Sunday, March 25, 2012


I always thought that the Leader of the Official Opposition's job was to be the leader of the opposition. To challenge the Premier. The party leaders square off against each other.

The leader faces off against the Premier, asking tough questions in the daily parliamentary showdown. Bill Rowe, Clyde Wells & Len Stirling took on Premier Peckford. Len Simms, Loyola Sullivan and Lyn Verge took on Premier Wells, Ed Byrne took on Brian Tobin, Danny Williams took on Premier Grimes and Roger Grimes took on Premier Williams. The Official Opposition leader takes on an adversarial role vis-à-vis the Premier

The Official Opposition Leader enjoys privileges such as a large staff, extra salary, an  expense allowance,  a car allowance and in Question Period the leader is permitted to ask more questions of the government.

The Opposition Leader usually enjoys a high pubic profile for the party by challenging the Premier, effectively communicating to the public his parties alternative  policies and criticisms of the government.

Tonight, I realized that has changed in the House of Assembly.  The Leader of the Official Opposition has given that job of critic for the Premier away!.Yvonne Jones, who packed it in just a few months last fall's election,  is the critic for the Premier, not the latest appointed fill-in, Dwight Ball.

I guess some one figures she gets under the Premier's skin and that makes for better dynamics in the House of Assembly which justifies giving the former leader so much of Question Period and time in the House of Assembly. I wonder if Ball and Jones are splitting the salary and the perks of being leader, like they are sharing the leaders job?

Perhaps the fact that Jones has not adjusted her Facebook from "Leader Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador" to MHA for Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair, might be a signal of a political comeback.

Color me confused., I thought she was shooting for Peter Penashue's job!


Brad Cabana said...

Truth in that.

Anonymous said...

you are going to burn for this one!

Anonymous said...

I think the real leader has already stepped forward loud and clear. Jones is definitely ruling the roost. It is high time someone in the party reined her in, before the Liberal Party is completely wiped. I cannot see Dean MacDonald or anyone else getting involved and having her run the show and of course she will. She won't run when they have the convention she does not have to.

Anonymous said...

Yvonne Jones went through a very tough personal time. Her health has returned, she has lots of energy and wants to make up for lost time. I wonder if any of this criticism would be directed towards a male MHA?

Peter L. Whittle said...

I'll go one better anonymous. from 2005-2011, at least three people in that caucus room (two current and one former MHA)were responsible for doing sweetFA to organize, recruit or finance the liberal party.

From 2007-2011, one person was the leader of the party, that person left the party in a hell of a lurch by clinging to the leaders job right up to August of 2011. That is when we all found out how poorly organized and prepared really was. Nearly nothing was ready after four years at the helm. Sorry, that bothers people who are yearning for change, opportunity and a reprieve from a few self-serving individuals who have always been more interested in the perks of office than policy, planning, ideology. Yet we will end up subsidizing there retirement from a huge unfunded liability!

This is not about gender, this is about reality. It is about a more equitable, open, fresh, reliable, honest party full of individuals who really want to make a difference and challenge the government.

Anonymous said...

Yes, agree with you Peter. It upsets me to no end when I hear the word gender being used, I'm saying that as a female. Someone must jump in and so something with the Liberal party, like right now, but, I'm beginning to wonder if it is too late. A pity if that is so.

Anonymous said...

Yvonne is terrible. What i don't understand is why she is permitted to just go about her business as if she was not responsible for the mess the party found itself in b4 the last election. The lack of candidates in St. John's was a tell tale sign that nothing was ready on the ground. That became the talking point of the election and defined the campaign for those who were left to run it.

That is all besides the real point here, which is how come the leader of the Liberal Party is hiding behind Yvonne rather than taking on the premier himself. The traits of a follower, not a leader.

Anonymous said...

Liberals, get your act together! People want a choice and your party is not providing one. What is it with Ball. He says he wants to be a leader but he offers no leadership. Ship up or ship out!