I have received some disturbing correspondence regarding my continued push for a referendum on sanctioning the Muskrat Falls Deal as proposed.
So much for the Proud and Determined Newfoundlander and Labradorian. The five general themes have emerged, all of them self-defeating, some are purely elitist.
#1. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are too stupid to understand the complexities of this deal. They will mess-up a good project out of emotion. As if the Quebec Hydro rhetoric is not propaganda meant to stir the heart at the expense of the mind. Come on, give me a break, let us read the data, hear the debates and the discussion, than make a decision.
#2. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are resigned to the fact that this is a done deal. There is nothing they can do to influence the outcome. Purely self defeatist. If enough people oppose the project and show concern by marching, protesting and doing sit-ins the government will have no choice but to listen. Giving up is akin to abandoning democracy. The Power Is In Our Hands. The government is counting on your resignation, your indifference and your confusion.
#3. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will not participate. They will not vote. You are too lazy to have a say in the expenditure of $8 Billion of your money. That you are not interested in signing this gigantic cheque with you signature – your vote. No, they prefer a blank cheque with an arbitrary signature. Give people a chance to say yay or nay!
#4. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians elected this government, and this crop of politicians to make these decisions. They will consider each and every argument and consideration. They will vote for what is best for us. Trust them!
#5. The cost. The government can not justify the cost of a referendum. It is expensive and unnecessary. Voisey’s Bay did not go to a referendum? Yea, democracy is expensive. Let us just cancel all elections. They are senseless anyways. Seriously, our Premier wants you to trust her with the largest single expenditure in our province, potentially doubling our provincial debt load and we should just accede, with out a direct say – because democracy is too costly. I do not buy it. While I believe it is important to keep both practical/technical and political considerations in mind, raw politics should not trump reasonably discourse and democracy.
In my humble opinion, everyone of voting age in this province should have a say in the final sanctioning of this project. There is a higher power than the House of Assembly, than the Constitution…it is the electorate.
Is it too much to ask the parties to convey in a clear and concise manner what the benefits and the risks are and let us have a vote on the proceeding. We are not a developing democracy, a third world country (although our draconian Bill 29 has many people wondering about that) with no experience in democracy. Controversial "initiatives" should go to the public for a final stamp of approval or rejection.
A referendum is not a Trojan Horse, it is the epitome of democracy.
A referendum would raise legitimacy.
The Power Is In Our Hands OR we CAN SIT ON OUR COLLECTIVE ASSES