The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Highly Diffused Government #nlpoli

By now, plenty of people in Newfoundland and Labrador have likely heard finance minister Jerome Kennedy’s comments about his party’s last election platform. “You used the word promise,”  Kennedy said to the Telegram’s James McLeod.  “I’m not sure that the Blue Book can be described as a promise.”  Kennedy said that the platform contained a ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Will and Public Policy #nlpoli

The SIDI simulation of government spending that we’ve run this past week might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but these sort of thought exercises are always useful. The most striking thing is the amount of money from oil and mining that the provincial government has spent in the past seven years:  $15.6 billion.  That’s ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Well on the way to Debt Freedom #nlpoli

According to economist-consultant Wade Locke, the provincial government’s “Sustainability” Plan includes a debt commitment: The long-run target is to bring the province’s net per capita debt gradually down to the all-province level within ten years. Locke made it clear in another part of his March 25 memo to finance minister Jerome Kennedy that the purpose ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Responsible Public Spending #nlpoli

You don’t need drugs or alcohol to get the feeling of dizziness or stupor like you smacked your head with a hammer. Hard. Repeatedly. Just listen to a representative of one of the special interest groups talking about the provincial budget and public spending. It doesn’t matter which one.  As your humble e-scribbler was finishing ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Road Not Taken #nlpoli

The number is a hard one to wrap your mind around. $15.6 billion. That’s the amount of oil royalties and mining royalties the provincial government collected from 2005 to 2012. Once you think you have that figure in your mind and understand what it means, think about this:  with the exception of about $1.4 billion, ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Rentierism at the national and sub-national level #nlpoli

_______________________________________________ This is the third in a four part series on the current financial crisis the provincial government is facing.  The first instalment – “The origins of rentierism in Newfoundland and Labrador” – appeared on Tuesday and the second – “Other People’s Money”  – appeared on Wednesday. _______________________________________________ A rentier is a person who lives ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Structural Versus Cyclical: a quick look #nlpoli

Is the government facing a structural or cyclical deficit? Good question.  Their economist says it is a structural problem but his comments to the Telegram on March 13 suggest he is approaching the problem as if it would sort itself out. The whole structural versus cyclical question hinges in part on the question of government ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Origins of Rentierism in Newfoundland and Labrador #nlpoli

______________________________________________ Over the next four days, SRBP will offer an interpretation of the political underpinnings of the current financial crisis.  This series goes beyond the immediate to place recent events in both historical and comparative, international perspective.  The first two instalments briefly describe so9me characteristics of the political system and newfoundland political history before 1934 ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Arse that Laid the Golden Turd #nlpoli

The provincial cabinet has been burning the midnight oil the past couple of nights.  Literally.  Late night sessions that ended God-knows-when, night after night. Apparently, they are trying to figure out what to do in order to get out of the massive financial and political hole they have dug for themselves over the past decade. ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Pennies and Pounds #nlpoli

In May 2011, the provincial public works department issued a call for proposals to replace the lift bridge in Placentia. In August 2011, the department scrapped the project and went back for a re-think.  They got only one proposal for $43.25 million, which upset them given that they had figured it would only cost $24 ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Fiscal conservative, you say? #nlpoli

One of the more curious comments from provincial Conservative supporters lately has been the claim that they support the current Connie administration provincially because they – the supporters – are fiscal conservatives. labradore has already challenged one such claim with a look at the provincial labour force figures.  Here’s the chart from labradore’s post. It ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: All they want is fairity #nlpoli

The people who run the province’s town and cites are looking to get a new financial arrangement from the provincial government. Last week, the municipalities federation held an emergency meeting to discuss recent developments: “What we’re asking government for today is very clear,” said Rogers. “Short-term help in this 2012 budget and a commitment to ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: To Encourage the Others #nlpoli

Lots of people look to leaders in a crisis to see what lessons they can learn. Well, Kathy Dunderdale is special. She is an excellent  example for any leader – political or not – who wants to know how not to handle a major financial problem. The Telegram editorial on Wednesday does an excellent job ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Dundernomics 101: Public Sector Employment Numbers #nlpoli

In an interview with CBC’s David Cochrane, Premier Kathy Dunderdale said that the public service has grown by more than 2,100 jobs in the past eight years and that total employment in the public service is about 9,000. Well, not exactly.  That depends on what you consider to be public sector and “public service”. As ...