When the Newfoundland and Labrador government asked for suggestions on ways to fix the province’s economic woes, it probably wasn’t expecting “Communist Revolution” to be one of the top picks.
But revolution is the top-rated answer to the question, “How can government be more innovative or efficient to provide quality services at lower costs?” on a provincial government website.
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“If we carry out the communist revolution then there would be plenty of funding to go around. We should be receiving the benefit of the resources that are taken from here and sold at profit by capitalist corporations. Why should they get rich from our resources and from our labour?” wrote commenter “Levi”.
The proposal has received 56 votes so far, with an average score of 4.2 stars out of 5.
But you won’t find Premier Dwight Ball at the barricades: He told local media last week he isn’t entertaining communism as a way to solve the province’s financial problems, which are substantial.
The provincial government is facing a $1.96 billion deficit, according to the latest budget update, due in part to the fall in oil prices and associated royalty revenue. So they’re asking residents for suggestions on how to save money and raise more of it.
Among other consultation measures, the government has set up a website where anyone can post a suggestion and people vote on their favourites. The website was set up Jan. 12.
There are some more conventional offerings, such as raising the HST and restructuring regional health care authorities.
But many users are thinking outside the box.
“Make every day Big Mary Monday, for Jesus sakes,” wrote “UpDaShore,” referring to fried chicken chain Mary Brown’s weekly special.
“Replace tap water with Blue Star,” wrote “eversweet709.” Blue Star is a popular Newfoundland beer.
“Stop wasting money on consultations,” wrote “commoncents.”
Other commenters are playing with Newfoundland’s unique place names. “Resettle Dildo into Broad Cove,” is one such suggestion.
“As we know, Newfoundland and Labrador is awash in red ink – much of which comes from the infrastructure costs required to service so many small communities. To remedy this, I propose we consider a more robust resettlement program,” wrote user “drewfoundland.”
“It would also be an easy resettlement, since all Dildo has to do to get to Broad Cove is sail down Spread Eagle Bay. Since both towns are so close already, there will be very little mess to mop up afterwards. And if it goes well, it might lay the foundation of a future population growth strategy.”
“But most importantly, moving Dildo into Broad Cove will be a powerful symbol of the sort of things the government expects from people in these hard times.”
(Travel buffs, take note: Although Dildo is next to Broad Cove, you wouldn’t cross Spread Eagle Bay to get there – you’d use Dildo Arm, according to Google.)
And lest you think all Newfoundlanders are left-leaning, a competing “Fascist Revolution” proposal has also appeared on the website. As of Monday afternoon, it remains quite unpopular, receiving a score of only one star after five votes.