Saturday, November 28, 2009

Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Poll

Corporate Research Associates have a new Newfoundland & Labrador poll out.A shocking landslide! Oh wait, Newfoundland? Never mind.

Danny Williams and his Progressive Conservatives have a safe 61-point lead. He's actually five points up from this time last year.

Yvonne Jones and the Liberals are down three points from a year ago, while Lorraine Michael and the NDP is down two points.

Newfoundland & Labrador is not much of a fun political contest to watch. King Williams is an extraordinarily popular leader, with 87% saying they are completely or mostly satisfied with his performance as Premier. That's as close to unanimous as you get in politics. He's the best Premier for 79% of Newfoundland & Labradorians, while Jones gets the nod from only 10%.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and project a majority government for the Progressive Conservatives in the next election in October 2011. It's ballsy, I know, but I have to follow my gut.

39 comments:

  1. While Newfoundland isn't like most provinces, Williams is the most populist of all the premiers. I can't help but think that helps a lot.

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  2. Eric Said:

    "I'm going to go out on a limb here, and project a majority government for the Progressive Conservatives in the next election in October 2011. It's ballsy, I know, but I have to follow my gut."

    That is probably the funniest posting I have ever read on this site so far Eric. I know I cannot agrue with that statement, and I am sure no one else will either. Keep up the good work!

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  3. I still think Newfoundland should be removed from Canada (or atleast from receiving any money back from Canada) until the man who took down the Canadian flag is replaced... or banished... from the island.

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  4. If it was that easy, just wait until the next PQ government is elected.

    'Our first act as a government. Pull the flag down. We're free!"

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  5. The real thing to watch out for in Newfoundland is on the federal scene.

    What happens if the ABC campaign doesn't carry into the next election? Or even better, some sort of endorsement from the premier?

    There might be a seat or two the Conservatives could pick up.

    Danny Williams has to be thinking about what happens if Harper gets his majority ?

    Is his province left out in the cold without a single seat at the table?

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  6. He's actually five points up from this time last year.

    And yet in the two by-elections this fall, his party was down 15 to 20 points over their 2007 results.

    Danny is popular for the most part because he is popular, and not for anything he's done - largely because other than rant, he hasn't actually done much. And in a place where merely writing a letter critical of the regime can get you an angry phone call, or even worse, what are the chances that respondents are revealing their true opinions over the phone to a stranger who has the provincial government as a client?

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  7. WJM,

    Sigh, I hate defending Danny Williams but your comment was too much to ignore.

    An angry phone call?

    Seriously ?

    We live in a world where regimes massacre their own people by the millions and you're bring up an angry phone call.

    I've read both articles and found nothing improper or objectionable.

    As for what Danny Williams has or has not done, i'll leave that to people of his province to decide. Clearly, on the basis of this poll, they approve of his record.

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  8. That's right Jesse.

    And a major reason why they approve is because he isn't like the federal cons. He's a throwback to the Progressive Conservatives.

    Ah, the good old days of civil, rational discourse....gone with the Harper era, now we're mired in mudslinging, partisan hate and scandal once again.

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  9. "Ah, the good old days of civil, rational discourse..."

    .... are we talking about the same Danny Williams??

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  10. Anon,

    What on earth are you talking about?

    I don't ever remember a period of our history, nor have I ever studied one, where politics did not involve some form of mudslinging, partisanship, or scandal.

    Those qualities are actually an integral and nessecary part of the democratic process, which is essentially the sublimation of violent human impulses and conflicts into heated discussions and vigorous debate.

    I fear you sound senile and old when you talk of the "good old days".

    Every generation does it in their twilight years - romanticize their past and bemoan the unprecedented crassness or moral bankruptcy of the present age and the younger generations.

    Serious people indulge the old their rememberances, while rolling their eyes on the inside, and know that there is nothing new under the sun.

    I'm guessing you're not actually an old duffer so I feel entitled to call you out and expose your opinion as nothing more than a partisan dig at Mr. Harper that has no basis in reality.

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  11. I've read both articles and found nothing improper or objectionable.

