Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ex-premier Danny Williams defines Ottawa’s “centrist attitude”

The plaintive lion of Newfoundland and Labrador politics Danny Williams captured a fistful of headlines across Canada with a speech in Ottawa earlier this week that ripped into the “centrist attitude” of Canada’s federal government. His cri de coeur provided a brand new definition of the problem—whether led by a jittery minority or a strong majority, why is the federal government so irritating?
Williams's core grievance is simplicity itself: the federal government “spends too much time worrying about how one thing will affect another.”
Sadly, that other thing they’re worrying about isn’t necessary the next thing Danny Williams wants.
Month in and month out the Danny Williams of provincial and municipal politics and the special pleaders from business and other lofty causes leave Canada’s national capital muttering: Why can’t they concentrate with the same long-term laser focus on what I want, the same way I do?
Williams dresses up the peevishness of his complaint by immediately identifying what seems to distract the federal government—they’re preoccupied with big provinces, like Quebec. Why doesn’t Ottawa, for instance, unilaterally and illegally pay for and build a power grid across Quebec to Newfoundland and Labrador, for my convenience?
Danny Williams has retired successfully from politics. It’s much more difficult to stop being an egomaniac.

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