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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Legacy #nlpoli

There is a lengthy list of political stories in contention to be the top political story of 2014.

Start the year with #darnknl, the failure of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Hydro generation to supply the capital city and surrounding communities with electricity last January.

It led to Kathy Dunderdale’s resignation as Conservative leader and Premier, which . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Legacy #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Oil and the budget #nlpoli

Lots of people are wondering what the changes to the price of oil will do to the provincial budget.

It will have an impact:  no doubt about that.

But trying to figure out what the provincial budget numbers will look like is a wee bit more complicated.

(Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Errors in judgement #nlpoli

March 13, 2014 was a Thursday.

Normal cabinet day.

According to Auditor General Terry Paddon’s report on the Humber Valley Paving contract,  Nick McGrath, then minister of works and transportation called his deputy minister at 8:45 AM and asked him whether he’d heard that HVP wanted to get out of their Labrador paving contract. (p.39) . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Errors in judgement #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Disconnection Trending #nlpoli

Tom Marshall got lots of coverage for his little ego-stroking farewell in the tradition of his ego-stroked predecessors.  The media advisory billed it as a thank-you to public servants and by jingo the local media reported it extensively and called it exactly that.

The one who organized the little show for him got a nice . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Disconnection Trending #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Spectators and the “Me” Generation #nlpoli

The official media advisory describes the event at Confederation Building this morning as an opportunity for Premier Tom Marshall to thank public servants “for the support provided by their work over his time as Minister and Premier.”

In reality, this is another one of the grandiose celebrations that have become the trademark of Conservative Premiers . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Spectators and the “Me” Generation #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Trash, Give-aways, and Conservative Policy #nlpoli

Friday is trash day in the world of political communications. It’s the day when you slip out stuff that is unpleasant in the hopes people will miss it.

If you can slide in another story, like say the completely unnecessary appointment of a finance minister who will have the job for a mere two . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Trash, Give-aways, and Conservative Policy #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Shared Delusion #nlpoli

Tom Marshall is a typical politician.  He got into politics to make things better.

And, as he reaches the end of his political career,  Tom feels a little frustrated or disappointed in how things turned out.  Marshall’s big hopes didn’t turn into equally big results.

So he blames others.

(Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Premier Mulligan #nlpoli

The news on Monday was not Frank Coleman’s announcement.

The news was in the reaction of provincial Conservatives to word that Coleman wouldn’t be Premier after all.

They skipped past the obligatory expressions of concern over Coleman’s unspecified family problem and quickly went on to talk up the chances the party now had to hold . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Premier Mulligan #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A farewell to Tom Marshall #nlpoli

Tom Marshall spent his last few hours ever as a member of the House of Assembly on Thursday,  as the spring session drew to a close.  Tom’s already handed in his notice and will be out of the Premier’s Office and politics around this time next month.

Marshall is decent fellow who brought sincerity, integrity, . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: A farewell to Tom Marshall #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: And then things went horribly wronger… #nlpoli

John Crosbie, the elder statesmen of Conservatives in the province took a shot at Danny Williams for his continued interference in the internal affairs of the provincial Conservatives.

Danny blew a gasket and willingly gave interviews to every media outlet in town, thereby guaranteeing that the story that can only do even more damage to . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: And then things went horribly wronger… #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: No sense of irony at all #nlpoli

The smart guy they could have had – but frigged over twice -  told Canadian Press:

“The understanding of the [provincial political] climate isn’t as sophisticated as it should be for those who are working with Mr. Coleman on the strategic side.”

Without knowing what the smart guy said, one of the guys supporting Mr. . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: No sense of irony at all #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Grimes on Frank, Tom, and the Kami project #nlpoli

Roger Grimes’ is through his heart surgery and nice vacation and that has left him with a new vigour.

He called VOCM’s BackTalk on Tuesday to talk about the Kami project,  the Friday Night Massacre, and Humber Valley Paving.

15 minutes.

Worth the time.

Hat tip to Dave Adey for posting the audio.  . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Grimes on Frank, Tom, and the Kami project #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Coleman, Marshall, and the Broken Chain of Accountability #nlpoli

The Telegram’s James McLeod started a story that appeared on 26 May with the following sentence:

Premier-designate Frank Coleman says he wants to run a premier’s office with fewer people, and he’s starting that already — six weeks before he becomes premier.

