Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Grudge

Harper's new deal with Nova Scotia is basically an admission that there was a problem that needed to be rectified. No substantive issue, no need for the announcement today, sounds fairly straight forward. With that basic logic in place, Harper's comments on Bill Casey are just plan vindictive:
Harper said this deal will not clear the way to Casey's return to the federal Tory caucus.

"Mr. Casey is not welcome into our caucus ... when there is a next federal election, there will be a Conservative candidate in Mr. Casey's riding, and it will not be Mr. Casey," he said.

The Harper political tin ear comes to the fore once again, because Casey will likely retain that seat, no matter his political affiliation. Harper is prepared to sacrifice a Conservative seat because his wounded ego can't fathom a reconciliation. Today has vindicated Casey's stance, proven him correct, given his refusal justification. Instead of leaving the door open, Harper the dictator slams it shut and shows himself to be petty.

If you want to heal the wounds created through this controversy, what better way then to extend an olive branch to Casey, because whether you like it or not, he is a symbol of principle through this entire mess. Harper might not like what Casey did, but we all know it was a decision that caused him great personal anxiety. The decisio was one not taken lightly, but one Casey was prepared to take, in order to protect his province.

The obvious rebuttal, Harper must have discipline in his caucus, voting against a budget is a serious matter. However, today shows Casey's judgement to be correct, the deal proposed in the budget was flawed, he was merely ahead of the Harper curve. If you admit the flaw, then it holds that you change the tune on Casey as well. Having said that, Harper's firm reaction is hardly surprising, in fact it is entirely predictable. A shrewd politician makes an effort, a person with a grudge makes a mistake.

16 comments:

Rick said...

Actually, there is something else going on there I think. I still think Harper is being way too vindictive, but he made mention of demands that Bill Casey made, and even said that Bill Casey wanted the 2 types of equalization stacked instead choosing one or the other.

Under the original budget, NS had to choose which one they wanted within a year, but this new agreement allows them to switch back and forth between the 2 types for the length of the Atlantic Accords. I would say neither got everything they wanted, but compromise dnicely.

Abdul-Rahim said...

Casey doesn't need to be back into the caucus, he could do better staying on the provincial scale, and the fact that he's persona non grata to the federal conservateurs gives him a little more credibility.

lance said...

Umm, didn't Casey fire the first shot last week when he said he wasn't interested?

Besides, we don't need fifth columnists, thank you very much.

The CPC have been quite adept at identifying and tossing the crumbs aside (Hi Garth!), thank you very much. You want em, you can have em.

Regardless of the benefits of looking like an "outreach", or the seemingly "open party", no one needs the kinds of problems that these idiots bring.

Reform, CA, the earlier CPC's, and what the Liberals are now going through because some elements of the party aren't happy with the direction of the party isn't worth the press.

Cheers,
lance

Ben said...

I think part of it has to do with the fact that Peter Mackay was trying to get him to at least express a willingness to stand for the Conservatives in the next election, and Casey was trying to bargain in public.

Slightly vindictive on Harper's part to hold to it, but on the other hand, well, there might be a lesson here for your guy about bringing caucus infighting to public attention.

Dion probably could use a bit of iron in his soul.

Still, he who lives by the sword...

(This sort of thing cost Harper Chuck Cadman in 2004, and therefore the May 2005 confidence vote. It's not a new element.)

Gayle said...

"The obvious rebuttal, Harper must have discipline in his caucus, voting against a budget is a serious matter..."

Which is funny given what all the little Harpercrite talking heads were saying on Duffy and to anyone else who would listen to them when Joe Comuzi did what he did...

Ben said...

And Dion did exactly what he should have in that case -- he turfed him.

That's what a leader has to do. Kinda sucks, 'cuz we look back on days with less strict party discipline as more productive parliaments, but discipline has tightened since then.

Steve V said...

ben

"Casey, who now sits as an Independent, was reacting to a report quoting Defence Minister Peter MacKay as saying Casey may be allowed to run again for the Conservatives in the riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley."

Sounds like MacKay went public.

Gayle

That's who I was thinking about after reading lance's "tossing the crumbs aside". Throw in a slimy car salesman and a person who doesn't respect the voters wishes and you have quite the team.

bigcitylib said...

See, Harper comes to the rescue! Just when it looks like he will take command of the political scene, he does something magnificently stupid like this! All the good will he just bought in NS up the flue! Its like he spit on the money before he handed it over to them!

Gayle said...

ben - it is the hypocrisy that amazes me, not the actions.

northwestern_lad said...

Steve.... they've already got the slimy car salesman. Check out their MP from Peterborough. He's the slimy car salesman and a person who doesn't respect the voters wishes all rolled into one.

ottlib said...

Mr. Harper is consistant I will give you that.

BCL, you hit it on the head. Any good that came from this announcement was destroyed by crapping on the most respected MP in Nova Scotia.

Steve V said...

cam

That makes two. I've heard a couple of Wajid Khan's radio ads, the "come on down, these deals won't last" cheesy type. I literally laugh to myself when I think that this is the guy Harper has slated as Middle East expert. Addition by subtraction, and quite a testament to the depth of Harper's team.

Steve V said...

"Any good that came from this announcement was destroyed by crapping on the most respected MP in Nova Scotia."

Casey isn't some crazy renegade. And people wonder why Harper is stuck in the polls, sometimes he is his own worst enemy.

Gayle said...

"And people wonder why Harper is stuck in the polls, sometimes he is his own worst enemy."

I suspect people do not like him, but the real reason he cannot move in the polls is that people do not like what the new conservative party stands for.

I cannot help but think that if Joe Clark was still around, or someone like him, things would be much different for the conservative party right now.

lance said...

Gayle said: "I cannot help but think that if Joe Clark was still around, or someone like him, things would be much different for the conservative party right now."

Yeah, the right would still be split and the Liberals would be the gov't.

Cheers,
lance

Miles Lunn said...

I fully agree here and it seems kind of from a political point of view silly to not take him back. Besides being popular in his riding, his riding is the most Conservative part of the province so even with the deal Harper still could get shut out of Nova Scotia as MacKay and Keddy's seats are far from safe. Their odds of holding them may have improved, but they could still lose them.

Besides Casey seems too much like an honest and nice guy to buy in Harper's party. He seems more like a Robert Stanfield type Tory in both his views and personality rather than a Harper one.