It’s only Thursday and, while Ryan Snodden is working hard to put a damper on the holiday, everyone (but the NDP) is happy just to have a long weekend.
Who, but an N’Dipper, would want to attend ideological boot camp with Lana Payne when they could be freezing their butts off at Paddy’s Pond!
It’s not as if she might be leading a workshop on the political strategies of Machiavelli or the less tiresome writings of Winston Churchill though the latter did intone that ‘the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.'
When you go from ‘tour de force’ to ‘down in the dumps’ you can be sure Frank Coleman isn’t the only one sounding like a eulogy at Fillatres’.
But, it seems a good thing Dale Kirby and Chris Mitcelmore weren’t negotiating Middle East peace.
I’m thinking, too, Lorraine didn’t quite make it to India last summer. She must have stood up the great Indian social activists with whom she had intended to break bread, preferring instead to take counsel from Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers. You don’t need to check her itinerary. Just look at the way she ripped the heads off Mitchelmore and Kirby upon her return!
Talk about Marg, Princess Warrior! Jeesz, Mary Walsh should be looking for work.
Now people are saying the NDP has to build itself back up. Why would they do that when, for thirty years, they were far happier with a Caucus of one and five percent of the popular vote!
What’s the Party to do?
She could start by being less generous to the Liberals.
Look at what happened last week.
Lorraine and Dwight, in a gesture of unity befitting the aftermath of a Caucus revolt, took off to Ottawa to talk shrimp. With whom? The Canadian Senate….a bunch of wind bags who don’t know a cod from a sculpin.
What does Lorraine leave behind? Corruption allegations and possible Government complicity in a $19 million scheme to bail out Humber Valley Paving, a Company with connections to the in-coming Premier.
How much better can it get? It is the political gift that keeps on giving!
What does she do? She stays on the plane!
Lorraine flies to Ottawa, when she should have hidden away in the St. John’s Airport. When Dwight Ball was in the air, she ought to have taken a cab back to Confederation Building. If she couldn’t shake Ball, there are a dozen flights a day to get her back home.
She ought to have known Dwight doesn’t have the political intuition of a fur ball. That’s what the NDP has to take advantage of.
What could be more important to a society than high level corruption? It’s more critical even than oil or fish.
Having left the issue in the care of George Murphy, what does he do? After Liberals Tom Osborne and Andrew Parsons does a creditable job making Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath squirm, George asks the same question three times and has no follow up. He proposes the A-G investigate. He passes it over to Gerry Rogers who changes the subject!
Allegations of a $19 million corruption scandal and Gerry does what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She changes the bloody subject.
And, the NDP want to be taken seriously?
If Lana has any designs on introducing Machiavelli this time round, I’m tellin’ ya’ Gerry is just not ready. Talk about the innocent!
Jeezus, my hair will never grow back!
Now, where was I?
Oh yes. How does Lorraine deal with the Convention this weekend?
She might tell them Dale Kirby is actually sookier than George Murphy. It just so happens that the one who gives off the most gas surprisingly isn’t the one who stayed. At least, thankfully for Kirby, the Libs can hide him away.
As for Mitchelmore, he never did belong to the NDP. N’Dippers can understand that.
If Chris didn’t leave when he did, he would have to invent the opportunity. Perhaps, that’s why they call people like him ‘opportunists’.
The Straits is a Liberal District. Mitchelmore might speak like he’s attending a funeral pyre; but he’s not stupid.
Winning twice for the NDP, in Straits of Belle Isle, is tantamount to lightening striking the same spot twice or, if you prefer, having the same odds as Frank Coleman getting the HVP Bonds released and a lifetime pension, for a year of being Premier.
There are some things in politics you simply cannot control. Danny Williams’ buddy and people like Kirby and Mitchelmore are three of them.
But it isn’t all bad. Even if the two buckos aren’t around to face the Convention they demanded, Michael can still argue the NDP is still ahead of where they are used to be.
And, it’s not as if leadership options are popping out all over. Michael is the most articulate, most passionate, most intelligent leader the NDP has ever attracted.
The Party has to pick itself up, even if it has disappointed a public who once demonstrated it is willing to embrace economic babble over ‘Tory fiscal crazy’.
Michael might remind them, in spite of the difficulties, the NDP broke through a large barrier in the last election and that she brought the Party to 30% in the Polls since - even if she wasn’t able to keep it there. In the heavily contested Virginia Waters, the Party ran a solid candidate. The outcome was not an embarrassment.
Michael will tell the Convention she is the best one to lead the NDP through the next election. Why? Because it’s true.
But, she will need to talk succession, too.
It is not for me to tell the NDP what it ought to believe. But, I suggest, it can never hope to be a credible political force until the Party can demonstrate resilience in the face of failures, the ability to attract new blood including in a leadership role, and the confidence to freely discuss an economic program that isn’t a metaphor for Tory misbehaviour.
It must never confuse the priority of corruption over policy.
Yes, there are many who just want the NDP to be nice.
And, you know what they say about guys who are.
On this 24th weekend there won’t be a single camper at the Convention….but N’Dippers can still check to see if anyone has attended who can help Ms. Michael light a new fire.