I smell bullshit, kids.
So let me see if I get this straight. Tom Rideout wanted $3.5 million for his district, instead of the $2.5 million he got, even though he feels his district really needs 10 times that amount of road work. So $25 million, but he’ll settle for $3.5 million. He browbeats the Transportation Minister for the money, the premier says, “nope, that’s not going to happen” so Rideout quits in a snit.
No way. I mean it, no fucking way is that the whole story. Yes, Rideout's been an embarassment for the government for awhile. He's been almost useless as a minister and the whole racket with rentals and allowances a few months back was enough to get him fired. But quitting over $1 million in roadwork? After everything that's happened? There's shenanigans afoot here somewhere.
I imagine the stream of stories and rumours about how unhappy the caucus is with Danny will start building up some steam now. It’s been coming out in dribs and drabs for awhile. But really, it’s hard to pick a fight with a man when he has an 80% approval rating. Politics might be a knife fight, but it’s normally a “stab your buddy in the back” kind of thing, as opposed to a “slit your own throat to spite yourself” type of event.
But Danny is taking a hit with the Eastern Health debacle. If the hit sticks, if the public starts to not just turn for the moment, but for the long haul, you’re going to see a lot more grumbling about the way Danny runs things in the future. And, one assumes, a lot more knife sharpening
So I’m sure Rideout is upset that he didn’t get his extra million. But come on. It’s an insult to the intelligence to believe that’s the reason he left. I just wish one of them, just one of them, had the balls to stand up and say the real reason why they left. Loyola Sullivan has been pretty quiet since he left. I bet he has some good horror stories.
I don’t know if this is one more step towards the end for Danny. I’ve had a few private conversations with people who certainly seem to think it is. He always said he was only going to be premier for two terms. He hemmed and hawed after the scope of his victory in the last election and the high approval numbers in polls. But now?
The reporters will get to the bottom of this. The leaks are going to start coming. I wonder if David Cochrane is still cut off, in lieu of this occasion. Yes, Danny answered questions in the scrum, but it would have looked bad if he refused to answer questions from him while the cameras were rolling. Whether or not he answers Dave’s emails and phone calls is something else.
But you get the feeling that me might need some friends in the media in the months to come. What Rideout is saying is bullshit, never doubt it for a second. But I don’t think he’s the last one to bail on the government. Not by a longshot.
1. Galician Overture - The Chieftains*
2. Something's wrong - Sloan
3. I melt for you - Bowling For Soup
4. Sunny came home - Shawn Colvin
5. In my time of dying - The Be Good Tanyas