Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This is going to be good

It's times like this I wonder why there is any political apathy, because the tension mounting for this minority government is gaining by the week. Stephen Harper is edging himself and the Neo-Tories into what can best be called a rock and a hard, hard place.

It's one thing to sit in opposition and gainsay everything the government does, but its a whole different reality when you are in the drivers seat steering the bus, and Steve's gotta just be hoping that he doesn't take this one over a cliff.

By including up to 50% of a provinces resource wealth in the formula, they will not only have broken a significant promise, but they will be seriously testing the loyalty of one of their 'bases,' namely, mid-Western Canada.

Why would they do this? Well, here's one possible indicator, from the Globe and Mail piece by Brian Laghi:

Mr. Gregg attributed most of the Tory drop to the party's
performance in Quebec. In that province, 15 per cent of voters said they support the Conservatives, down from 25 per cent on election day, when the party won 10 seats. The Liberals would get 25 per cent of Quebec votes were an election held today, up from 21 per cent at the election, while the Bloc Québécois would win 46 per cent, up four points.

...

The poll also suggests Ontario's view of the Tories is worsening. In that key battleground, the Liberals lead the Tories 45 per cent to 32 per cent, a gap that has grown from five points on election day. The New emocrats have dropped four points from election day to 15 per cent. The Greens
are at 9 per cent, up from five at the election.

Afraid of setbacks in Ontario and Quebec, it looks like Harper is going to take a page from Mulroney's playbook by appealing directly to Quebec, and possibly Ontario, even at the expense of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

I can't wait to see how this plays out.

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