Dwight Ball needs to change tack to win back public trust, says political scientist
After months of controversies, Premier Dwight Ball needs to switch tactics to get his young administration back on track, according to a Memorial University political scientist.
Stephen Tomblin says the premier should become more clear with the public and more aggressive in defining his actions and plans if he's hoping to turn the tide of bad news.
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"The premier has inherited a mess, but he's now brought focus upon himself as opposed to defining the issue in a way that would actually help his government." he said.
Tomblin says these issues are minor compared to the structural financial problem in the province, and the "series of bad decisions in the past."
He claims the government could return focus to those issues if they struck the right chord with the public.
Tomblin believes that the government has made several communication errors, all of which make it seem like Ball's credibility is at question.
A number of election promises were broken, and the recent he-said, he-said controversy surrounding Martin's departure from Nalcor is not helping.
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Tomblin believes that Ball needs to shed the "ambiguity" and take an upfront approach — just like former Alberta premier Ralph Klein.
"The narrative now is really the integrity and the honesty of the premier. That shouldn't be a problem," he said.
"The public shouldn't be confused. The government should have a very clear position."
The premier showed a glimpse of that side on Tuesday afternoon, when he forcefully denied allegations by Ed Martin that he was personally involved in the severance approval.
Then, Tomblin says the premier should switch attention back to the legacy they received from the PC governments of the past — blame them more often for "the mess of Muskrat Falls."
"Politics is really about gaining credit and avoiding blame, that's the first rule," he said.
"He needs to focus on Danny Williams, he needs to focus on the problems that were created by another administration which he's inherited and he hasn't done that."