What neither McLeod, nor his editors, nor anyone else in the province’s news . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Coleman, Marshall, and the Broken Chain of Accountability #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Friday Night Massacre #nlpoli

Frank Coleman recorded CBC’s On Point with Peter Cowan on Thursday or Friday afternoon.

During the show, Coleman acknowledged that he had a personal financial interest in a decision by transport minister Nick McGrath to let Humber Valley Paving out of a contract without calling the performances bonds associated with the project.  Coleman’s son –  . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Friday Night Massacre #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Tom Marshall’s puppet government #nlpoli

Whatever is going on in the Premier’s Office these days, it isn’t an orderly and organized transition from one premier to another.

That’s certain.

Every transition from one premier to another since 1949 – whether it involved a change of party or not – has happened in a matter of a few days or at . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Tom Marshall’s puppet government #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Decisive Leadership in Action #nlpoli

How hard can it be for someone to figure out when they want to start a job?

Seriously.

A job you want, mind you, not one you have been forced to take a gunpoint.

Apparently, Frank Coleman has finally figured out when he wants to start being Premier.

He has settled on July.

Sort of.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Decisive Leadership in Action #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Prepared Statements and Unprepared Politicians #nlpoli

CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show is so off-put by politicians who issue prepared statements that they’ve found a former journalist turned journalism professor to discuss the growing trend not only in this province, but elsewhere.  Interviews are important, said professor, because then journalists can ask questions and get more information.

If CBC really wanted . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Prepared Statements and Unprepared Politicians #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Budget basics: debt #nlpoli

Board of trade president Sharon Horan wrote in her Telegram column last weekend that the unfunded pension liability will make up 85% of the provincial government’s debt not to long into the future.  That will be up from the 75% of the public debt it makes today.

There you have proof that even the president . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Budget basics: debt #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Horsefeathers #nlpoli

While people have been agitated about comments on Twitter,  the Premier has been dazzling the politicians in the House with his explanation of the marvellous financial position of the provincial government under the Conservative Party.

On Monday, the former finance minister buggered up the amount of dividend that Nalcor will provide thanks to Muskrat Falls.

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Horsefeathers #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Enormous dividends #nlpoli

Back when he was in another cabinet job, Premier Tom Marshall made some comments about dividends from Muskrat Falls.

Let’s take a look at them.

(Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Premier Confusing #nlpoli

Premier Tom Marshall has been in cabinet since 2003.  He’s held pretty well all the big portfolios connected to Muskrat Falls, including natural resources and finance.

He should know details about Muskrat Falls backwards.

That’s why his comments in the House of Assembly on Monday caused such a stir:

(Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Whizzo Quality Assortment #nlpoli

On the outside, the spring budget for 2014 looks like a delicious assortment of goodies for everyone.  You can tell it is delectable because everyone is shouting for joy and drooling over their good fortune.

There is not a single group who have had their hands out for government money that did not get something. . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Whizzo Quality Assortment #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: How do they run things? Budget Lead-Up #nlpoli

Finance minister Charlene Johnson will read the new provincial budget speech on Thursday.

In keeping with the provincial Conservative tradition, though, they’ve been announcing bits and pieces of the budget already.  On Monday, for example, justice minister Darin King announced that the new budget would contain money for 20 new sheriff’s officer to provide court . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: How do they run things? Budget Lead-Up #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Insiders #nlpoli

The story of the 2014 provincial Conservative Party leadership contest is a study in politics on its most basic level.

It is a story of those with influence and of those who have less of it or none at all.

It is a story of how politics actually works inside the Conservative Party, instead of . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Insiders #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Nalcor Oversight #nlpoli

The provincial government will be establishing a committee of senior public servants to co-ordinate information on Muskrat Falls for cabinet.

VOCM faithfully reported Premier Tom Marshall’s comments to reporters outside the House of Assembly.  The people want more, says Tom, so the Conservatives are going to give the public more oversight.  The new committee will . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Nalcor Oversight #nlpoli