Friday, November 05, 2010

Potash and politics

I had a chuckle at the Conservative decision not to allow the takeover of the Canadian potash industry by the Australians.

Of course the simple reason was the Conservatives did not want to put those 13 seats in Saskatchewan in play during the next election.

This is a sharp contrast to three years ago when the Conservative government shafted the Saskatchewan government out of equalization payments. At the time there was much complaining from the people and the media in that province but the Conservatives did it anyway. Back then they knew that they would suffer no political damage as a result of that decision.

Now they know the opposite is true and they also know that they will be hard pressed to win the next election as it is without risking seats in what they consider to be safe Conservative areas of the country.

I noticed that a few commentators have characterized this move as "pragmatic" on the part of Stephen Harper but I think the more accurate characterization of this move is "being scared".

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