Sunday, June 17, 2007

Who's Standing up for Ontario?

This morning, the Sun's Angelo Persichilli asks the very question that I did a few days ago - Who'll Stand Up for Ontario?

Persichilli argues that if the Atlantic MP's feel that they are standing up for their provinces by opposing the budget, then all Ontario MP's, regardless of political stripes, should be standing up for Ontario by supporting the budget, since Premier Dalton McGuinty supports it himself. (I would love to be at a family dinner with Dalton and David talking politics these days!)

Angelo also takes a shot at Dion's self-proclaimed attributes of consistency and clarity:

Dion said in 2004 there was no fiscal imbalance but in 2006 (May 5 -- Mike Duffy Live) he said that "we need to have a clause of this kind that gives a safety net to Ontario." Is that clear? Doesn't sound like it.

Moving on to the topic of the Senate approval of the budget now. Remember Senator Terry Mercer saying this? -

"I think you'll find that senators from Nova Scotia, such as myself, from Newfoundland and Labrador, and probably from Saskatchewan, will all vote against it and I don't think we'll be alone," Mercer said.

"If we care to mount a full-fledged campaign with our colleagues, I think we can defeat this bill."

Assuming that he is referring to Ontario Senators among others, I wonder how he expects them to look their fellow citizens "in the eye" as he claims he is worried about in his own province.

Meanwhile, Mercer doesn't seem to be on the same page as Liberal Senate leader Celine Hervieux-Payette, who assures us that:

"In my view, based on past experience, the likelihood is high that the budget implementation bill, notwithstanding its many failings, will pass in the Senate following a thorough examination," she said.

Dion said in the release that the Senate has a "responsibility to conduct a thorough review" of the budget bill.

"I am confident that in the spirit of sober second thought that characterizes the Senate, honourable senators on both sides of the aisle will undertake that review in a measured and professional fashion," he said.

The release seemed worded to avoid suggesting that Dion is telling the senators how to vote.

Yeah, right.

So, how's that campaign going, Senator Mercer?

* * * *

Update: Great column here by Lorne Gunter - Atlantic Premiers Hooked on Cash. (H/T to reader Jenna)

Linked to this post: NB Tory Lady - I have managed to hold off an election - Dion.
Great post and a fantastic blog! She had me chuckling with this one.

* * * *

Monday Update: Fantastic column The Chronicle Herald by Dan Leger - The Atlantic Accords: Time for Truth-telling.

Also please check out Thomas Courchene's "When enough is enough". (Globe)

More here. Lots of different opinions on a complex issue.

Following Monday Update: Harper right to break vows.

Ottawa doesn't have a magic pot of gold.


Anonymous said...

The flaw in your senate argument is that they don't/aren't accountable to "their Province", it's electorate, or anyone else (with the exception of Bert Brown the elected Senator in Waiting from Alberta - soon to be in the Red Chamber). It is all bluster aimed at political points for their elected cousins.

I f we are going to reform the Senate other than by election, then should be no party affiliation for anyone. Let them all be independent.

west coast teddi
(by the way - I sent you an email about a "trojan horse" - all clear at my end now - I installed an spyware program)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Senator Mercer seems to feel that he is accountable to his province.

Let them all be independent.

I totally agree.

jenna said...

Check out this piece by Lorne Gunter for an Alberta perspective - Atlantic Premiers Hooked on Cash.

Anonymous said...

Plus you are forgetting that Ontario Liberal MP's know that no matter what they do, they'll get voted back in. They don't have to defend their prov and constitents.

Remember SARS. Remember how the GTA's economy was devasted? Remember Ottawa (Liberals in power at the time) comming up with 'aid'? Don't remmeber that? It's because it didn't happen. All those Liberal MP's from the GTA didn't bother to stand up to Cretien and gang to demand the gov'nt help out. But.. that same govn't was all over the map helping other communities in the country recover from economic issues (Vancouver got SARS disaster relief).

Same deal.. Ontario Liberal MP's don't HAVE to do anything except vote the party line.. because they know they will never piss off their Liberal voting consitutents.

It's always disgusted me that TO and the rest of ON keeps voting Liberal even though they 'get' nothing from successsive Liberal governments. In practically everywhere else in the country you have to 'buy votes'... look at Quebec and all the $$ spent there on votes.

I'm sure Liberal leadership everywhere laughs themselves silly at the twits in TO that blindly vote Liberal no matter how many times their MP's slap them around.


Gabby in QC said...

Sorry - OT, I know - but a very Happy Father's Day to all fathers out there.

Hope YOU didn't have to fire up the barbecue today. Enjoy.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jenna, thanks for tip about Lorne Gunter's column.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, I am joining Gabby in wishing all the Dads a Happy Fathers' Day too. Dads are important. I think society undervalues their contribution and importance in their childrens' lives.

Calgary Junkie said...

Carrying on with my theme last week of "double-edged swords". We are now seeing the Senate and McGuinty, both now working AGAINST Dion's best interests (ie avoid an election). Next to join that club will be Danny Williams.

Why do I say that ? Look at how quickly Williams turned on Premier MacDonald, for "lowering the bar" in his dealings with Harper. Obviously the word "compromise" is not in Danny's dictionary.

I wonder if Williams has also noticed a lessening of agressive tone from Liberal NFLD Senator George Baker ? Baker is backing off from his usual over-the-top bluster. What will Williams have to say to George for not standing up fully for NFLD's interests ?

Williams is a huge loose-cannon in this political drama. I'm sure he will lash out at anyone and everyone, friend or foe, who doesn't follow Danny's script. And the media will of course lap it all up.

Given Dion's feeble-sounding words of surrender, Dion should now ALSO be on Danny's hit-list,

As Greg Weston said on Newman's "Press Gallery Pundits" session: " ... Dion did a very interesting play, right at the opening bell he stood up in the ropes, by the way we are going to give up at the end of it. We're going to fight lots along the way, but when it's over we won't stand in the way of the budget ...

Williams testifying in front of the Senators is going to be something to see.

Gabby in QC said...

"Williams testifying in front of the Senators is going to be something to see."

Do you know when that is scheduled? I wouldn't want to miss THAT soap opera.

Is there a NL-L provincial election looming? I'd love to see Williams' ABC campaign be a roaring success then.

Mac said...

gabby said... "Is there a NL-L provincial election looming? I'd love to see Williams' ABC campaign be a roaring success then."

Williams became premier in Nov 2003 by defeating incumbent Liberal Roger Grimes so he's going to be looking at an election in the next year or so.