05 July 2005

An announcement a week and a good poll

Reputedly that was Brian Tobin's formula for political success.

Danny Williams is determined to go him one better what with eight good polls he is trying to keep secret and then the string of announcements.

More of everything from Danny Williams: it's actually more like an announcement and a poll a day!

Hot behind announcement of new health care money for the Burin Peninsula comes this one in which John Efford will hand over a fake cheque representing the $2.0 billion for the new offshore revenue deal.

The money was actually transferred by the Government of Canada on Monday. The cheque is so "da byes" can add to their respective "I love me" walls. [Note to self: check the federal proactive disclosure releases and see if First Contact is making any more cash from John Efford for this little piece of nonsense. Note to readers: I still haven't figured out what they did for the $22 and a half large they pocketed from earlier this year.]

Of course, the offshore deal is really only worth $2.0 billion and not the double revenues that the Premier boasted about all along. You see, provincial oil revenues are so good the province will likely go off the Equalization rolls this year.

That means there is no Equalization offset under the new deal; we just get the declining one under the original deal. Since the province is likely to stay off Equalization for a while, the odds of ever collecting more than the $2.0 billion would be pretty slim. And what does the new deal actually become worth at that point? Something around $320 million over two years.

That's okay, though. Over the next two years we'll pocket more than $2.0 billion in direct oil revenues and we'll keep every penny of it. I know that isn't what you were told and it sure as heck isn't what you'll be told tomorrow.

But hey, you used to believe in the tooth fairy once too because someone told you she was real.

Speaking of good polls, tomorrow's major post will be some comment on the poll commissioned by the Premier's office in January on attitudes toward the provincial position on the offshore deal. The story was originally covered in the Telegram a while ago, but now that I have had a chance to go through the research report, there are a few interesting things in it that are worth bringing to wider attention.

It might help explain why the Premier is so reluctant to let us all have a look at the eight good polls he is keeping stashed in his desk drawers.