say what I said.

My reply is always “If I have said something not factual or not accurate, then tell me immediately and I will correct it or retract it otherwise the post stands” and I never hear from them again.  Oftentimes, what I have shared is just the tip of the iceberg and they recognize that to pursue their intention is to invite much worse to be revealed.

Unfortunately, many people who have gotten used to bullying and intimidating others into silence fall back on such techniques automatically to defend actions that they know are incorrect.

I don’t know what’s worse … that they find those techniques to be an acceptable form of defense for the indefensible or that people easily fall prey to such tactics, even when the people are in the right.

Are you easily intimidated?

Are you sure?

How do you know?

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