Progressive politics, ideas & culture


what’s the principle, Paul?

This Magazine Staff

This hasn’t been widely reported by the eastern-bastard media, but Saskatchewan’s bid to get energy revenues excluded from the equalization formula has hit a bit of a snag. The House of Commons defeated a Conservative motion to that effect yesterday. The bid was defeated by a vote of 182-105 with the Bloc Quebecois siding with the minority Liberal government.
1. Since the Headwaiter didn’t exactly ask for Parliament’s permission to give sovereignty-association to Quebec last summer, nor did he ask Parliament to approve his decision to put an escalator clause(!!??) into the equalization formula, nor did he table a motion asking the House to okay the arbitrary deal he cut with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on offshore energy, I’ll assume that this vote means nothing.
2. But assume it means something. What it means is the the government — “led” by Paul Martin — opposed the motion.
On what grounds? What’s the principle involved here, other than the fact that the Canadian flag continues to fly in the Sakskatchewan legislature?
In a recent issue of Policy Options, Tom Kent said that the proper description of the Headwaiter’s approach to national unity is not “asymmetrical federalism,” but “sugar daddy federalism.”
It looks like the sugar daddy plays favourites.

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