Thursday, March 20, 2008

What's Flaherty's "End-Game" (Besides The End Of Canada's Boom Economy?)

Jim Flaherty is quite the guy. After virtually destroying Ontario's economy as a provincial Tory, some idiot named Harper gives him a shot at destroying Canada's. We all know what idiotic policy Harper and Flaherty have brought to Canadian finance in the past couple of years: the disappearing budget surplus, the income trust scandal/fiasco, the consumption tax "break" that doesn't help Canadians, the "legal" $24,900 untendered contracts to his buddies... But, most of all, their record spending (never before in Canadian history has a government spent this much) barring all prudence or fiscal responsibility.

But, what is Flaherty's game? Does he intend to hang around an arguably weak federal government, and perhaps go down with the ship. Maybe even take blame for another economic disaster? Does Jim want to be in Harper's shoes? I would venture a guess, that "no", he is not looking to go any further in federal politics. His bone-headed moves (sure Harper is behind it too) have pretty much sealed his fate there.

What kind of a finance minister attacks a province? What kind of a finance minister attacks the province that has been the economic engine of Canada since before we were a country? Jim Flaherty's attacks are more than just him mirroring the words and feelings of Alberta Conservatives. Sure they hate Ontario - especially Toronto - but, Jim's not doing this for them.

Jim's plans are a bit more self-serving. You see, Jim Flaherty intends to run for leadership of the Ontario PC Party. He wants it bad. But there is a HUGE impediment to Flaherty being a successful Ontario PC leader: a prudent and caring Liberal government run by Dalton McGuinty. So Jimbo has to smear Ontario every chance he has. If he can use his public pulpit as Federal Finance Minister to badmouth the Ontario Liberals on Bay Street, and at every opportunity he has, he probably thinks he can imprint some sort of "anti-Liberal" idea in the minds of Ontario provincial voters. Just enough of an idea that it lets Jimbo slip into a PC victory in that province - and start destroying it economically again.

Every politician keeps a "back-up" plan handy for when things aren't going right. A "golden parachute" if you will. Ontario-bashing is Jim Flaherty's "golden parachute"... his re-entry into the world of Ontario provincial politics.

Why do I think Jim wants to be Ontario leader? A little birdie told me... Ask Jim. He won't say, "no, never, not a chance". He may well say something with double meaning, like "not at this time". In the meantime the Ontario-bashing by Jimbo will continue.


MississaugaJoan said...

I believe that Flaherty feels he should be leader (of everything).

I believe Flaherty feels that he is the only one who could lead the provincial Conservatives.

I believe Flaherty feels that he is probably God's gift to Canada (maybe even women).

I believe that Flaherty feels a little too much about himself.

However, I do not believe that Harper would allow Flaherty to continue with this self-serving behaviour if it did not also benefit his (Harper's) self-serving interests. There is something up, and I doubt that it will actually result in any fewer Conservative seats across Canada in the next election.

As Liberals lets face it. The Conservative War Room has made very, very few mistakes the past two years. It's only failure has been to get the super-good polling numbers that they need to guarantee a majority. As Liberals we must face the fact they are always ahead of us on every national poll and have been able to absorb all controversial behaviour (Cadman affair, Naftagate, centralized power in the PMO). Something is up, and at the end of the day, anyone thinking that it will hurt the Conservatives overall is wrong.

WesternGrit said...

Nice post Joan. I have the same concerns. I think all we can do is keep hammering away at them until someone (media, Joe Public) start hearing the "news"...

We have a lot of work ahead of us. I do still think Flaherty is just building a "landing pad" for himself. It it isn't to protect against electoral defeat, then he's doing it in case Harper "outs" him, and he becomes a "has been" with the FedCons...