Friday, June 15, 2012

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Premier Danny Williams legacy continues to be undone by his predecessor.

Just a little note of caution to those in charge, the public is still hugely in love with Danny Williams.

The leadership that promised us determination, pride and strength has been displaced by a secretive, down-in-the-mouth crowd that barely resembles the party William's left behind.  The unforgivable alliance with Atlantic Canada despising Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the refusal to provide the former Premier with the contact numbers of his former cabinet ministers was shameful enough.

Premier Danny Williams promised more transparency and accountability. Under his direct approach the Auditor General was able to audit the books of the House of Assembly. Real light was thrown on practices of corruption, thievery and fraud. His own deputy leader and predecessor was cut down and jailed as were three other MHA's and a senior bureaucrat.

He did the right thing and we were proud of him for it.

There has always been a love hate relationship with the media and the opposition when it comes to the provision of briefing notes and cabinet discussions by governments.

The process of making a cabinet decision is rigorous. The public's right to know has to be balanced. That balance was struck. The government would on occasion stubbornly fight to withhold information.  The Chief Information Commissioner, the Telegram and the CBC have engaged in legal battles to hold the government to it's past promises of transparency, with mixed results.

The newly passed legislation, has put the blocks to any pretense of a bureaucratic independence when it comes to the provision of information requested by the media or citizens. This current administration would prefer to operate in secret. Who are we too expect accountability?

Some people are remarking that it seems a bit too coincidental the new cost information timeline for decision gate 3 of the flawed Muskrat Falls proposal and Bill 29 timeline correspond so nicely. Bill 29 will make briefing notes and the like exempt.

It is a shame that Danny William's legacy of opening the doors of government, letting in fresh air and sweeping away corruption is being undermined by the very people that won their seats on his hugely popular coattails.

Turning back the clocks and returning to an era of partisan oversight will only make for more scandals, unchecked nepotism, patronage and poor public policy.


27 comments:

WJM said...

The leadership that promised us determination, pride and strength has been displaced by a secretive, down-in-the-mouth crowd that barely resembles the party William's left behind.

ARE? YOU? INSANE?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Williams was nearly as open and transparent as you seem to think. I think the current government is merely following what was started with Williams. I give him credit for opening the books to the AG and revealing the scandal. But since Williams wasn't part of the scandal, he had more to gain (looking like the 'hero') than to lose (loss of Ed Byrne). Williams did whatever it took to make himself look good. Obviously he was great at it, because so many people fell for the "heart of Newfoundland" act. I think history will prove he was the most opportunistic of them all.

@mcmanustheautho said...

I wonder what Danny Williams thinks of the controversy.

He is constantly in the media touting hockey, business and Muskrat falls. He even co-hosted the final segment of the Janeway telethon as Fred Hutton swooned.

But he disappears when things get messy.

Remember, Williams campaigned on openness and transparency, but refused to enact Whistleblower protection legislation.

He campaigned to gaurantee Pay Equity, agreed with the Court decision, but quickly stated it would bankrupt the province (he knew it would a year in advance but campaigned on it anyway.

His legacy will be a flawed hydroelectric project, as bad as Smallwood's.

That would be a gaulling legacy for him.

Cyril Rogers said...

Can't agree with you on the Danny love, Peter. Yes, he did allow for the exposure of the MHA spending allowance scandal but then promptly slammed the doors on getting most other kinds of worthwhile information. He wanted to dig up the dirt on others before him but had no interest in having people uncover his own dirt.
That, as much as anything, is what drives this crowd. They are part of lengthy PC administration attempts going back several years, to deny us information that might be detrimental to their "my way or the highway" approach. I will say this for Danny. He fooled the electorate completely that it will take years to unravel some of his more costly blunders. I don't wish to rain on anyone's parade but his legacy will be tainted as more of his mistakes are revealed.

