Speaking of totalitarian approaches to governing, The Telegram's Russell Wangerski's recent column offers one food for thought. It deals with anonymous letters to the editor and people's legitimate fears regarding employment under the current regime.
As a person who lets it all hang out there, I know there is a price to having an opinion, being an advocate and challenging the federal and provincial governments. I have lost jobs because of my opinions. It is a price that I have had to pay to maintain my independence. One can not expect to find employment in senior roles in the government or the private sector, if you are going to upset our rulers. They frown on that and do not hesitate to tell your employers.
I don't like it, but partisan politics has always played a huge role in this province. Government spending and regulation ensures that most companies tow the line for fear of being blacklisted. Take Craig Westcott, a reporter and newspaper editor. Some business people were afraid to advertise in his papers because they feared it would reflect badly on them because Westcott's disdain for Premier Williams was very public.
An exaggeration you might suggest. I wish that were true. I know at least six senior engineers who have grave concerns about Muskrat Falls. They speak in hushed tones, in dark corners and through anonymous e-mails because they fear for their jobs. Imagine, in our great democracy, that so many people died to protect, people fear the uncompromising reach of our own government.
The letter that Wangerski printed today is a straightforward personal opinion, Something that anyone should have the right to articulate. It is not partisan, defamatory or controversial. Yet the author was genuinely afraid to use his or her name?
The current government hold us in contempt. They question the right of individuals, bloggers, reporters and the opposition to comment. They assassinate the character of those that dare oppose them. Well, I have a message for them, they have reached the tipping point where the public has had enough.
People should be rising up in the streets, in the out-ports and at Confederation Hill to denounce this anti-democratic gang of thugs and bullies. This is a democracy, we should not be afraid to vote with our feet or our words. If anyone wonders why not opening the House of Assembly was a big deal, just read the headlines, sense the smell of fear in the air that a bunch of incompetents has seized power intent on doing what it wants, when it wants to whom it wants because they can not be challenged.
Arrogance, tyranny, disrespect, near totalitarianism
That is the state of democracy in our province, and our country.
Are we going take it?