Thursday, January 25, 2007

BBA Mulligan day

We're well behind in commenting on things we wanted to over the past while. So we take this opportunity to write a few brief things on breaking stuff, and a couple of Mulligans from the last week or so:

CF-18 redux? Hard to tell at this point. Sen. Fortier's letter in the FreeP this morning has him denying media reports quoting him saying more than 40% of the Boeing C-17 contracts must be in Quebec before he'll sign. On the other hand, in the math of the upcoming federal election, Harper will give a much bigger damn about Quebec than he will Manitoba.

Good news for Harper. A clear sign that Stephane Dion has poor political instincts is the story reported in the Quebec City newspaper Le Soleil yesterday that he would not object to the lifting of the Liberal's ban on senior organizer Marc-Yvan Côté -- a former Quebec cabinet minister and central figure in Adscam. (Unless we missed it, there didn't seem to be a story in either the FreeP or the Sun. Odd. It's a big story in our view.)

Wheat Board. Manitoba farmers overwhelmingly voted to support single desk selling. There was some griping from Wheat Board opponents, but no one can credibly argue that the majority has not spoken clearly and loudly in this province about the future of the CWB.

Ironically, on the day of the result, Chuck Strahl complained about the Manitoba vote and said question was torqued, then immediately announced there would be a federal vote on wheat (after giving no such assurance in the past). Then, a few days later, his office releases what his version of the question (or as it turns out, three questions) that are so meaningless, if asked they will only highten producers' anger -- even many who would have been open to monkeying around with the Wheat Board. Strange strategy.

"They may as well have asked if farmers would like to sell their barley to little green men from Mars for $200 a bushel," said NFU president Stewart Wells.

Good line.

Wonder one of the first people to propose a Clarity Act for any future referendum in Quebec might hand a copy over to Strahl? Nah. Clarity's fine for Quebec, but Westerners are better off with double- and triple-speak.

Tory/Liberal candidate in Kirkfield Park? Just bizarre, actually.