Furthermore, his "term sheet" with Emera on developing MF is as full of holes as the project itself...but his party keeps trying to ram it down our throats. The stated reasons for its development were never the real ones and we see that now in the recent shift to the need for power in Labrador. We are not stupid, Peter....but then again they think we are. If it goes, we are the poor suckers who will pay through the nose for a project that never did need to be done to supply power to the Island.

Why, indeed, do we need the draconian Bill 29? Look no further than MF and NALCOR!

Peter L. Whittle said...

Cyril:

Who says you are stupid. I am simply stating the obvious the man was and still is loved. No one said he was loved by all or that he was perfect.

In politics it perception is the biggest tool in the kit. How people perceive is what they believe. Throw all the logic and reality you want, the mindset stuck.

So when the current premier throws all those reforms, like opening up the House of Assembly, into the trash, you gotta think hmm look at the juxtaposition between the two. tell me, as a ;political strategy where it makes any sense to kick the shit out of Danny when he is no longer these and the perception in the populace is that the current premier is going backwards.

Keep the eye on the prize. Focus on the weaknesses and open up opportunities. The opportunity is in that high undecided vote. DO you wish them back with the government of with the opposition parties?

Peter L. Whittle said...

Wally you know I am mad, but there is always a method to the madness. Surely you can see the trees in the forest.

Anonymous said...

Danny Williams made out like a bandit! Some day you will wisen up!

WJM said...

What trees?

What forest?

From your point of view, what can you see other than colon polyps?

Danny's war on transparency started the day he was sworn in. You cheered him on, every step of the way.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Williams is the head honcho of all this!!! Or at least the one who began this modus operandi by this Tory government. It's just now it will be legally enshrined. After all, he put the sorry puppet Dunderdale in. But that's the leeast of it. He set the tone.

Anonymous said...

"Sweeping away corruption".

Sorry, respectfully disagree and have a list of 600 people appointed into public service positions, boards and committees to prove it.

Danny Williams was as equally corrupt as Brian Tobin. Funny how they are such close associates and have the common denominator of Dean MacDonald.

Peter L. Whittle said...

Wally, where are you these days? Your certainly not listening to the message from the common joe who seems to be have bee tweaked by this issue.

As for cheering people on, I did a bit of cheering and lots of criticizing, which I continue to do, on an issue by issue and team basis.

Keep your eye on the target man.

Peter L. Whittle said...

Okay for those who did not really read the post. The House of Assembly scandal is the corrupt practices that I clearly referred to.

If you genius political strategists want to continue to fight the last war and stay stagnant in the polls go right to it!

I clearly, again, talked about perception. We are dealing with perception. The perception and reality are different. If the public had blinkers on with regards to freedom of information in Danny's era, you are certainly not going to educate them now. The person to beat at the moment is Dunderdale, not the ghost of Dannny!

Get with the program before you get washed away down the toilet of history.

The simple message: Danny offered transparency, he open the HOA up to the AG...big crime buster. Dunderdale wants to return to the darkness.

If anyone wants to read through my posts, you will see plenty of criticism of Williams, in particular his approach to the media and freedom of information issues. Don't let the facts get in the way of reality, which is perception.

Anonymous said...

ah-ha!

I see the trees, or rather the forest.

Anonymous said...

ah-ha!

I see the trees, or rather the forest.

Anonymous said...

the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (“ATIPPA”) received Royal Assent on March 14, 2002 and was subsequently proclaimed into force on January 17, 2005, with the exception of Part
IV – Protection of Privacy.

The privacy provisions of the ATIPPA were proclaimed on
January 16, 2008.

Anonymous said...

Danny William's proclaimed the act, he brought it to life. Duderdale neutered it! Head and tails. Night and day! Good and Evil! Right and wrong.

John Hearn said...

Wow Peter certainly seems that with this post you've... Hit a nerve.

WJM said...

Keep your eye on the target man.

That target is the utterly undeserved reputation of Danny Williams and his PC party from 2003 to present.

WJM said...

The simple message: Danny offered transparency

And did not deliver.

He delivered the exact opposite. Starting within months of taking office.

And you enabled, forgave, and cheered him every step of the way.

WJM said...

