19 May 2016

Did you hear the one about the Lane and the Ball? #nlpoli

Paul Lane has taken Dwight Ball's measure.

How Ball and the Liberals respond to Lane's challenge will determine the fate of the administration.

You can tell by the way Lane threw down the challenge to Ball's leadership on Wednesday.  He voted with the opposition against his own caucus on an NDP motion about the budget. Then Lane announced he would be voting against the budget unless Ball made unspecified changes to the budget.

But Lane went a step further. He dared Ball to kick him out of the caucus:
Whether or not I remain a member of the Liberal caucus is totally in the premier’s hands. It’s not in mine. If the premier decides that he can’t have me there, I guess that’s his decision, and he’ll have to make that decision, he’ll have to stand by that decision.
That's not about Lane taking a position on a matter of principle. If Lane firmly believed the levy was such an evil thing, he'd cross the floor of his own accord. Weaseling about it, as Lane has done, is just a guy screwing over his colleagues. It's not brave. It's about the sort of pandering that got us in this financial mess in the first place.
And just to be sure everyone understands the fundamentally unprincipled nature of local politics both the Conservatives - who Lane screwed over to join the Liberals in 2014 - and the New Democrats - who are still sore at the guys who bailed on them in 2013 - are foaming at the mouth with praise for Lane's "principled" decision to fuck over his new caucus.

The Liberals only have one choice:  flick Lane across the House.

Just so that no one misses the point, this episode is a reminder of just why accepting Lane into the Liberal caucus in January 2014 was an enormous mistake. Lane was a political bottom-feeder before and he never stopped being one.