Help­ing our­selves

The Compass - - OPINION - — Aubrey Smith writes from Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

Dear Edi­tor, The Lib­er­als are about to se­lect a new leader and I am sure many Tories are se­cretly knif­ing their present leader in the back based on a bit of re­cent polling and as in the past we start shoot­ing our own.

What is it with New­found­lan­ders re provin­cial lead­ers? The first thing we do is rake the whole po­ten­tial slate over the coals and lobby for some po­ten­tially mes­sianic fig­ure to emerge from the heav­ens and save us all.

Get off your asses, friends and start work­ing on our prob­lems in­stead of look­ing to a fa­ther/mother leader fig­ure to take us by the hand and whis­per in our col­lec­tive ear, “I’ll make ev­ery­thing right.”

All we need is an in­tel­li­gent, ex­pe­ri­enced and well-ed­u­cated per­son with in­tegrity and the in­ter­est and en­ergy to help define and pri­or­i­tize our goals and some sen­si­ble strate­gies to reach those goals.

We still talk as if we are com­pletely help­less and po­lit­i­cally im­po­tent as if a new leader will solve ev­ery­thing for us while we sit back on our asses and watch his/her wand work its magic.

To quote Joan Rivers, “Grow up for God’s sake” and drop that Com­mis­sion of Govern­ment men­tal­ity foisted upon our peo­ple decades ago by a pack of stuffy English com­mis­sion­ers who starved our pop­u­la­tion and cast us away with se­cret ne­go­ti­a­tions and deal mak­ing (read Greg Mal­one ‘s book).

We’ve come a long way since Con­fed­er­a­tion and the fund­ing of ed­u­ca­tion and health has been stu­pen­dous while our home grown lead­ers (yes, in­clud­ing Small­wood, Peck­ford, Grimes, Wil­liams and Dun­derale) have shaped our in­dus­trial and nat­u­ral re­sources wealth to fund our goals.

Of course, we have had some dis­en­gaged lead­ers many decades ago that evolved from money who sat in the House read­ing news­pa­pers while the busi­ness of the House swirled about their horny heads and never once looked up. Con­versely, we’ve also been for­tu­nate to have had some qual­ity lead­ers who were just stymied by the lack of fund­ing.

Fi­nally, in 2013 we have many po­ten­tial qual­ity lead­ers, an ed­u­cated pop­u­la­tion and we have the fund­ing, present and po­ten­tial. Let’s bring those three fac­tors to­gether and stop look­ing to the clouds for that “deus ex machina” to res­cue us. Let’s look to our fore­fa­thers and fore­moth­ers who had very lit­tle wealth but sur­vived with dig­nity and let us take an in­spi­ra­tion from their ac­com­plish­ments in the midst of poverty and let’s look to our­selves and our new gen­er­a­tion’s ac­com­plish­ments.

Aren’t you just proud to be a New­found­lan­der and Labrado­rian? I am and I am proud to be a Cana­dian. Yet, the two are not per­fectly the same. We in this prov­ince are like a small group of mis-stamped coins from the Cana­dian Mint a Cana­dian coin but just slightly dif­fer­ent. And what a unique cul­ture we have wo­ven as a con­se­quence of that minute dif­fer­ence.

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