Monday, September 25, 2006

Bloc blocker blog

Well, it appears the idea behind my previous posting about how the Bloc won't block the Conservative government has apparently been blocked by the Bloc.

The Bloc is now asking for $12 billion in federal transfers as part of the new fiscal balance or they won't prop up Mr. Harper and Co. TWELVE BILLION!!!

Now in any part of negotiation, you always demand more than you need to see if the other party will meet you somewhere in the middle.

But a hostage situation isn't like that. It's all or none. But those demanding usually end up being taken down or shot.

Now it appears that the recently proposed formula is a negotiation, yet due to the inclusion of 50% of provincial non-renewable resource revenues, and that Quebec will continue to receive the bulk of the transfers, it feels like they were able to get away without harm... again.

- Equalization would be calculated using a 10-province average,
rather than the current five, and include 50% of a province's non-renewable
resource revenue in its fiscal capacity.
- "Have-not" provinces would share an increased amount of nearly $900-million in 2007-08.
- Provinces that do not get equalization would be included in increased social transfer payments to pay for post-secondary education and training.

The Quebec separatists are a confused bunch aren't they? They want full autonomy and independence from Canada yet demand more money and threaten to bring down the current government if those demands aren't met.

Is it an idle threat?

Are the Bloc negotiators or hostage-takers? But given the history, it seems it's been more of the latter since the very beginning.

Will Duceppe pull a Trudeau and say, "Just watch me"?

My guess is Duceppe will stall on this one. He'll say, "We are looking at the current fiscal imbalance proposal and we will determine our position in the near future ... blah blah blah..."

BUT, will Harper use this threat to have the Bloc bring down his own government and call an election for Spring with the Liberals off-guard?

Harper could talk tough during and election and say, "Quebec is receiving more now than ever and yet the Bloc still don't see the benefit of staying in Canada. It's one or the other Gilles. You can't have both."

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