Monday, October 15, 2007

The pendulum swings

Check Web Talk for another patented "Before we had Joey. Now we have Danny. Look how for we've come" posts. It presumes that we were once naive federalists and then we have gradually awoken as a nation under the wise and revelatory leadership of Danny Williams to take our place in the country and the world.

*Yawn* to an unnuanced and simplistic point of view which ignores the last 60 years of provincial history.

The post conveniently forgets that Smallwood went through strong federalists phases and strong provincialist phases as it suited him. Just ask Diefenbaker how well the two levels of government got along through the 60s after the extended federal-provincial honeymoon of the 50s.

Then the post rushes to skip entirely over the administration of the great NL nationalist, A. Brian Peckford and his revival of provincialist pride in the 80s. Oddly, this new generation of of provincialist pride advocates prefer to ignore our first Brian entirely. I guess the construction of faux history precludes the existence of rivals to the current favourite.

Then came the swing which lead to the unassailiablilty of the federalist Clyde Kirby Wells in the 1990s.

Only then do we come to the latest pretender of the provincialist crown, Premier Danny Williams, in the 2000s.

Who knows who will lead the swing back in the 2010s?

The lesson of history is that this province has cyclically lurched from a federalist to a provincial point of view under a variety of political strongmen depending on agenda and circumstances.

The lesson for the day is that if one is going to make an historical argument, some knowledge and inclusion of history would be helpful.

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