Stephen Harper from his post-caucus scrum:
"What is the next thing [after passing the budget]? We are going to be asked to have a bunch of mafia people working for the government because it might get Danny Williams money a couple of weeks earlier?"
The effectiveness of the recent campaign by Fair Deal for Newfoundland can be seen by the presence of Norm Doyle and Loyola Hearn on either side of Stephen Harper during the scrum. These guys have likely never been under such intense political pressure in their long political lives.
Neither Doyle nor Hearn looked very happy.
Guess what? This little budget fiddle won't ease the pressure at all.
More to the point, Harper's stupid remarks aimed at Danny Williams will actually ramp up the pressure on the lone Conservatives on the island portion of the province.
Incidentally, in French, Harper said that this plan was the Consewrvative attention all along. They kept it secret for undisclosed tactical reasons. Maybe their constituency offices needed practice handling gajillions of e-mails. Maybe Loyola and Norm don't sweat enough.
In English, Harper said this approach would prevent Liberals from saying that the Conservatives had voted against the provisions of Bill C-43. This is at odds with statements made by Conservatives, including Stephen Harper, over the past two weeks that they opposed the government and the budget.
Apparently, Harper is prepared to vote against C-48 which contains money for children and students, but in favour of money for children and seniors because C-43 conforms to the Conservative Party principles. That sounds to me like a convenient bit of spin as the Connies focus on process and tactical navigation rather than strategic thought.