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The Bill Casey expulsion fallout

Obviously, the Bill Casey expulsion will have serious ramifications for the Conservatives, but some are confidently predicting that there may not be a single Conservative MP left in Atlantic Canada after the next election (there currently are 8 there). That is entirely plausible, and that includes Peter MacKay, whose quote last month about never kicking anyone out over a dissenting Budget vote is going to be played over and over again. If Liz May had an uphill climb to beat him prior to this, that hill just became less steeper this week.

Of course, MacKay is doing himself no favours by running away from the issue:

Nova Scotia Conservative MPs, including Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, who voted for the budget were described as “spineless jellyfish,” in question period. MacKay rushed by reporters twice yesterday after the weekly caucus meeting and after question period refusing to answer questions about Casey’s ouster.

It’s rather amusing to see MacKay once again have his foot in his mouth over yet another issue, which Jack Layton adroitly pointed out yesterday:

“Peter MacKay is someone who Canadians have learned to distrust,” the NDP Leader said. “After all, he’s made a number of high-profile engagements that have turned out not to be worth the handshake or the paper or anything else. And I guess we just saw another example of that yesterday when his party betrayed the commitment that he had made.”

Atlantic Canada might not be the only place where the Tories lose seats over Bill Casey and the equalization issue. Saskatchewan Tory MP’s are also taking heat there for not standing up for their province, with pointed remarks being aimed at them about how they did not have the courage of their convictions to do the “right thing for Saskatchewan” and vote the way Bill Casey did. While I don’t personally see a wipeout there, I can certainly see them losing 3 or 4 of their currently held 12 seats. In that scenario, that would bring the Tories down to 112 seats without gains from anywhere else, which they would need to do if they wished to hold on to power.

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4 comments to The Bill Casey expulsion fallout

  • Daniel

    I’ve been pondering the Saskatchewan situation, and while I think a loss of a seat or two to the NDP is possible, I don’t think Harper’s in as much trouble there as what some have suggested. Lorne Calvert’s provincial government is about to be obliterated (it’s just a matter of when, and how badly) by the Saskatchewan Party, and if the Saskatchewan provincial election occurs before the next federal election (which is extremely likely), a right-leaning (or right wing?) Brad Wall government would probably be a bit more sympathetic to Harper.

    Of course, this begs the question, if Lorne Calvert’s NDP is trailing its opposition by 30 points in the polls, then how much weight do Calvert’s words actually carry?

  • paul

    Would be interesting if Newfoundland wiped out all the Tories. My guess would be that Williams would be a sitting duck if they still manages to gain a majority. Chretien wouldn't have hesitated to make an example of him and I'm sure Harper would do the same.

  • IslandLiberal

    I don't see a total wipeout.  First of all, this whole issue of offshore oil doesn't carry a lot of weight in New Brunswick, which isn't affected (and might even enjoy seeing Nova Scotia get rogered).Nova Scotia itself is maybe possible, although the strong Tory ridings in the mainland would be tough nuts to crack.  In response to Daniel's wondering about support for Casey v. Tories, I would guess it's the latter, given how long Casey has been around (so he's probably got a large personal reserve of goodwill built up). Newfoundland is where I can really see a wipeout.  Provincial premiers normally don't influence federal voting choices to a huge extent, but if anyone can pull it off it's Demagogue Danny.

  • Daniel

    I don't know how seriously I'd take those "confident predictions," given who's making them, but the Tories could certainly lose a few Atlantic Canadian seats. Of course, I think a total wipeout is out of the question – Fundy Royal and New Brunswick Southwest are stronger CPC ridings than many western ridings.

    Casey's own riding is a complete Tory bastion – a hurdle that was conquered by Scott Brison in Kings-Hants, but not by John Herron in Fundy Royal – so it would be interesting to see if Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodobit Valley is a Kings-Hants situation (immense support for the MP) or a Fundy Royal situation (immense support for the party).

    Also, should Peter MacKay be unseated (which I still think is doubtful), it will be at the hands of the NDP, not Elizabeth May.

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