Schadenfreude and Equalization
I've been observing the firestorm over equalization payments with a certain degree of amusement. I didn't realize that Stephen Harper was part of the May-Dion coalition, but it appears that he too is willing to help work against Peter McKay's re-election by ousting Bill Casey from caucus and daring Nova Scotia to take the federal government to court.
The irony of all of this is that I have long thought that the Atlantic Accord was a terrible idea, and I thought Paul Martin was an opportunistic fool for making side-deals on equalization with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It is hard enough to get Alberta and Ontario to swallow the deal without creating additional loopholes to avoid allowing other provinces to graduate to "have" status. But Harper was a fool to promise not to touch the Accord, and so he's getting his come-uppance, and I'm delighting in his misery.
It's ultimately a case in electoral math, though. The Conservatives have very few seats in the Atlantic region, and seem to have decided to write them off as losses, in the hopes of more gains in Ontario and Quebec. I suspect though, that if Saskatchewan also turns on Harper, that all of this fighting with these provinces will prove to be a zero-sum game.Recommend this Post