Thursday, November 25, 2010

He could have ruled for 1,000 years...


Instead, Danny Williams calls it a career.

Few politicians get to leave at the height of their popularity - just ask Gordon Campbell. But Williams exits as one of the most popular politicians in the country and there's no reason to believe he couldn't have won another 2 or 3 (or 12) elections.

Williams' departure will certainly leave a gaping hole on the federal scene - it's not like Robert Ghiz, David Alward, or that guy in Manitoba are household names. Like Ralph Klein or Lucien Bouchard before him, Danny was a character, satirized from coast to coast, and leaving his mark on the federal scene.

I touched on this a bit when Gordon Campbell resigned earlier this month, but Williams' departure leaves Jean Charest and Dalton McGuinty as the the only premiers still standing with at least 2 election wins under their belt. And both of them could be gone within a year.

If they do depart, that means Stephen Harper would have outlasted all ten of the Premiers in power when he first took office. Go figure.

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14 Comments:

  • Good for Danny Millions, knowing when to leave when on top. He served Newfoundand and Labrador well during his term.


    Mark my words: Gordon Campbell will not leave the Premier's office unless he is forceably evicted by his caucus. His February departure is a ruse, designed to blow up the NDP.

    There will be a "dispute" when the BC Liberals finalize the rules for the leadership vote in early February: Campbell will then come in and offer to serve as the concilliator and stay on until the next election - especially if Carole James is the opponent.

    None of the "leadership candidates" will say boo, as his "resignation" was all for show. Such is BC politics - is, as it ever was - contemptable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:27 PM  

  • Anon,

    That sounds like bullshit, but if it happened to be true it would only prove that us BCers are freakier than the rest of you lamo Canadians.

    By Blogger bigcitylib, at 7:45 PM  

  • I think he was a big loudmouth, but I'll miss him nonetheless. The other provincial leaders these days (and the federal ones) are so goddamn boring.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 2:01 PM  

  • Can anyone sincerely say there is another political figure on the scene today that can match Danny Williams accomplishments?

    If so name them and offer proof.

    By Anonymous Okie, at 10:04 PM  

  • It can't be done Okie!

    By Blogger Progressive Tory, at 2:27 PM  

  • What accomplishments are those?

    Gutting the private-sector economy in his province? Piddling away an oil boom for his vanity? Creating a political climate that hasn't been seen in Canada since Duplessis keeled over in 1959?

    What did Danny Williams accomplish?

    Or, more to the point, what did he accomplish that (A) was good, and (B) wouldn't have been accomplished by whoever else had been Premier during the oil boom years?

    By Blogger WJM, at 4:20 PM  

  • 1) He fought for the province and brought back a $2 billion cheque from Ottawa.

    2) He invested the new money from oil into infrastructure as well as paying down the provinces debt and cutting taxes. In return becoming one the country's most fiscally conservative leaders.

    3)He negotiated an excellent deal with oil companies to develop the Hebron Project as well as extensions to already producing oil fields. These included equity stakes that the Liberals don't agree with.

    4) His government invested in the aquaculture industry creating jobs throughout rural Newfoundland.

    5) Cuts and freezes of tuition fees has pretty much allowed any person in this province the oppertunity to get a good education, as well he got rid of the provincial interest on student loans.

    6) Nalcor Energy and Emera have come to a $6.2 billion agreement to develop phase one of the Lower Churchill.

    7) Outmigration in the province has dramatically changed and there have been population increases for the first time in years.

    8) While unemployment still remains a huge problem it is now at some of the lowest levels in recent history, this while other areas of the country are still facing some of the highest unemployment rates in years.

    Most importantly he has been able to recieve 80%+ of public support in the province which has helped build a new pride that so many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel.

    Danny Williams struck it lucky after oil prices skyrocked but the fact is he new how to invest that money correctly. Others Premiers could have quite possibly done just as good or better job with the money he had rolling in for several years but we'll never know. However I cannot imagine leaving it to Roger Grimes to negotiate the deals Williams has been able to negotiate in the last 7 years. People complain that Williams has made a fool of us by sticking up for the province on the national stage yet when Grimes was Premier he used that same national stage to make fun of his province, most likely to make a few friends.

    Danny may not be perfect but he must have done something right to be able to get over 80% of the province on his side.

