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Saturday, December 07 2019 @ 05:15 MST

The Continuing Tory Follies

Canadian PoliticsIt would appear that some Saskatchewan Conservative MP's are concerned with getting re-elected. It would seem that the Harper government's laxidasial approach to equalization is causing some political heat in the prairie province. In a leaked letter, the Saskatchewan caucus urges the Prime Minister to quickly resolve the equalization issue or they will be feeling political consequences back home.

This news is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it would seem the PM's inner circle, made up of Calgary Conservatives, is to some extent out of touch with it's own party and MP's, let alone the people of Canada. Calgary Tories generally don't worry about political fall-out since they rarely ever suffer the consequences of their actions in Calgary, where anyone can get elected as long as they slap a Conservative sticker on themselves. They just can't fathom that someone might change their vote because of something the Tories do, because in Calgary and rural Alberta, that just doesn't happen. The problem for them however is that people in other parts of the country, Saskatchewan included, will change their vote. This is what is concerning the Saskatchewan Tory MP's. None of them had Alberta style pluralities in their ridings so a shift away from the Conservative Party is not good news. There could actually be Conservatives losing their seats if equalization isn't settled in a way that benefits Saskatchewan.

Of course, the PMO is having none of this, since Harper's corporate backers and hence masters in Calgary want to get rid of the equalization scheme in order to push through more corporate tax cuts. Since Harper isn't personally at risk at losing his seat, he isn't in a rush to solve the equalization issue. In fact, statements by the Minister of Finance would indicate that the Tories would like to just cut the provinces loose to fend for themselves. Given that Harper controls everything that his ministers say, it is his opinion that we need to get rid of equalization. So I suspect the concerns of the Saskatchewan caucus will fall on deaf ears.

The other reason that this news is interesting is that it was leaked to the press. As it is an internal Conservative Party document, the only way it could have been leaked is if someone in either the Saskatchewan caucus or the PMO leaked it. Both are denying that they leaked the document, so we are left to speculate as to the reason why it was leaked. The Saskatchewan caucus could have leaked the document to show to the voters back home that the caucus is at least trying. How successful this would be is questionable as the voters would likely switch to a party that is more sympathetic to the equalization cause since the Tories are unresponsive to it. The PMO could have leaked it in order to give the Saskatchewan caucus an out for similar reasons. The PMO could have also leaked it to punish the Saskatchewan caucus for not toeing the party line, to shame them publicly in the eyes of their fellow Conservatives for not being conservative enough.

No matter what the reason for the leaked document, it shows that the Harper government is bound and determined not to win a second term in office. If it is unresponsive to it's own MP's, the message to Canadians is that it will be unresponsive to them as well. That's not going to serve them well at the ballot box outside of Alberta.

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