"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Live by the poll...

MR. DAVIS: As well, Mr. Speaker, the strong results of this by-election speak volumes to the great job this government is doing in leading and governing Newfoundland and Labrador, and to the confidence that residents have in the leadership of Premier Williams.

This confidence has also been evident in in-depth research polls, such as those conducted by Corporate Research Associates, and we heard these during the campaign. Their latest poll suggested that 93 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are satisfied with the job this government is doing today.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DAVIS: The polling firm said satisfaction with the government is the highest recorded in Atlantic Canada in more than twenty years. Mr. Speaker, these results are remarkable. Our Premier and this government have made and continue to make a significant impact on the Province and its future.

- Paul Davis, maiden speech as MHA, May 4, 2010

Mr. Speaker, our Province was well equipped to deal with this recession. We have weathered the storm well and we have one of the strongest economies in North America as a result of decisions that this government has made, and I have no doubt that the growth will continue, Mr. Speaker. So it is no surprise that recent polls show significant support and satisfaction with this government. Why wouldn't people be confident and pleased? We are seeing unprecedented benefits for families, for seniors, for students, for community groups. The list is endless, Mr. Speaker, and it is all reflected in this Budget. So people do indeed have confidence. We are making the right investments and the right decisions, and I think people know this and I think they see through the antics of the Opposition.

- Steve Kent, MHA, April 29, 2010

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


[Edited to correct the second chart.]

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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Prolixity and verbosity

By popular demand*, here is a rank-size chart showing the number of words spoken by each identifiable ordinary Hon. Member during the life of the 47th legislature.

"Identifiable" means that utterances by "An Hon. Member" and "Some Hon. Members" are excluded. "ordinary" means that the words spoken by the chair occupant — Speaker or Chair of Committee of the Whole — are also excluded. And "Hon. Member" means that words spoken by others, such as the Clerk, Sergeant at Arms, or "strangers", are also excluded.

Each member's record is represented by a vertical column, cleverly colour-coded along traditional lines, reflecting the current political affiliation of that member. Pale colours indicate an MHA who was not in office for the entire duration of the Legislature; i.e., the seven members who resigned and the seven who were elected in the subsequent by-elections. (This does not apply to Kevin O'Brien, late of Gander, who resigned after the House had already risen for the summer.) The darkest blue colour is reserved to represent the words spoken by three PC MHAs as Premier. (Click to enlarge).

Members who resigned their seat (RS) and who were elected in by-elections (BE) are noted, as are the two members who have served as Speaker (Sp), whose word-count as ordinary members would necessarily be depressed by virtue of having held that office.

The winner, and it's not a huge surprise, is the Hon. Member for Burgeo–La Poile. And, again no surprise, the high end of the chart is dominated by opposition members, who have fewer members than the governemtn among whom to divide the daily back-and-forth of debate.

A few government backbenchers really phoned it in. And one also can't help but feel it would have been nice to have heard more from Mr. Pollard.

* One person asked.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Top three Ross Wiseman moments

3. 2008 — It emerges that Minister Ross Wiseman doesn't like to read his briefing books.

2. January 2015 — "Maybe math wasn't my strong suit", confesses Ross Wiseman... Minister of Finance.

1. April 17, 2013 — Dr. Darin King concocts the phoniest point of privilege ever concocted in a Westminster Parliament. Ross Wiseman, as Speaker, dutifully ejects MHA Gerry Rogers for, properly, not apologizing. Less than a week later, having been pilloried in social media and the call-in shows, he apologizes to Rogers. Dr. King has yet to do the same.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Periodic reminder

There is no such thing as "Newfoundland Hydro".

There is no such thing as "Newfoundland and Labrador Power" or "NL Power".

As you were.

Friday, July 17, 2015


In 2003, Dear Leader's platform promised, and we quote, for the umpteenth time:
“A Progressive Conservative government will ... release to the public every government-commissioned report within 30 days of receiving it, indicate the action government will take on a report's recommendations within 60 days, and ensure prompt public access to all government reports in hard copy and on the Internet”
Dear Leader's government and party have had, at best, a spotty adherence to this solemn vow.

But now they have come up with a clever new way of breaking it. Pity the poor sod who made Access to Information request ENV/21/2015, only to receive a redacted version:

But even that is better than what "the public" — as in, "release to the public" — have, or will receive. The report, despite being "government-commissioned", has not been released on the internets, neither proactively, nor in response to the ATI request. The publicly-posted version of the request notes:
Potential copyright materialIf you wish to obtain a copy please contact the ATIPP Office at (709) 729-7072 or
Pro tip to the legal geniuses in DannyGov DunderGov DavisGov: put a standard clause in all your contracts for commissioned reports, that either assign or license the copyright in that commissioned report to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Newfoundland and Labrador.

This is hardly the only such case. There have been at least 53 such "proactively released" ATI request packages in which some or all of the substantive part of the return have been withheld from public release on the same flimsy ermagerd cerpyrert grounds. Many of them are, naturally, the same type of "government-commissioned report" that Dear Leader promised, a dozen years ago, would be routinely released within 30 days of their receipt.

And why did Dear Leader make that promise?

Because His research staff were having trouble getting access to government-commissioned reports.


Monday, July 06, 2015

The dead hand

Where or what is "Newfoundland Labrador Hydro"?

Danny's gone, folks. You can start using conjunctions again.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Five years already

His Dear Parting Words, though only a handful knew it at the time:

The Cupids celebrations, 400th Anniversary celebrations - I want to make sure everybody has a great summer and you spend time in your districts and get a chance to get around the Province, but this is a very special celebration. This is the oldest English colony in North America. It is equivalent, in my opinion, to the Quebec City celebrations that were held just two years ago or a year ago. Get out there, it is in the middle of August. Make sure you spend some time out there, but it is really worthwhile being there and being part of it. I know, Roland, I am going to see you out there. So we will see you there and at the Blueberry Festival. 
Take care.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The new battlemap

Because, for some reason, the most open and transparent government EVAR can't bring itself to do any such thing, nor even make the underlying data available for public download, here's a zoomable map of the 36 new electoral district in Newfoundland. (Since the four Labrador districts are unchanged, they aren't mapped here.)

Zoom in to see detail at the local level in your community or neighbourhood.

Apologies for the lack of district labels.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015


There's something positively oramesque about this bit of flattery, released as part of ATI release package PRE/13/2015:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Legislative innovation

Ahhh... open government.

The ever-innovative people who brought you classics such as "There Are No Purple Files", "A .csv document Is A Computer Program", "That'll Be $10,000 Please, " and "We Used Electricity To Scan This Excel Spreadsheet So Now It's An Electronic Record", now bring you this, from recently-releases CYFS ATI release package CYFS/006/2015 [pdf link]:

And, starting at page 43 of the release package, this:

Pop quiz: Which legislative provision allows a body which is subject to the Access to Information Act to redact requested records because of swears?

Never let it be said that The Most Open And Accountable Government In The World is incapable of innovation. If it isn't in the Act... they will just make it up.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Indecision desk

In three provinces or territories, coloured here in red, a tie vote in a provincial or territorial election is decided by a random draw, or, in the case of PEI, a coin toss.
In Ontario and New Brunswick (blue), the returning officer casts a deciding vote.
In the rest of the country, and federally (green), the tie result is voided and a new election is held.
The numbers are references to the relevant provision of the appropriate electoral legislation.