Thursday, December 30, 2004

Premier Danny Williams' war on Ottawa

I think Klein has officially lost the "Ottawa Hating Crown". Danny Williams seems to have blossomed into the role of principal voice of regional angst quite nicely. In the last several monthes Williams has stormed out of a meeting with the premiers, angrily denounced Martin for not returning a phone call, and all but called Martin a liar outright.

In his latest move Williams has ordered all the Canadian flags on provincial government buildings in the province to be run down, given what he considers to be Ottawa's profound bad faith in negotiating over the offshore oil agreements. The mayors of Newfoundland's major cities have similairly removed Canadian flags from municipal buildings in a show of solidarity. This has to be the most open show of quasi-seperatism seen outside Quebec in a 100 years.

My reaction is twofold- firstly, I can't help but react initially along the lines of "my god that Williams has got a pair hasn't he?" Not only is he taking a run at the federal government but he's attacking its symbols and people are rallying around it.

Secondly, I have to marvel at how badly Martin has handled this entire scenario. Although I marvel with a great degree of glee at watching what is something of a tremendous failure. Martin really was goaded into making his pledge to Williams because Harper made the pledge first. If Martin hadn't Harper could have beat him over the head with his lack of concern about the future of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and picked up a number of more seats.

Since then Martin has gone on and on about how its all a big misunderstanding, and floated the notion of how it would really be unfair for the rest of Canada if he went along with Newfoundland. However, he back pedaled on the later evidently he wasn't ready to sacrifice a large number of seats in that region.

Its actually rather fascinating to watch this squabble over the revenues over offshore oil. It could very well be that the regional hinterland angst that Preston Manning was looking for in Atlantic Cananda more than a decade ago is starting to bubble to the surface. Certainly they do not seem as ready to believe that the Liberal Party of Canada is looking after their best interests. If nothing else there is an opportunity and a wave which can be road here. The Conservative Party in the next election with this rather unseemly and public bit of feuding ill have an opportunity to make some serious inroads.

It would be terribly ironic if in the next election it was possible for Harper to play the national unity card - given that the Liberals are driving the country appart. Were that the case I think Conservatives across the country would be dining on schaucenfreud for along time to come. Although I'm sure the Liberals would miss the irony of being hoisted upon their own petard.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Blogroll Me!
Seo Blog - free blog hosting! Publish your blog for free! Blogarama - The Blog Directory Blogwise - blog directory Blog Search Engine Listed on BlogsCanada
Search Popdex:
Listed in LS Blogs