Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What Is Wrong With These People?

Amateur hour, within the PMO, is on full display again, as the feds fail on the most basic of common courtesies. Why agitate further, alienate with unilateral decisions and act like a sulky, vindictive adolescent:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has scheduled a good news trip to Halifax -- likely to re-announce funding for the military .

Harper was off to a rough start even before arriving in the port city after he apparently snubbed Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald, who said he knew nothing about the visit less than 24 hours before it was due to occur.

"If it's good news for my province, I'd be very disappointed not to know what that news is,'' a bewildered MacDonald told reporters in Bridgewater, N.S., during a spending announcement at the local Michelin tire plant.

"If it's good news for Nova Scotia, I'm quite surprised that I would not be aware.''

Federal/Provincial relations are complex, demanding co-ordination on a wide range of issues. The fact that we have a major dispute over equalization shouldn't spill over to other areas, wherein Harper and company simply ignore the provincial government and effectively snub. You inform MacDonald of the looming announcement, you just do, period. As a matter of fact, if you are at all shrewd, you engage the Premier on this announcement, to demonstrate that there is still a relationship, despite the problems. If I were in charge, I would go so far as to extend an invitation to MacDonald to attend, if for nothing more than appearances.

Harper undercuts the whole purpose of the military announcement by the distraction of a Premier in total darkness. Are the strategists in the PMO so dense that they can't see the potential disaster in ignoring the province? The failure to notify, at the very least, just re-affirms the impression that the province is at war with the federal government. How is any of this positive to easing tensions and cooling the rhetoric?

In my mind, the issue of equalization is secondary to the insights revealed in how this government reacts to tensions. In snubbing MacDonald, the Conservatives demonstrate their complete lack of diplomatic instinct, political nuance and a dangerous flare for needless escalation and exasperation. What is wrong with these people?

8 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

The fact that 6 more Canadian soldiers are dead today doesn't help his announcement much either.

Nothing to do with him of course, but you get what I'm saying. He now has 2 shadows over his announcement, when 1 of those shadows didn't even need to be there. He and his PMO are treating MacDonald as if he was Danny Williams.

It was an unnecessary snub.

Anonymous said...

Steve is president...don't forget that.
Whatever Canadians think they elected does not count. The day he took over should have told us something.

Gayle said...

"The day he took over should have told us something."

It told us a couple things:

1. Canadians were understandably angry at the liberals.

2. Canadians did not trust Harper enough to give him a majority - and we were right on that point too.

Anonymous said...

Latest news - the PMO denies that he is going to Halifax...huh?

I think they sensed a bad photo-op here and are using the denial tactic.

I remember the polls when Harper got elected - majority that voted for Harper voted because they were angry and/or needed change. Only 9% voted for his polities.

burlivespipe said...

Hey lets not make too much out of this hay, Harpor's trite treatment of other leaders who don't agree with him (what a booming commodity that is -- big growth factor!)... Frankly, with some columnists finally clueing in (or being open to the clues) on this tart el Prime Ministero, it is making his mantra of 'majority or bust' seem oh so true. Now, if we can just get OUR house in order, we can help Harpor on his ride down the skids...

Anonymous said...

Canadians don't want Harper, they want Dion. They just don't know it. Good thing we know it for them. Go Dion, go!

knb said...

Scott, I don't take exception to what Williams has done. We know he will call it as it is, that's Danny. Treating MacDonald in the same way should come as no surprise.

He (Harper), really is a "agin me or with me" kinda guy.

The reports are confusing...he's going, he's not, maybe a different day, we'll see.

To your title Steve, quite frankly, "What is right with these people?"

Steve V said...

""What is right with these people?""

The ideology ;)

burl

If it is majority or bust, bust looks a certainty.