Monday, 20 May 2013


Political watchers slavishly crave intrigue. They anxiously await the opening of the House of Assembly, only to experience an excess of regret, at the mere hint, that the current Sitting is about to end.

Politics allows political addicts to enjoy the adrenalin rush of a game where simplicity and prediction are constantly supplanted with complexity and uncertainty.  For them, a little scandal, a petit embarrassment, a Member’s defection, sometimes even the mere mention of the word ‘politics’ is titillating enough to compete with the CBC’s favourite winter program, the ’Worst Pot Hole Contest’.  The problem, of course, is the ardour with which Anthony Germain tackles the subject.  The politically tilted enjoy no status in the hands of a Host, as lively as he, in matters of the mundane.  Admittedly, I may possess bias. 
For politicos, Public Opinion Polls are greeted with a wonderment rivalling the arrival of St. Peter, and a thirteenth tablet.  Though the rapid slide in Dunderdale’s popularity bewilders, just one more Poll, before the House closed, might have sated the worst symptoms of withdrawal.  That said, it could have been worse; for a while, this winter, it did seem that another power outage would have upstaged even the most ardent observers’ thirst for political analysis.

Still, the entrails of MQO and CRA numbers have been parsed and we are safe to conclude that the NDP enjoys the unmistakable upper hand. Their lead in St. John’s, the P.C. Party’s traditional stronghold, is undeniable; even the rural districts offer little solace to the Premier; the three Parties given equal claim to a rather tenuous prize. 

Having reached what is Summer, in most civilized places, Spring has arrived here.  New beginnings, in this Province, have all the appeal of re-runs on TV.  The Seal Hunt is about to end.  A four decades old fight with a French blonde and American money, better spent on its own Budget deficit, has dissolved into the annual slaughter over crab prices.  Played out on the public airwaves, after five hundred years, the same issues recur like a widow’s nightmare.  We are left to wonder whether even Earl McCurdy has figured out who actually won.

In the House of Assembly, we have been assured that ‘testy’ is still no counter punch to ‘nasty’.  On the quieter days, Jerome yawns, Dwight is still the gentleman and Lorraine is still indignant. Kathy hopes to improve her profile. A $150,000 communications strategy proposes she might begin, well, by reducing her profile.  The strategy should work; all other options having been eliminated. 

As for the Speaker of the House, word is that Gerry Rogers is now providing him tutorials on social media; understandably, he is all ‘aTwitter’.

In the coffee shops many express relief, like the Premier, that they have been shielded from a daily diet of Muskrat Falls. But, consumption without digestion is difficult; in this case, the source of the gas is certainly not offshore.  The public will catch up with the issue, in time, as will most of the media.  Still, to his credit the Telegram’s Wangersky still keeps Nalcor in the crosshairs.

The most interesting issue to captivate audiences, in months, is the way in which Church Bishops have girded for another long hot Summer.  A recent Press Release seems the perfect foil should the awesome heat, of last year reappear, requiring extended absence.

Just a couple of weeks ago, for example, one might have thought that the Bishops had teamed up with the CBC to disavow the exigencies of undisciplined men and their pursuit of those engaged in the oldest profession.  Of course, such licentiousness was not on their noble minds.  Their issue, it seems, is not prostitution, at all; the public broadcaster having now exhibited an ability to be indignant far beyond the Church’s right to be sanctimonious. 

Quite properly, it is now the role of the CBC to save souls; an appropriate role reversal, too, the Broadcaster having no time for economics and the Churches, finally, having moved beyond a defense of Bingo.  They now claim social decrepitude, in the face of the Federal Government’s travel restrictions, on EI Claimants. With the cash economy still a much larger rival, to a more spiritual opiate, the Bishops’ at least, might have demanded the odd Claimant’s trip to the confessional.  

That they made no such demand confirms that one should not count on politicians, religious or otherwise, to give offense. Me thinks, I have been much too hard on Kathy Dunderdale!

With the House of Assembly now closed, Peter Penashue dispensed to the wood shed, the Churches in repose and Darin (the Ayatollah) King proving beyond any doubt, he is an absolute tool, it could get pretty boring around here.

Hookers on the Radio?

Politicos may have to convert to the CBC.

Genuflection optional.