With a lesson from the great boxer Muhammed Ali, I can tell you this is a watershed election in P.E.I. history. Our land, our water - our children and their children depend on our choices.
I'd like to talk to one group in particular - the Liberal faithful - who have been voting Liberal since their great-grandfather's day. Mostly honest and caring people; but you know that the government you are thinking of voting for is not. More and more millions wasted and perhaps even stolen ... I wish your great-grandfather could sit down with you over a cup of tea; he'd be furious. He would see that for this Liberal government the new 'Island Way of Life' is 'Get it While the Getting's Good'.
Just the Holman hotel with the 'Red Water' restaurant could have bought equipment for our hospitals, provided home-care visits, dredged a lot of harbours in P.E.I. Yep. 'Red Water' - the symbol of fish kills and pollution. Our government is rich in money and bankrupt in ideas.
Why Muhammed Ali, four-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, in discussing our provincial election? Because the Liberal government learned how to fight from Ali, that’s why.
In 1974, Ali, past his prime, was to fight then Champion George Foreman. Foreman had a professional boxing record of 40–0 wins, with 37 knockouts. Could anyone win against such a puncher?
That fight showed how a wily fighter could defeat a giant opponent, against all odds. He had observed that Foreman, a huge man, had won many of his fights by knock-out in the first three rounds. Ali’s technique was simple – he leaned back against the ropes, protected his head and absorbed blow after punishing blow from Foreman, with only the occasional jab in return. Do you see where this is leading? Ali let his opponent pummel himself to exhaustion. When Foreman was exhausted from punching him, Ali sprang to life and knocked the Champion down – for the first time in Foreman's career. And went on to win the title. And, in our case, that would be the election.
The Liberals, under Robert Ghiz’s and Wade MacLauchlan’s leaderships have taken dozens and dozens of heavy blows regarding their abuse of taxpayers’ money and alleged corruption. Their tactics used to be the young Ali’s– bob and weave. Now they just take the heavy body hits.
You, the faithful Liberals, are taken for granted - always there, like sheep. The back-roomers figure - oh, people will forget - a few 'donations' (taxpayers' money) here and there, some bagpipes, a few strawberry socials and we're good to go. Some Liberals have made more in the past few years than your entire family has or will in its lifetime. These are not ‘Your People.' Shame is not in their vocabulary.
Don't waste any time feeling bad for them when they get tossed out. It's going to be a pretty soft landing for most of them.
Did the 'Island Way of Life' - now on life-support, thanks to the Liberals – mean lining one’s pockets? What happened to caring and helping others? This Liberal government isn't planning for our future. Only how to get in power for four more years.
This isn't your great-great grandfather's Island, Liberal supporters. 'Your Party' has somehow gotten over $300,000 to fight the next election. Where? How?
There will be lots of good candidates out there. A lot of new faces – so what? All MLAs were rookies once. This is still a democracy. You hold a lot of power. This time, out with the bad, in with the good. Someday you'll be able to vote Liberal again.