Thursday, October 3, 2013

TIMING IS EVERYTHING IN POLITICS


Jerome Kennedy’s resignation, effective immediately, comes at an awkward time for Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

The legal beagle – social justice champion turned political pit bull wants to return to his true love – practicing law.

Timing is everything in politics. Knowing when to run is one thing, knowing when to give it up is another. Career politicians often do not know when to give it up. They overstay their welcome and often ooze an unsettling sense of entitlement. Kennedy never intended to become a career politician.

The price of public life can be expensive on your pocket book, your family and your health. While it may be deeply satisfying, the sacrifice can not be understood by observers.


The opposition parties will try to make political hay out of the timing of his departure arguing that it underscores the discontent in the PC caucus with the leadership of the Premier. The so call rats deserting the sinking ship theories abound.

It was time is the ultimate honest answer. His six year career saw him serve in some of the toughest portfolios in government under two premiers. He did two tours of duty as finance minister, as well as Natural Resources  and Health Minister. 

If he no longer had the fire in his belly, than he made the right decision. If he felt his contribution has been made, than he made the right decision. 


I consider his speech in defense of the Muskrat Falls Project on May 03rd, 2013 in the as one of the best delivered in the House. It was a powerful, nonpartisan oration that exposed Kennedy’s intellectual best.

One can disagree with how he did his job, his bullying and House of Assembly antics but it is unfair to give short shrift to his contribution to the public affairs of our province.

No doubt his departure will not be the last before the next election. With at least 14 members of the caucus being members of the inaugural class of 2003, it is time for many to give it up after more than a decade of public life. It certainly does not make them rats.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peter, kennedys speech included the line to say that he knows we need the power by applying a simple trick of looking into the crystal ball. So this replaces the application of best practises that other utilities use , including end use analysis that is evidence based. And you call this Kennedy's intellectual best!. Shows your , and Kennedy's lack of understanding of proper power demand forecasting. Winston Adams

Peter L. Whittle said...

Whatever, I felt Kennedy gave his best defence of the project in that speech. The post was not a critique or an endorsement of the proposed project, it was simply an observation. There was much more content in that speech than you are prepared to give him credit for.

Proper power demand forecasting for hydro electricity is particularly difficult at the moment. The cost-benefit perspective is a crucial measure that I would like to have faith in before committing billions of dollars. That said factory in new technology, conservation and other supply/demand issues - investing in large scale mega projects is iffy