Monday, March 12, 2007

Prime Minister Snubs Premier

The recent announcement of one $1billion by the Prime Minister to support struggling Canadian farmers is welcome news. The announcement was made at a farm outside of Saskatoon. The interesting point is that the Premier of Saskatchewan was never informed of the Prime Minister’s visit to Saskatchewan to make the announcement.

Commons sense and respect for at least some form of protocol would suggest that the Prime Minister should have invited the Premier to attend the announcement. I suggest this in consideration of the fact that the Prime Minister has indicated he would like the provincial government to partner with the federal government in some way to support the federal initiatives for farmers announced by the Prime Minister. Rather, they both went on a rant criticizing each other over their differences. It was unbecoming politics for both the Prime Minister and the Premier. One has to wonder if the Prime Minister would have informed SaskParty leader, Brad Wall if he were Premier. Maybe not since Prime Minister Harper once stated that the SaskParty were only fair weather friends.

The SaskParty is more than confident that they will defeat the NDP in the next provincial election. So maybe the Prime Minister felt it would be popular to kick the NDP while they are down by not informing Premier Calvert of the federal governments agricultural initiatives. I personally don’t think it was popular and it certainly was not Prime Ministerial behavior on Harper’s part. Prime Minister Harper should stay on the high road and leave cheap, petty politics to back bench MP’s or party supporters. Since Harper likes hockey lets put it this way, he was guilty of high sticking and we can likely expect more of Harper’s antics as his government moves closer and closer to a spring election.

Harper and the Premier of Ontario were once recently at odds, but $1.5 billion for the Toronto transit system would suggest they are working together to support their own respective vested political interests. Harper’s support of Toronto’s transit system to gain support in Ontario against the few hundred million Saskatchewan farmers may get from Harper’s agricultural announcement tells you a lot about the Prime Minister’s political priorities.

Harper feels his MP’s re-election prospects are secure in Saskatchewan and he must maintain his focus on gaining support in Ontario and Quebec. Harper is positioned to gain a majority government and I think he should just get on with it and call the election. He has earned his right to call it after surviving more than a year in a minority government. There is no need to fabricate some reason to blame the opposition parties for an election call. Harper can win right now and he should act on an election call before the window closes. Dion is doomed!