Harper's chickens set to come home to roost
There's a saying in life, as in politics: be careful how you treat people on your way up, because you'll meet them again on your way down.
That is something that Stephen Harper should keep in mind today, as Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Bill Casey has announced he will vote no-confidence in the government on its economic update a week from today.
"At this time of economic crisis, Stephen Harper has failed Canadians as prime minister," Casey announced. "Rather than providing leadership and a badly needed economic stimulus package, Mr. Harper and his finance minister, Jim Flaherty, opted instead to play partisan politics and, for some reason, attack unions and women’s rights."
While coming off as little more than typical fickle rhetoric, Casey's announcement at least comes from someone with a little credibility on the topic.
In June of last year, Casey voted against the Conservative budget due to its perceived reneging on the Atlantic Accord.
In other words, Casey has voted against this government before -- while he was still a member of it. Furthermore, as an independent MP, Casey doesn't receive any government subsidies.
While the opposition parties move to defend their entitlements, Casey can at least argue that he's simply voting on the virtue of the economic update.
But it's also hard to overlook the vengeful undertones of in Casey's move. After being booted from the Conservative caucus for nothing more than voting in what Casey no doubt legitimately believed was in the best interests of his constituents, it would be hard to fault Casey for wanting to get even with Stephen Harper -- especially considering that Casey's vote will almost certainly not be the deciding factor in the government's downfall.
"Every day I have people, especially single mothers, on unemployment who are looking to upgrade their skills or their education, but I haven’t been able to help them," Casey said. "This economic statement does nothing to help them. It does nothing to help people who have lost jobs, either."
Casey's decision to vote against the Harper government should give Stephen Harper ample reason to think twice before turfing his MPs for voting their conscience.