Editorial: Start working together

Published on February 14, 2017

Northern Pen Editorial

We may not currently have a leader here in Canada like Donald Trump, but we aren’t without our own political problems.

More specifically, here in Newfoundland and Labrador, we suffer from political arrogance and what educated scholars might call the “blame game.”

A government is supposed to govern the people of a particular town, province or country. Here in Canada, we live in a democratic society. We vote for our representatives, and in turn, attempt to elect a group of individuals to serve our best interests as a whole.

So why do politicians spend so much time in Newfoundland and Labrador pointing fingers at another political party than working on solutions to the issues that face our residents every day?

Since the provincial Liberal government has been in power — just over a year — the number of times the former Progressive Conservative party has been blamed for the financial state of the province would be nearly impossible to count (although if anyone knows, James McLeod at the Telegram does).

The beginning of the Liberal reign saw plenty of negative words about the previous government, with members blaming the PCs for a budget that the Liberal cabinet planned and executed, saw additional fees to permits and licenses, created a levy (basically a head tax) for residents, but had no reduction to the overall budget’s cost.

But it is not just one-sided. How many times has a PC member called out the Liberal government’s members to resign or get reprimanded?

As recently as last month, PC MHA Steve Kent publicly stated he wanted to see Liberal MHA and Minister Christopher Mitchelmore and Deputy Speaker of the House Lisa Dempster held accountable for the resignation of the former chair of the Labrador-Grenfell Health Authority board.

The NDP have two representatives in the House waving the party banner, so right now their combined power is irrelevant to the governing party. But Gerry Rogers and Lorraine Michael hold their own when it comes to voicing their concerns, and have done their share of finger pointing as well.

Do our leaders know that meeting privately, making a phone call or dealing with issues without creating a media circus is possible?

This isn’t Liberal versus everyone else. It’s about giving Newfoundlanders and Labradorians proper representation, and not embarrass them through social media firestorms or news releases about petty problems.

It’s time for our elected officials to step up to the plate, take responsibility for their own actions and work together as a collective, instead of acting like six-year-olds on the playground.