    You find nothing improper or objectionable about the Premier of a province — of Canada, I might add — calling people up to chew them out for daring to write contrarian letters to the editor of a weekly paper?

    Nothing?

    Not even a little bit?

    Can you think of any other Premiers who call people up with, as the local media pundit recounts it, "expletive-filled" invective for disagreeing with him?

    Do you have the first clue what the political climate is like in Dannystan these days?

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  12. WJM,

    Public officials are people too. If someone wrote something critical of me I might be tempted to contact the person and have it out with them.

    You make it sound like its totally improper for a premier to have any contact with anyone in the community!

    They can have any contact, of any sort, they want to. Positive or negative, shouting or polite.


    Do I think its good form for people to swear and yell over the phone ?

    No, of course not.

    But I don't see the fact that its Danny Williams doing it anything improper.

    You're misunderstanding our system of government. The crown is our head of government, a premier is just another citizen doing a job for the crown.

    If the Gov General started calling people up and chewing them out then maybe that would be a case of political intimidation and improper behaviour, maybe that would deserve attention.

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  13. Jesse wrote:

    "The crown is our head of government, a premier is just another citizen doing a job for the crown"

    Your formulation is not quite correct.

    The Queen is the head of state, represented by the GG at the federal level and the LGs at the provincicial level.

    However, the "head of government" designation very much belongs to the PM at the federal level and the Premiers at the provincial level.

    "Public officials are people too. If someone wrote something critical of me I might be tempted to contact the person and have it out with them."

    But Ministers of the Crown are people with power. A phone call to a citizen in response to a letter could be interpreted as an intrusive escalation. A letter to the editor is something said in the public realm. A confrontational telephone call is potentially more menacing.

    While I would hesitate to say such a contact is always inappropriate, I does give me some cause for unease.

    You say you see nothing wrong with it.

    What if he showed up at your doorstep unannounced? What if he was accompanied by bodyguards? Would you still see nothing remotely inappropriate about that sort of contact?

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  14. Martin,

    1) Hang up the phone.
    2) Tell him to remove himself from your property NOW or you will call the police. Tell him if he returns he'll be charged with trespass.

    Our elected officials might have power vested within them but that power can be taken away through various mechanisms.

    And they are most definetly not above the law - just ask the previous federal Liberal government that got ran out by auditer general, the judiciary, and RCMP press releases.

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  15. Martin,

    also thank you for correcting my above statement. Head of state, not head of government, was indeed the word I was looking for.

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  16. Public officials are people too. If someone wrote something critical of me I might be tempted to contact the person and have it out with them.

    That's remarkable behavior for any politician, let alone one like Danny Williams, who claims, with a straight face, to have a thick skin.

    You make it sound like its totally improper for a premier to have any contact with anyone in the community!

    Then you have problems with reading comprehension. Please re-read my post and the links.

    You're misunderstanding our system of government. The crown is our head of government, a premier is just another citizen doing a job for the crown.

    No, the crown is not our head of government.

    But, if the crown is: that makes it OK for Danny to call people up and rag them out for writing critical letters to a local weekly paper? He's doing it on behalf of the crown?

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  17. Jesse,

    I don't mean that such phone calls/visits would be illegal or that a citizen has no recourse.

    All I am saying is that certain behaviours are, at a minimum, poor manners.

    A public official telephoning a private citizen to berate him/her for what was said in a newspaper's letters-to-the-editor section, is to my mind crossing a line where the action comes across as an ill-advised attempt to bully an ordinary citizen.

    Does that mean the public official cannot respond at all? Of course not. But the normal way to do so in the above scenario is to put forward a printed rebuttal in the same newspaper in which the complaint originally appeared.

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  18. Martin

    I completely agree, and have said, that its extremely bad form to call people and angrily yell profanities at them.

    But no, I see no reason why the response has to be a letter to the newspaper.

    The premier could easily reach out to the person via phone and ask to arrange a sit down meeting to try and discuss the person's concerns.

    (Especially if this person was a constituent in the premier's own riding).