Danny William's proclaimed the act, he brought it to life.

And circumvented it at every turn.

Open your eyes.

Anonymous said...

I THINK ALL THIS GARBAGE ABOUT BILL 29 IS COMING FROM MICHAEL AND JONES. APPARENTLY IT WAS MICHAEL'S IDEA TO GET THE FILIBUSTER ON THE GO. HOW MUCH DID THIS FILIBUSTER COST US THE TAX PAYER ? I SUPPOSE YOU COULD SAY IT ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING GIVING BOTH OF THEM LOTS OF TV COVERAGE.

Brad Cabana said...

Peter,I know where you are coming from when you say, in effect, "don't fight this war based on the last one." I get it. But,the evidence has become quite overwhelming that Williams and Dunderdale's objectives are identical.She is doing what the Williams Cabinet is forcing her to do - if they have to force her.Right now Williams is running the PC Party right into the rocks.He has MacDonald working up his Liberal profile ("cred"in his words) at the same time, and they are both focusing on trying to bring the NDP down.The PCs even targetted the NDP Leader as the reason for her oh so shocking accusation that the Minister said something "rascist".The battle plan is obvious.There is just one catch.Has Willaims crossed the line in his use of power, and if so, will that come back to reveal his true legacy to the people?That is the only interesting question left.

Peter L. Whittle said...

Brad:

Kathy Dunderdale is a Conservative Premier. Conspiracy theories aside, because I simply do not take to them at all. Dunderdale si her own person, she is the Elected Premier and thus has to be held accountable for her actions as leader and her actions a cabinet minister in the former administration.

The evidence seems to suggest the opposite...she has shunned Williams, supported Harper and their appears to be a chill in the air.

All I know is that, despite the factual stuff, perception is reality. Changing that perception did not work while he was Premier, it is a waste of time now.

If the perception is that Danny did a great job and was a great premier and that Dunderdale stabbed him in the back and is now rolling back the curtain, should that vulnerability in the current premier's Armour not be exploited to the max.

Unless of course, you feel because of your conspiracy theory that the Liberals are now the enemy because Dean MacDonald may become leader. In that case you need to refocus your energy again. The question is are you pro replacing the PC administration or just anti danny!

Brad Cabana said...

Peter, political strategy is not a "conspiracy theory". Do you consider backrooms a "conspiracy theory". Time to shake the attitude and realize we aren't all that stunned.The question is "are you pro replacing the PC administration or just anti-Danny!" Well usually questions end with a question mark, not an exclamation mark. Would I like to see the PCs replaced? Yes. Would I like to replace them with "same shit different pile?" No.Instead of running people down who have a different perspective of ongoing events with tags like "conspiracy theory" why don't you just admit you don't know it all,and take people opinions for what they are - opinions.Leave the childish bullshit for the school kids.

Anonymous said...

Peter, what's the point of making mistakes if you don't learn from them? More people are realizing every day what a sleazy, bullying government Danny Williams headed, all based on smoke and mirrors. As you know, these recent changes to the Access to Information Act were prepared by Williams long ago for enactment after the last election. Dunderdale held off implementing them until the most recent poll was finished. If she had introduced this piece of Williams' legislation earlier in the session the poll numbers would have been catastrophic. If the public was given full access to the records of the past nine years, do you think some people would be prosecuted and possibly go to jail? That may be the reason for the shameful roll back of Access to Information rights. The government wouldn't risk so much popularity unless something even worse was at stake.

Peter L. Whittle said...

I wrote this post to get a reaction and I am pleased with the result. I am not disagreeing with the criticisms of the Williams administration, what I am saying is that a lot of people love the man to death. If that view is changing, it is changing. However, I do not see it changing enough that it would abort juxtaposing the "open" hose cleaning against "shuttering" information.,,

Wm. Murphy said...

Well Peter...the one thing this Post did was have Wally fervously banging his keyboard explaing the world of DW's transparency dance. I think he's angry...
And then we have Mr. Cabana musing about your childish behavior. Priceless!