But, it is a sign of weakness in the brutal world of politics and will create problems in the longer run. Harper would never do something similar, said Mr. Flanagan, now a political science professor at the University of Calgary and of course also a former Reform Party campaign manager and Harper confidant. (emphasis added).The Post on the other hand used the opportunity to defend Flahertys decision to single out NL.
We are calling on all provinces to be reasonable, that the growth in equalization payments will be equal to the rate of growth in the economy without exception, including Newfoundland and Labrador, said Flaherty.MacLeans came out decidely in Ignatieffs camp including quotes explaining the move and attacking Harper.
Of course both Manitoba and Nova Scotia were allowed exceptions to adjust during the transistion to the capping of equalization payments. And likewise their Premiers didn’t run a successful ABC campaign.
This is not just about Newfoundland and Labrador, this is about the way Stephen Harper runs this federation,Ignatieff said. This tendency for unilateral, surprise action is damaging to the national unity of our country. Tonight, they will have a one-time vote against the budget in order to send a clear signal to Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of the country that this is no way to run a federation.The CBC also provided the opportunity for Ignatieff to explain why he was allowing the NL MPs the option and not the Quebec caucus.
Ignatieff defended his decision when asked by reporters why he won't allow Quebec MPs to vote against the budget. The province has also expressed frustration over changes to the equalization payments. The Liberal leader said the situation is different because Quebec was informed last year about the changes and that those changes affect the whole federation. Ignatieff said the cuts announced in the budget single out Newfoundland and Labrador.Even CTV came out with a short piece featuring the one of Liberal NL MPs, attacking Harper.
Mr. Harper is a divider. He is a divider, and the only way to take this man on, to counter punch what he is doing - not only to the entire country, not only to Newfoundland and Labrador, but to the very fabric of our federation - is we need to be united and stand together.All in not a bad move for Ignatieff as he got to plant more seeds about Harpers biassed and distorted view of the country, as well as Harpers spitefulness and tendancy for political payback.