26 August 2007

Car industry is a natural resource?

One of the things Professor Michael Temelini likely can't explain about his comments to CanWest is be how a provincial government that controls the province's natural resources resources actually fights to control them more?
"Look, we have to have greater control of our resources.' And if that means taking on the oil companies, then so be it. If it means taking on the federal government, then so be it."
Control in this sense is a binary thing, basically. You either do or you don't.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador does.

It just signed a deal to develop Hebron, which of course demonstrates that Temelini's idea just doesn't hold up in the context of the issue he's talking about.

Unfortunately, Temelini falls into a rather simplistic assessment of the current political climate that looks at the surface but not at the deeper local origins of the local political charade involved in the masters of our domain argument. Local politicians like to blame events they haven't dealt with on a variety of things, one of them being carpetbaggers and other forms of evil foreigner.

Temelini's argument doesn't hold up in other contexts either, for that matter:
"If I was living in Ontario and a government said we want to take over five per cent ownership of Chrysler Corporation, you'd be hard put not to vote for that government if you were New Democrat," he said.
If Ontario already owned the cars, it would be a bizarre thing, and presumably, if we are talking New Democrats we might be wondering why they'd settle for only five percent.

See, that's the thing about the whole "equity" line that no one has explained yet. If "equity" is about control of resources and "public ownership", as Temelini asserts, then why would anyone be fighting for a position which - as Premier Williams outlined - doesn't give the provincial government any control at all beyond what it already had over resource development?

Why would they be buying something they already own?