Monday, April 09, 2007

Calvert influential - Williams, not so much

The Globe and Mail has a story covering Premier Lorne Calvert's interview on CTV's Question Period broadcast yesterday.

Calvert took the opportunity to show that he was just as angry as Premier Danny Williams and reinforced his claim that Prime Minister Stephen Harper simply didn't keep his promise to fully exclude non-renewable natural resources from the formula used to calculate equalization payments to the provinces.

The story goes on to point out that while the federal Conservatives have 12 of the 14 seats in Saskatchewan (the Liberals have the other 2, in NL the numbers are just 3 Conservatives (Liberal have the other 4).

This puts Williams, although noisier, in the unusual position of having less influence with less to bargain with than his erstwhile ally.

This raises and intriguing possibility: would Prime Minister Harper cut a deal for Saskatchewan in a bid to keep the those 12 seats and cut out Premier Williams?

The advantage to Prime Minister Harper would be the opportunity to be a hero in Saskatchewan and save 10% of his caucus. There seems to be no serious disadvantage except potentially losing minister Loyola Hearn who may not want to run again anyway.

It's not like Harper has very much to lose by further annoying Premier Williams.

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