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  19. Martin,

    Just to add, to me the line crossed was bad manners and that's it.

    WJM is simply off the deep end with this though.

    "DannySTAN" - yes, as if Newfoundland has turned into a third world middle eastern republic just because the premier placed an angry phone call!

    People in every -Stan imagineable, where media and political prisoners are probably killed on a routine basis are asking if they can trade in for an angry phone call instead!

    Apparently there is a dark "political climate" (LOL!) in which you should not "dare to write contrarian letters" or else face the wrath of the "regime".

    REGIME?

    Oh yeah, Danny Williams is a regular Saddam Hussein!

    I'm sorry but this is all a little too much.

    Sometimes a phone call is just bad manners, not official intimidation.

    To my knowledge there is no law against such a thing, angry or otherwise, and if you think one is nessecary to protect people from intimidation by those in power then please suggest it.

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  20. Jesse,

    "The premier could easily reach out to the person via phone and ask to arrange a sit down meeting to try and discuss the person's concerns."

    Indeed. That's why I said I would hesitate to say such contact is always inappropriate.

    Let us assume for a moment that a sincere effort to reach out was what was intended (a dubious assumption -- it seems more likely Williams was pissed off and wanted to tear a strip off the citizen in question).

    Such a phone call can only ever be appropriate if the politician in question has the maturity level to ensure that the ensuing discussion remains polite and rational. Mr. Williams is a known hothead -- he should never place such a call in person.

    A better alternative is to make the invitation by mail or have a third party (such as an assitant) make the invitation.

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  21. Martin,

    I think we've agreed upon a code of conduct nessecary to be considered polite. I have no problem declaring Danny Williams rude.

    However, that's not really what we were discussing. WJM's statements seemed to go much further and suggested that he acted in a manner that somehow violated the ethical standards of public office and in doing so was harming the fundementals of democracy in Newfoundland.

    You seemed to defend this interpretation by saying that the premier's actions could be interpreted as an "intrusive escalation", potentially "menacing", and an "attempt to bully."

    You see him as "crossing a line".

    What is the nature of this line though? Into being a rude person or an unethical premier?


    I can handle a rude politician - we've had plenty of them. Here in BC we love to tell the story of the time Trudeau gave us the finger!

    But I have no tolerance for any unethical behaviour.

    And in my mind unless the premier issued some sort of threat or took some form of action against a private citizen then his conduct cannot be seen as anything other than rude.

    Any other interpretation seems to me to be unserious, unfair, and overly conspiratorial in nature.

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  22. If the Premier of my Province is calling me and lacing into me with invective and profanity because I dared publicly disagree with him then I should be very concerned . Will have me fired from my job, evicted from my home? Will He have the police follow me or harass me? Yes there is something very wrong with a Premier calling up citizens, not to discuss their grievances but to harangue them.

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  23. We no longer refer to Him as just Danny. Instead He is known as Autonomous Williams. The entire population of Dannystan is in perpetual AWe of Him. A few years ago, he said publicly, that someone should take the then mayor of St. John's out and give him "a good shiatknocking". Last year, when referring to a poorly timed news release from Eastern Health, he said that the person(s) responsible shought be "shot".
    So, in the context of an elected Provincial Official, and a senior member of the local Law Society (who have never said one word about either of these public outrages), would YOU want him telephoning you?
    And you fellows upalong in Canada needn't pay much more attention, because Autonomous Williams has said that we are going it alone. Just as soon as we get the federal dollars to do it.
    Oh, dear, there's the telephone ringing.

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  24. Earl,

    Are you a conspiracy nut?

    "Will have me fired from my job, evicted from my home? Will He have the police follow me or harass me?"

    How does the premier get someone fired? Its near impossible to fire anyone from the public service and he doesn't control the private sector.

    How does the premier have someone evicted from their home? If you own the home its yours or you're renting from someone and have a contract.

    The premier doesn't have direct control over the police. They work for the CROWN. Even in Ontario, Quebec, or Newfoundland where they have provincial forces - what does he do, threaten to not reappoint a commisioner if he doesn't shake someone down.

