Tuesday, June 12, 2007

So sue me!

That’s the headline on the cover of 24 Hours in the T-Dot this morning, along with a picture of Steve Harper. The topic, of course, is the rapidly escalating feud between Decivin’ Steven, much of Atlantic Canada led by two Conservative Premiers and apparently a growing portion of his (soon to be decimated) Atlantic caucus.

Sources at Sun Media tell me their second choice for a head line was “The long, tiring, unproductive era of bickering between the federal and provincial governments is over” followed by a LOL, but it was just too long.

As I think back to that utterly ridiculous quote from Jim Flaherty I’m tempted to make an allusion to Neville Chamberlain’s waving that piece of paper and declaring peace in our time, but then I’d only be accused of comparing someone to Nazis, which I’m not, so I just won’t go there. And unlike Neville, I don’t think Jim actually believed it.

Where to start with this mess though? It’s hard to contain my glee. How about with Decivin’ Steven’s gunslinger declaration yesterday to take this Atlantic Accord, misunderstanding shall we say, to the courts for clarification. Is this the same Decivin’ Steven that railed against activist judges, judicial interference in politics, judge-made law, the supremacy of parliament, yada yada?

Is this the same Decivin’ Steven that a scant week ago ignored the requests of a number of provinces, Liberal senators and constitutional experts to refer his hair-brained, half-baked Senate “reform” package to the Supreme Court for an opinion on its constitutionality?

I’d rather not focus on the fact that he’s flip-flopping more than Flipper. Though he totally is. Instead, I’ll just say now that he’s come around lets just refer that Senate bill to the courts too, shall we? No apology necessary.

Because the hits keep coming for Decivin’ Steven. He lost Bill Casey last week. The pressure has also been on Gerald Keddy, another Conservative MP from Nova Scotia, to break ranks and vote against the budget too. He’s married to a Nova Scotia Conservative MLA and minister; they’re on vacation right now and you can be sure he’s hearing it from her since her boss, the Conservative premier, is calling on Nova Scotians everywhere to remember their homeland and vote no.

And the split may rise all the way to the Harper cabinet as well. I was talking to Peter McKay’s dog again yesterday and he had some juicy gossip. Apparently, the PMO wanted his master to sign a letter to the editor saying there would be no side deals. Peter said no-way, so they got Jim Flaherty to sign it instead. It was published Saturday and inflamed things even further, and McKay is said to feel blindsided. McKay has been trying to negotiate a deal between Nova Scotia and Harper, what with his political future (such as it is) on the line and all, and the letter essentially cuts his feet out from under him.

It’s not looking good for Harper right now, and it’s really not looking good for Conservatives in the Atlantic provinces. One is reminded of the decimation of the Liberals there after the EI reforms, I think it was in 1997. This is looking worse for the Cons though. I love this graph of Newfoundland support (h/t Ed) and the way the lines diverge:

Revolt in his caucus, revolt in his cabinet, Conservative premiers revolting, threatening to take provinces to court…remind me again who is not a leader, will you Steve?

If only we had the money for attack ads. Unlike Decivin’ Steven we actually have a lot of material to work with…

Around the blogsphere
: Jason says it’s time for Peter to man-up, Ed sums it all up in their own words, Devin has issued a challenge, Red has a good question and Scott is getting out the popcorn. As well, Dan also sees shades of EI and 1997, Miranda wonders if Harper is trying to protect Flaherty, KNB has a theory, and Steve also likes nautical analogies.

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Jay said...

Yikes on the graph.

Its pretty bad when your numbers take a massive nose dive down to NDP numbers (good for the NDP, your in the polling at least).

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I got a theory, too. I reckon Steve's winnin' the game. He's playin' a different game than most o' the other players, though.

Consider Harper the separatist. Every "failure" on the federal level reinforces the unworkability of confederation.

Coming soon: The Oil Shiekdom Formerly Known as Alberta.
On the throne: King Steve.