The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The House and Twitter #nlpoli

Guest post by Simon Lono The latest House of Assembly Twitter flap raises more issues that it first appears.  Leaving aside the wisdom of the timing, it’s worth understanding why the point was raised at all. The Telegram, in their Saturday thundering and mocking editorial condemned the whole exercise because “We actually have a right to know ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: How government decides – From Bow-Wow to Basenji #nlpoli

The Liberals’ signature policy initiative is Bill 1. It is so important that it is the only piece of new legislation the Liberals have introduced in this session that is directly connected to their election promises. Bill 1 creates a new appointments commission that is supposed to ensure individuals appointed to positions by cabinet will ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Tiny pebbles in an empty washtub #nlpoli

For the third day in a row,  the opposition has asked one question over and over again, with a couple of minor variations. They’ve asked education minister Dale Kirby why the New Liberal government that took over last December hasn’t called elections for the school board the Conservatives appointed in 2013 after they crammed all ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Mr. Speaker Osborne #nlpoli

Members of the House of Assembly had the good fortune of having two fine candidates for Speaker. While SRBP endorsed Scott Reid, the House made an excellent choice in Tom Osborne. Tom is the longest-serving member in the House having first been elected to the House in 1996. He held a number of cabinet portfolios ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Scott Reid for Speaker #nlpoli

Liberal member of the House of Assembly Scott Reid is a candidate for Speaker of the House. By the looks of things,  members will have a competition for the Speaker’s chair.  That will be a first.In the past,  nomination of the Speaker was treated as a prerogative of the Premier. Having a competition for Speaker ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Moveable Fixed Election Date #nlpoli

Arguably, the greatest fairy tale the Conservatives spread after 2003 was that Danny Williams didn’t take a salary from the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The truth was he collected every penny of his salary from the day he entered the House of Assembly until the day he left. The second biggest fib they told ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A swing and a miss #nlpoli

The usual round of Saturday chores this weekend brought with it the usual accidental meetings with all manner of friends and acquaintances.  Even the least political among them wondered what went on in the House of Assembly last week. Good news.  There is help for them. Your humble e-scribbler laid out the positions of the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Review faces stiff competition from province’s politicians #nlpoli

If Paul Davis and his beleaguered band of provincial Conservatives started the week on a high,  it didn’t last very long. They opened the House on Monday to debate a bill that would reduce the size of the House of Assembly by 10 members.  They had the instant support of the Liberals and, going into ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ballsiness #nlpoli

Before Christmas, Liberal leader Dwight Ball had been calling for an election as soon as possible.  After Christmas, faced with the chance to chop a few seats from the House as he had already pledged to do, Ball was quick to agree both to the cuts proposed by the Conservatives and to a delay in ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Not fit for it #nlpoli

It’s not surprising that the provincial Conservatives and their supporters want to reduce the representations the people of the province have in the House of Assembly. After all, the plan to cut 10 seats from the House of Assembly and make other changes in the interest of “modernisation” fits their pattern of behaviour over the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Anti-democratic, regressive, and unprincipled #nlpoli

The idea of reducing the size of the province’s legislature because the provincial government has a massive financial crisis didn’t get any smarter when the provincial government announced its plan on Thursday to slash the House from 48 seats to 36. People who want to start government cutbacks at the top should expect a reduction ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The House comes back… what’s on the menu? #nlpoli

As far as when Frank Coleman might find the time to get around to taking over the Premier’s job, not much as it seems.  It’s till vague, undefined, and potentially will happen quite some time from now. He appeared on VOCM Open Line on Friday and still talked about wanting to take the job some ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: And you want to be my latex salesman? #nlpoli

Last week SRBP noted that the provincial cabinet seems to be having some difficulty getting legislation into the House for debate. Normally, we’d see upwards of 30 bills handled in the spring session.  In 2011 they had almost all the bills introduced by the early part of May.  In 2012, the provincial government had more ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Light Session #nlpoli

As of May 2, there are a mere six pieces of legislation on the list of bills currently set for debate in the House of Assembly.  It seems to be up to date because on Thursday they added links to a couple of the bills that are ready to start debate. But they didn’t add ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Not with a bang, but a whimper #nlpoli

The longest filibuster in Newfoundland and Labrador legislative history ended quietly Saturday morning. This was the second filibuster this year and the  Telegram’s legislative reported posed a simple question via Twitter before the House closed. What does it say about current Newfoundland and Labrador political culture that we’ve had two such filibusters in a single ...

Pressing Politics: Pressing Politics Stars in House of Assembly, Tories Elicit a Warning from Dean MacDonald

Yesterday I had a fair bit of time to kill, so I decided to head to the legislature and take in some of the Muskrat Falls filibusters. As I was sitting in the gallery, with the security people watching me … Continue reading →

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Jerome’s Jawbone of an Ass #nlpoli

Last week Premier Kathy Dunderdale told the House of Assembly something that was patently not true. She said that the public utilities board had endorsed the Muskrat Falls project. She did not mislead the House, as some suggested.  To do that, Kathy would have had to know something the rest of the members didn’t. In ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Now that is what you call interesting #nlpoli

Labradore infuriates Connies both provincially and federally because the guy just knows his stuff and needles the little darlings at every chance. On Tuesday, he posted a chart showing the number of words recorded by Hansard for each member of the House of Assembly during the last session.  He even colour-coded it by party for ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Old Wooden Mace #nlpoli

The Telegram’s James McLeod took some time during a recent Estimates committee hearing on Monday to dash off a post at his blog about the ceremonial aspects of the legislature proceedings. He mentions the number of items in the House of Assembly chamber that came as presents from other provinces after Confederation.  He finishes off ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Workload Measurement #nlpoli #nspoli #cdnpoli

One of the most telling indicators of what government does is how much legislation they put in front of the legislature for approval.  After all government can only do what it is allowed to do by the House of Assembly. Active governments that are doing lots of work usually have lots of new laws or ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The truth is an absolute defence #nlpoli

Seems that the goings-on in the provincial legislature are weighing heavy on many brows at the end of the first week the place is back in session since this time last year. Telegram editor Russell Wangersky has a column on it as does Bob Wakeham in the Saturday paper. Wangersky writes about the way the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Enough of the Political Day-Care #nlpoli

In some respects, it is a threat that would strike fear only into the hearts of Danny Williams’ Tories: If this problem is not resolved today, you can expect me to absolutely vilify your minister on Monday morning on Open Line. No broken limbs. No financial ruin. A call to Open Line. That was enough ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Shooting fish in a barrel #nlpoli

Okay. So with the Premier babbling about cuts or not cuts, you could guess where the opposition parties would go during their second Question Period. Yeah, well guess again. Because something so obvious as a Premier who has no idea what she is talking about would seem like such an obvious, easy target that the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Dundernomics 101: The Cleary Factor #nlpoli

The gang at CBC shouldn’t feel sheepish. They might have been the ones who pushed it most aggressively but  they weren’t the only news outlet that started talking up budget cuts and restraint based on what Premier Kathy Dunderdale told them. Here’s part of what the Premier said to CBC’s Debbie Cooper: “We’re looking at ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: New partners and new supplicants #nlpoli

After the throne speech, the leaders of the opposition parties get to have their say in the legislature. Just as the throne speech sets the government’s agenda, so too can the replies set the agenda for the opposition parties. They could be committed to biting at the government’s heels and demonstrating, as one former opposition ...