Sunday, November 1, 2009


Hot on the heels of losing the Straits - White Bay North byelection, the Premier picked an interesting week to hold his mid-term chat with the editorial board of The Telegram.

Danny Williams reiterated that he will seek a third term and that he wants to deliver the elusive deal on the Lower Churchill, but he will not sign a bad deal for the sake of getting one done.

He also reflected on the strain or frustration of the office. "I enjoy what we're accomplishing as a government. I don't enjoy the job," he says. "I find the job very frustrating, I've got to tell you. I just feel like it's taking a huge toll on me over time."

It is not the first time that he has been candid about the fact that he finds the job very frustrating, but it is obvious that the toll of the daily grind and the criticism is getting through his infamous thin skin. As he says in the interview it is a tough racket. No matter who the leader the job takes its toll. Imagine the pressure that Clyde Wells felt trying to take a principle stand during the Meech Lake Accord debates or the tough fiscal mess he inherited in 1989. The image of Clyde Wells used in the 1989 campaign posters and those used in 1993 campaign showed a man that had aged, the toll of that office.

I can not sympathize with him on his reflections on the opposition. In his couple of years as opposition leader the PC's perfected the role. Partisanship was the name of the game, nothing went unchallenged. The opposition used scare tactics on a regular basis. One does not have to look past the attempts to color villianize the Voisey Bay Deal or the orchestrated murder of  Gimes's proposed Lower Churchill deal for examples.

For a man who does not like the label politician, he has helped create some of those connotations. It was his government that has fund creative ways to circumvent freedom of information laws and refused to accept independent consultants recommendations for funding levels for the office of the official opposition.

For William's, the richest man in this province, a person accustomed to the boardroom. not the cabinet room, the criticism must not always be worth the effort. These are his most productive years and he has given a decade of public service instead of plying his considerable talent in the business sector where he showed he had a Midas touch. It must be tempting to just throw it all down.

Perhaps the repentant Williams could show that he is above this partisanship and take his foot of the throat of democracy and tolerate accountability. A good first step would be to instuct the PC members on the Internal Economies Commission to provide the official opposition with the funding that was reccomended by the independent review committee.

No comments: