Observation: Rob Antle's story in today's Telegram illustrates two trends in NL politics. First, over the past year or so, physicians have been getting increasingly frustrated with the Williams government on a number of issues that go far beyond the Cameron Inquiry. They have become increasingly media savvy, and they constitute one of the few independent political forces that can effectively challenge Danny Williams.
Second, over the past year or so, Lorraine Michael has consistently outperformed the Liberals. She has got out in front of key opposition issues and used the media far more effectively than Yvonne Jones. Rob Antle relies on a letter provided by the NDP, but the fact that he quotes only Michael is not unusual. In many CBC and Telegram stories over the past year, Michael has either monopolized the media coverage or marginalized the Liberals. Political insiders will know why this is the case, but it's a clear trend.
Prediction: Antle's story will prompt a TASS communiqué within 48 hours. With the pressure of a byelection, it might even prompt a scrum. But it won't prompt another rhetorical shooting. Threatening to shoot civil servants is one thing, but Williams won't dare to threaten a surgeon publicly -- so it will be interesting to see who gets blamed.
Just in case you don't buy my observation about how Michael is running media laps around the Liberals, here is the latest example.