02 March 2007

Equalization: We'll huff and we'll puff...

and we'll hold our breath until we turn blue.

Well, deeper blue.

Maybe purple.

And if that doesn't work we'll stamp our feet.

The provincial government of Danny Williams has such an effective relationship with Ottawa that its operatives must resort to leaking correspondence to the Globe and Mail's Brian Laghi in an effort to get anyone to pay attention to them.

All that it nets is the repetition of the same old lines from the provincial government:

- Stephen Harper won't confirm he plans to live up to a commitment he made during the last federal election.

- Losing federal handouts "would very seriously undermine the progress we have made and our prospects for the future."

Then there's the old chestnut:
"It would electrify the electorate," a provincial source said of how such a move would play in a federal election.
Maybe the unnamed source on this one is the same source that told Danny Williams that pulling down the Canadian flag was a dandy idea. We all know what a magically delicious mistake that was. Even the Premier's own pollster couldn't demonstrate that one was overwhelmingly popular even her in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Anyone following this issue knows full-well that the federal government has moved off its campaign commitment in favour of something else. Even Danny Williams has moved off his own position at the time. The exact impact of the federal Equalization changes will be known when they come.

But here's the thing: as much as Williams may try and throw another tantrum over the whole thing, his own political potency is weakened and the current federal government will know exactly how to deal with him. The unnamed source who muses about "electrifying" the electorate is taking poor lessons from history.

Bond projection: The only thing likely to get electrified to any serious degree will be the seats in the PMO waiting room. That will only be done to keep the Premier's personal representative from hanging out to get a chance to meet with anyone in the PMO as he or she walks out to their car to head to a meeting with someone the PMO is actually paying attention to.