People can debate how Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams plays across the country. However, his positioning on the McGuinty/Harper feud will, in my view, play very badly for the Conservatives in Ontario. For the second time this week, Williams has publicly recounted the details of the Premier's last meeting with Harper, and it paints a vision of a neglectful Prime Minister. Of course, Harper would surely offer a different view, but he doesn't have the political credibility in Ontario any longer to make it believable. In other words, Williams opinion feeds an already held perception, it further reinforces:
He recalled a meeting last year between the premiers and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"I was at the prime minister's house when he indicated he didn't think this was a problem that needed the direct intervention of the federal government," he said.
"So I took (Harper) to task on that and we had a discussion. As well, I've indicated publicly that as a province, we're very supportive of the need to get Ontario through this critical situation."
..."I have great difficulty when (Flaherty) makes a statement that the last place to invest in the country is the province of Ontario," Williams said.
The N.L. premier has had his battles with the federal Conservatives over issues like equalization. However, the province's current good fortune means it will be off equalization next year.
"It just goes to show their attitude," Williams said of his federal cousins. "When they want to dig in and malign a province, they do it at their whim and if it suits their agenda."
Harper can't win that battle, Williams championing the need to help Ontario, calling out the PM's inaction. Williams, the surrogate defender of Ontario's interest, completely in sync with McGuinty, completely in line with the growing narrative, completely believable to an already suspicious Ontario electorate. Williams may be a key Liberal ally in Ontario, or at the very least, another voice in a growing chorus of negativity.