    I can tell you right now that a premier who asked such a thing would probably be arrested on the spot.


    Jeez you guys, you're making it sound like the premier is some dictator with special powers that he can use against individuals!

    He's just another elected official that controls a party with the most seats in an elected assembly.

    Any action or threats taken against a private individual would constitute a serious crime. We have mechanisms for dealing with that.

    An angry phone call is NOT any of the above. The premier has a LONG enemies list - the opposition, the media, citizens groups - and he is POWERLESS to do anything to harm them.

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  25. But no, I see no reason why the response has to be a letter to the newspaper.

    Danny's response is the invective-laden phone call. His response is TO the letter to the editor.

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  26. "DannySTAN" - yes, as if Newfoundland has turned into a third world middle eastern republic just because the premier placed an angry phone call!

    No, not just because the Premier placed an angry phone call.

    Also because the Premier appointed the former president of his own party to be the Chief Electoral Officer.

    Because he appointed partisans to oversee the process of re-drawing the electoral map.

    Because he has railed against judges and delegated decision makers who have failed to do his bidding.

    Because he, or his minions, have threatened districts if they didn't vote correctly — just like Smallwood used to do.

    Because he has used government advertising as a carrot and stick with the media.

    Because he runs around giving "charitable donations" while in public ofice.

    Because he keeps something called "purple files" on journalists, including journalists who have seen "purple files", and been told about "purple files", who then file lawful access requests for their "purple files", only to be told that there is no such thing as a "purple file".

    Because he has made million- and billion-dollar resource deals, without releasing the text of the deals - which he railed against in opposition.

    Because he amended the election law so that you can vote in an election that hasn't even been called yet.

    Because he has overseen the atrophy of the most basic democratic institutions, including a legislature that hardly ever sits, hardly does anything when it does, has no committee structure to speak of, and sometimes even manages to do wacky things like pass bills at third reading before second reading.

    Because he has built a third-world style personality cult in the first-world country of Canada.

    And because of many, many other reasons, that's why I say "Dannystan".

    And yet almost no one in the rest of Canada sees what's going on.

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  27. WJM's statements seemed to go much further and suggested that he acted in a manner that somehow violated the ethical standards of public office and in doing so was harming the fundementals of democracy in Newfoundland.

    Browbeating your critics in that manner harms the fundamentals of democracy in any western liberal democracy.

    People should feel free to voice their criticism of government, including by doing so in public, without fear of such a reaction.

    Danny's behaviour is worse than Duplessis'.

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  28. The premier has a LONG enemies list - the opposition, the media, citizens groups - and he is POWERLESS to do anything to harm them.

    Except, of course, pull the public funding they receive, which has happened to all three of those classes of "enemies" — shudder — "enemies"? really?

    So, yes: Dannystan.

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  29. WJM, you are absolutely correct. Public and public servant ALIKE are very careful about what they say, and to whom they say anything which might be seen as critical of Him.
    Look at how he labeled the lawyer who dared question the expropriation in Grand falls as a "traitor". How he ridiculed Judge Halley (who ruled against Him in the Ruelokke matter) by saying that the Judge must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.
    And let's not forget His opinion, a couple of years ago, that certain bloggers (a couple of whom he named personally)ought to be "watched".
    No other premier has (or has had) such a cult following since the days when pensioners believed that Joey Smallwood Himself funded their old age pensions.

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  30. WJM, Blech,

    You conspiracy nuts are too much!

    Political dissidents locked up in jails everywhere are begging to trade places with the beleaguered people of Newfoundland who have to suffer the outrage of angry phone calls.

    Its called free speech you guys.

    Just because the premier is a rude oaf and you don't approve of what comes out of his mouth does NOT make him a third world dictator.

    and WJM,

    everything you describe happens in a lot of perfectly fine democracies.

    In the US republicans and democrats fight over redistricting after a census every ten years and its often politically handled.

    Purple files? As in his strategic communications office watches to see which journalists give him favourable coverage? (The PM of Canada does the same thing, so does every other politician in the world).

