Tuesday, February 03, 2009

He Just Had To Poke Someone In The Eye

I was waiting for confirmation of this, but one of the clauses in the budget reduced transfer payments to Newfoundland/Labrador.

You had to know that Harper was going to find an outlet for his instinctive urge to kick somebody around. Since he learned that kicking the opposition too hard was going to get him dethroned, he's decided to start exacting retribution from provinces whose premiers are "difficult" for him to deal with.

He's already written off Quebec entirely - mostly with some really stupid comments about arts funding in Quebec. So, now he's set his sights on Danny Williams. Make no mistake about it, this is another of Harper's politics of retribution maneuvers. Danny Williams has made it clear that he thinks Harper is bad for Newfoundland, and now Harper - in his zeal to make "political points" - is about to prove to Newfoundlanders just how bad he is for them. Talk about self fulfilling prophecy.

As for Ignatieff, he's got an interesting challenge ahead. If he's smart, Ignatieff will do nothing substantive to the Newfoundland MPs who are planning to vote against the budget. He might censure them in caucus or something relatively minor like that, but that's as far as he should take it.

By doing so, he will signal a couple of things that are important. First, he will demonstrate that he can respect the reasons for this difference of opinion; second, he will also show Canadians that he is not a vindictive autocrat - something which will distinguish him from his counterpart currently residing at 24 Sussex.

2 comments:

VĂ©ronique said...

Looks like Ignatieff made a wise move. By not coming down on the Newfoundland and Labrador MPs for opposing the budget, he makes himself look like a reasonable but still strong leader and, maybe more importantly, he signals that the NL MPs are right, highlighting that Harper probably did this out of spite against Danny Williams.

MgS said...

Agreed.

Harper has to be about the most spiteful, malicious PM I think this country has seen in generations.