Friday, August 31, 2007

Gone fishing . . . for votes

As of noon today, I am the Liberal candidate for the provincial district of St. John's North.

I've never hidden my political affiliations or my past connections with prior governments. In fact, it was those affiliations which have taught me about how government works and how government should work.

The general view from the street is that government is a black box with mysterious inner workings. It's not obvious how and why some things get done but not others. And reading government statements and releases rarely tells you the reasons why.

For better or worse, those things tend to be pretty transparent to me. That's the advantage of having worked alongside the most senior government levels of this province on and off since 1989.

It was that that experience behind me that has allowed me to write on a whole host of issues both here and in commercial publications over the last couple of years.

Some of those writings have been considered sharply critical of some government actions.

Partially it's because the last few years has not convinced me that the direction this government has been taking the province is the right one.

More importantly, I am convinced that the way this government goes about it's business - secretive, arbitrary, high-handed, intolerant of dissent, endlessly combative with industry and Ottawa, quick to label as enemies those who question - is just wrong for a province of one of the most civilized countries in the world.

And I believe this government has taken St. John's for granted in almost every conceivable way.

I have not been shy about asking the hard questions I felt needed to be asked. I have even come under personal attack from some quarters for daring to ask. I'm sorry to say I don't think those attacks will go away. In fact, I expect them to intensify.

But I hope I can ask the questions that you would ask if you were in my place.

I have no illusions that this will be an easy campaign - I read numbers too. But the "best time to run" is only obvious in hindsight. At some point one has to put their name, time and energy where their mouth is so you can look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.

As in my municipal campaign 2 years ago, I have some personal goals: raise some issues, don't go into debt, keep my integrity and win. If I can do 3 of those 4 things I will be pretty happy with that.

I'll be happier with 4 of 4 but that's in the hands of the people of St. John's North. And the people are never wrong.

My campaign will discuss issues which face this province now and in the future. This will include a focus on matters like the economy; elder care and other social issues; and effective local representation.

Too many critical issue have been pushed off the public agenda; it's time for someone to bring them forward.

I will not throw mud. Frankly, there are enough issues out there that it would take me 5 campaigns before I ran out of sensible things to say. Dirty tactics and personal attacks are the last resort of scoundrels and fools with nothing sensible to say.

Finally, I never intended to use this blog as a political soapbox and I don't intend to now. OffalNews is an outlet for information, issues, insights and ideas and I want to keep it that way. So until October 9, I will not be adding any more posts here.

A link to my campaign site will be added when it goes live.

Take care and see you October 10.

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