    Taking away funding from politicians and the media? That's actually called CONSERVATISM - believe it or not tax payer money should not be given out to these groups.

    Attacking judges? That happens everywhere when there is an unpopular decision. In the US judges are appointed in a very political manner, its been the same at the federal level here in Canada.

    Delegated officials not doing what they're told - he's the premier, they SHOULD be expected to impliment official government policy and not freelance.


    I really don't like the guy, I think he's rude and a bully, but this whole storyline you guys are cooking up about democracy being under attack is just way out of line, insulting to actual dissidents around the world, unserious, unfair, and utterly ridiculous.

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  31. Its called free speech you guys.

    Yip. That's what it' called.

    Free speech is the thing that Danny and his henchmonkeys don't like.

    Just because the premier is a rude oaf and you don't approve of what comes out of his mouth does NOT make him a third world dictator.

    Nope. It's his abusive behaviour, not his rudeness, that invites the third world comparison.

    In the US republicans and democrats fight over redistricting after a census every ten years and its often politically handled.

    And it's even wronger down there. There was a perfectly fine, decades-long practice of non-partisan EBCs until Danny Williams came along.

    Purple files? As in his strategic communications office watches to see which journalists give him favourable coverage?

    No idea, since the government, in a Kafkaesque twist, now denies that the things even exist, and if they do — but they don't — they pretend that access to information laws don't apply to them. Or wouldn't. If they existed. Which, despite the purple files people have seen on the Premier's table, they don't.

    Taking away funding from politicians and the media? That's actually called CONSERVATISM - believe it or not tax payer money should not be given out to these groups.

    It's not Conservativism when it's done on an arbitraty and partisan basis. Dannystan didn't cut newspaper advertsing across the board - just to the newspaper with the intransigent editor who questioned the Premier. Dannystan didn't cut caucus funding across the board - just to the official opposition.

    Attacking judges? That happens everywhere when there is an unpopular decision.

    Who said anything about "unpopular" decisions? The judge in the Ruelokke case upheld federal and provincial legislation, against Danny's attempt to circumvent it. The only person for whom the decision was "unpopular" was Dear Leader himself.

    Delegated officials not doing what they're told - he's the premier, they SHOULD be expected to impliment official government policy and not freelance.

    Then why bother having school boards, health boards or municipalities — these are the delegated authorities in question — if their decisions can just be over-ruled by Himself?

    I really don't like the guy, I think he's rude and a bully, but this whole storyline you guys are cooking up about democracy being under attack is just way out of line, insulting to actual dissidents around the world, unserious, unfair, and utterly ridiculous.

    What part of the province are you from?

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  32. No other premier has (or has had) such a cult following since the days when pensioners believed that Joey Smallwood Himself funded their old age pensions.

    Danny's out-Joeying Joey every day.

    I wonder if little old ladies are being buried with his picture clasped in their hands?

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  33. Jesse:

    "In the US republicans and democrats fight over redistricting after a census every ten years and its often politically handled."

    The point is that WE DON'T DO THAT IN CANADA! We have impartial commissions set electoral boundaries. That is as it ought to be. Simply because it happens in the US doesn't mean it should happen here. Indeed our entire political system is structured so that it does not happen here, in Canada!.

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  34. WJM,

    I'm sorry but our correspondance how now finished. Its utterly clear that you are an avowed partisan who likes to indulge in hyperbolic and conspiratorial language.

    I interceded only because I found it insulting to people who actually struggle with issues issues related to freedom of speech and democratic rights, in actual third world countries.

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  35. Earl,

    "The point is that WE DON'T DO THAT IN CANADA!"

    And now we do. Unless, of course, your all caps tone wasn't a descriptive declaration but a normative statement.

    I didn't know our district boundaries are such an integral part of our Canadian identity!

    Hmm, or perhaps they are not?

    Weren't you yourself saying the other day that we have a problem with over representation in the HOC whereby certain provinces get more seats than their population would seem to justify?

