A lot of folk, no matter the education, the upbringing, their health - really believe that we are fiscally screwed. At the same time we really do not want the anectote to impact them.
Were the tories hiding the extent of it from us, not really - they chose like many of us to ignore it. Did 68% of the 53% that bothered to vote really think that by electing the Liberals the government's structural debt and decade long transendence back into financial unsustainability would vanish. That would be a little akin to believing in Santa Claus.
The 68 of 53 simply wanted the Conservatives gone, gone, gone. We can count the reasons, throw around blame.The fact is the Conservatives did themselves in with arrogance, extreme partisanship, what turned out to be some real poor financial planning (In all fairness we were in an era of peak oil with plenty of black gold) and the publics refusal to accept reality.
As much impact as Premier Dunderdale's "Marie Antoinette" moment had in turning the loyal majority against her, the fix was in when she started talking about the financial reality in the province. Her speeches to the Board Of Trade, Year End Interview in the Telegram and even her speech to her party delegates in Gander was "we are in trouble - we have to cut back, our current spending is unsustainable". In her next budget she started walking the talk -laying of people, demanding reductions in the size of departments, reigning in all spending. The writing was on the wall, and she had just been re-elected. This was the time to show she had the necessary ruthlessness to adjust the course.
Than came those dark cold nights and her unfortunate choice of words. The public soured, the rose had dried up, crumbled into a heap of dust. The long leadership process, the king apparent who "intentions were paved with gold" and the farce that followed left the tories with no room to be tough. if they cared to be elected.
I suppose they could have picked up where Dunderdale left off but government's do not get re-elected on bad news. The public just can't handle the truth, plus they had no fiscal or political credibility in the end anyways.
The Get Rid of the Bums movement replaced the stale old hated crowd, but has it produced a government with the integrity honesty and ruthlessness needed to truly adjust the course?
Have we elected members of the house of assembly who are willing to put what really needs to be done above their personal re-elections?
That means decisions made in the best interest of saving the province from economic collapse. In some cases it would mean cramming awful tasting medicine down the patients mouth. People do not change.
The reality is the government does not have any flexibility. They have to reduce services, reduce expenditures and increase revenues. There is no room for manuevering. We have to eject the heavy weight of district "goodies", undergo a fiscal hypothermia where we protect the core in the hopes of survival. It is that serious, that scary. That real.
So what the 68 of 53 really did was sceptically hand Dwight Ball the poison throne knowing full well that he did not have a magic wand to fix what an international recession had exasberated to the edge of collapse. I believe Dwight Ball is not naturally a person who is directed, but a natural leader. Someone who seeks counsel but makes the right call.
Tough times breed great leaders. Great leaders do not have to be populists - look at Prime Minister Churchill - they have to be resolute, sincere, confident in their approach, transparent and honest. Trust, accountability, ruthfullness, (not sure that word is backupable) honesty and compassion are the traits we want.
I truly hope that we have a Premier who can see the big picture and loves this province enough to face down the screaming spoiled resolute voters that helped create this mess over the last fifty years.