On Saturday in Gander Conservative Super-Premier Danny Williams (perhaps the most popular Canadian politician) got into it with Conservative PM Harper
in a big way as reported by CBC radio (who had staffers in attendance).
Harper would not agree that proposed changes to the Atlantic Accord (negotiated in good faith between Premier Williams and former Liberal PM Martin)
which gives Newfoundland and Labrador resource revenues from the considerable offshore oil and gas reserves would not affect Newfoundland's share.
Exceedingly harsh words were exchanged - things that in the Nixon-era would have been described as "expletive deleted". Apparently Harper was booed
so much by Newfoundland Conservatives that he "walked out" - much like a disgruntled North Korean diplomat at the UN.
Conservatives booing Conservatives, a Prime Minister no less. Earlier in the day they were apparently all smiles and chuckles buddy-buddy style.
Harper even joked at a public appearance earlier that Premier Williams (who holds a 70% approval rating across the province) was more popular in
Newfoundland and Labrador than Harper was within his own family. Hmmm.
Premier Williams is a lawyer who shares business offices with an NDP'er and is a straight-shooting no nonsense man of the people. I really like him
for that. He deals staight and clean on issues and expects the same in return. Something happened to turn smiles and chuckles into vituporous
invective expletives in less than an hour.
Danny Williams doen't often curse - but when he does - have you heard a Newfoundlander curse? Harper most likely did not get the regional nuances of
speech nor the importance of the Accord to the East. Uh, Calgary: We have a problem.
The Calgary School political trainers of Harper do not get it yet - they are a minority government and as such can not afford to alienate anyone -
especially Conservatives. What did he think they'd just let him grab a billion or so off the top for the Feds that the Libs and Williams had
negotiated? Not while Danny Williams has breath in his body. Harper will have to back off or he may lose the vote in Newfoundland. One word from
Williams and no one will vote Harper.
Harper has some net rather than fence mending to do. Booed him out of the hall in gander they did. I don't recall something quite like this ever
happening. This story will run on radio for only a few hours judging by current "pressures" and influences. Try the CBC.ca site and select radio
hourly updates. They wrote the story copy "light" - it was far more dramatic than the radio item portrays and contrasts radically from the
"sunshine and lollipops" tone earlier in the day as evidenced by this CBC web link:
By my count, that's the fourth time in a week that Harper has botched-up premo and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Know what? Make Danny Williams the federal Conservative leader and I'd vote Conservative again just to know that a real leader is taking care of
business and our country. Harper should take a course in "how to win friends and influence people" - he's his own worst nightmare.
Remember not too long ago when Harper said he wanted to quit politics because he didn't receive as much support at the Conservative leadership
convention as he thought he was owed? Well I think he may have made the wrong choice in staying.
The boy could learn a thing or two from the Philipino culture - a concept called "Pakikisama" the ability to get along with others with grace and
respect. I call it being Canadian. When I was younger we called his type "spoiled brat" and were last picked when choosing up sides for shinny.
[edit on 15-10-2006 by V Kaminski]