    Changing that would be messing with our traditions, changing the constitution, altering the terms of confederation.

    One could easily say, THAT'S HOW WE DO THINGS IN CANADA!!

    "Indeed our entire political system is structured so that it does not happen here, in Canada!"

    Come again? If our system was structured so that this was not possible then how did it come to be.

    Your statement is self contradicting.


    These are policy decisions that our legislatures should be able to grapple with without us screaming about how the decision destroys democracy or is uncanadian.

    Urban versus rural, population versus geographical representation - these are serious questions and I have no interest in having them answered by a panel of judges.

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  36. I'm sorry but our correspondance how now finished. Its utterly clear that you are an avowed partisan who likes to indulge in hyperbolic and conspiratorial language.

    No, the "avowed partisan who likes to indulge in hyperbolic and conspiratorial language" would be a guy named Danny Williams. Listen to the stuff that comes out of his mouth some times.

    I guess by sidestepping my question, it means you have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of the province in question or its politics?

    I interceded only because I found it insulting to people who actually struggle with issues issues related to freedom of speech and democratic rights, in actual third world countries.

    I know people, long-term residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, who escaped from places like Soviet-Bloc Eastern Europe of the 1950s, and who cringe at some of the rhetoric that a certain Premier is wont to use, especially calling those who disagree with him on public matters "traitors".

    But hey - what would they know, right?

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  37. WJM,

    "...you have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of the province in question or its politics?"

    I'll trust the people who do and it seems that 77% of them approve of Danny Williams.

    But I guess you and the 16% Liberal, 7% NDP partisans are visionaries who are able to see his dictatorial ways when your fellow citizens can't eh?

    Somehow it strikes me that if half the things you said were true he wouldn't be riding so high in the polls.

    But wait! Its all a conspiracy right, the polls are not to be trusted!

    "I know people ... who escaped from places like Soviet-Bloc Eastern Europe of the 1950s"

    Yep, sure you do.

    Have anything to back that up?

    I mean, if he was really as bad as you were saying i'm sure we'd be seeing an organized resistance and they would be speaking out and warning people about democracy slowly slipping away.

    At the absolute minimum we'd be hearing about it in the national media. The fact that we have not seems to indicate what you are saying is hyperbolic bluster and conspiratorial delusion.


    I'm sorry WJM, you clearly have a pathological dislike of Mr. Williams and a deep, deep phobia of government officials and action.

    Or you're a partisan trying to attack Williams and doing a really poor job at it (your crazy rhetoric would almost certainly turn people away and inspire sympathy for the premier.)


    I have a feeling you're the type to want to get the last word so feel free to write a response but this is the last time i'll be addressing your on this topic - as I said, our correspondance has come to an end.

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  38. New Federal Quebec Poll:

    http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/canada/278277/sondage-leger-marketing-le-devoir-le-bloc-tient-bon-pendant-que-le-plc-termine-sa-glissade

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  39. Jesse

    Finishing our correspondence: ur doing it rong.

    But I guess you and the 16% Liberal, 7% NDP partisans are visionaries who are able to see his dictatorial ways when your fellow citizens can't eh?

    I wouldn't go that far, only because the number of people who see Danny for the incompetent fraud that he is is even smaller than that.

    But thanks for calling me a visionary!

    Somehow it strikes me that if half the things you said were true he wouldn't be riding so high in the polls.

    ALL the things I said were true, and there are many, many more true things that I haven't said.

    Have anything to back that up?

    Yip.

    I mean, if he was really as bad as you were saying i'm sure we'd be seeing an organized resistance and they would be speaking out and warning people about democracy slowly slipping away.

    As certain as you are, you'd be wrong.

    Democracy is slowly slipping away. Not many people seem to care - certainly not many in the rest of the country.

    I'm sorry WJM, you clearly have a pathological dislike of Mr. Williams

    Dislike? Yes. Pathological? Nope.

    and a deep, deep phobia of government officials and action.

    What is this, Amateur Shrink Hour?

    What is the possible basis for such an idiotic claim, Jesse?

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