    By Blogger Progressive Tory, at 9:12 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger WJM, at 10:07 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger WJM, at 10:07 PM  

  • 1) He fought for the province and brought back a $2 billion cheque from Ottawa.

    Yes, the Danny Williams plan for Provincial Autonomy Through Transfer Payments.

    2) He invested the new money from oil into infrastructure

    And no other Premier would have done the same?

    as well as paying down the provinces debt

    They have managed the debt, not made any substantial attack on it.

    and cutting taxes. In return becoming one the country's most fiscally conservative leaders.

    How did one of the country's most fiscally conservative leaders — your phrase, not mine — manage to increase the size of the provincial government in relative and absolute terms in the past seven years?

    3)He negotiated an excellent deal with oil companies to develop the Hebron Project as well as extensions to already producing oil fields.

    How do you know they are excellent? Large chunks of them are secret.

    5) Cuts and freezes of tuition fees has pretty much allowed any person in this province the oppertunity to get a good education

    That "oppertunity" came too late for some people, apparently.

    Meanwhile, the cheap-tuition policy means NL taxpayers are underwriting the educations of out-of-province students who leave after graduation, and has only put off the day of reckoning when tuition fees, not general revenue, will have to start paying for a larger share of the actual cost of education.

    6) Nalcor Energy and Emera have come to a $6.2 billion agreement to develop phase one of the Lower Churchill.

    No, they haven't. They have come to a deal to keep talking about maybe developing the Lower Churchiil for another 11 months. In so doing, Danny Williams broke his promise that Labrador would be the principal beneficiary of such a project: most communities in Labrador will still rely on diesel generation.

    7) Outmigration in the province has dramatically changed and there have been population increases for the first time in years.

    Yeah, for the first time since, um, since Roger Grimes was Premier: outmigration picked up speed during Danny Williams' first term in office, and only turned around during the recession, as it has for every recession since outmigration stats began. Despite the recent net in-migration, contrary to myth, the province still has fewer people than when Danny took office.

    8) While unemployment still remains a huge problem it is now at some of the lowest levels in recent history, this while other areas of the country are still facing some of the highest unemployment rates in years.

    And what has driven that employment growth? Provincial public-sector hiring.

    Danny got out before the bills for his largesse and vanity came in.

    By Blogger WJM, at 10:09 PM  

  • How do you know other Premiers would have invested in infrastructure?

    Taking $4 billion of the debt isn't substantial?

    While Emera and Nalcor may not have an official deal they have come to an agreement between themselves to develop Muskrat Falls.


    If you could do so much better why not run? The reason the Liberals are so screwed up, besides 9 years of party infighting, is because most Liberals love what Danny is doing. They are unable to be the alternative to the government because they know he's doing a damn good job. That's why Liberals like George Baker and Scott Simms have praised Danny saying that he's just who the province needed to lead.

    By Blogger Progressive Tory, at 11:10 PM  

  • How do you know other Premiers would have invested in infrastructure?

    Because highway politics has been a defining feature of provincial politics in the province since 1949.

    Taking $4 billion of the debt isn't substantial?

    Not when (A) the debt is going back up, and (B) the only purpose for the limited debt reduction that has been done (compared to what could have been done given the revenues) is, as stated by Danny, in order to be able to borrow that same amount to build the imaginary Lower Churchill project.

    While Emera and Nalcor may not have an official deal they have come to an agreement between themselves to develop Muskrat Falls.

    Just as the former Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro did with Hydro-Quebec in 1998 under Tobin, and 2002 under Grimes. Sorry, what's your point again?

    If you could do so much better why not run?

    Because it's not my thing.

    And give it a few months: we'll see who is still singing the Danny hymnbook then.

    By Blogger WJM, at 2:16 PM  

  • Most importantly he has been able to recieve 80%+ of public support in the province which has helped build a new pride that so many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel.


    "Popular" is never the "most important" item on an Accomplishment List.

    How do you know other Premiers would have invested in infrastructure?


    Are there Premieres who have not invested in infractstructure? It's hard to imagine one who didn't.... I admit I don't know 100%....

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 4:14 PM  

  • It will not really have success, I feel this way.

    By Anonymous www.orense-3d.com, at 3:07 AM  

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