Some thoughts today about ‘tipping points’ in Canadian politics.
December 1979, Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark slaps a tax of 18 cents a litre on gasoline. Two days later, the opposition Liberals, armed with some liquid holiday cheer, caught Mr. Clark with too few bodies in the house, and that was the end of his government. Trudeau the Elder made an amazing comeback.
Five years later, John Turner of the Liberals had an even shorter reign as PM when he was hammered in a TV debate by Brian Mulroney for doing Pierre’s pork barrelling for him.
In Saskatchewan in the new millennium, Lorne Calvert and the NDP were long past their ‘best before’ date, but Elwin Hermanson of the Sask Party messed up by suggesting that the some of those sacred crown corporations might be for sale. It took another four years for Brad Wall to get elected, and now he’s back to talking about putting a fresh coat of paint on the ‘for sale’ sign.
Brian Pallister and the Progressive Conservatives were given a record mandate in Manitoba last year, because Greg Selinger of the NDP thought that raising the PST was an idea whose time had come. Did Mr. Pallister learn anything from that experience?
You have to seriously wonder now that he’s talking about bringing back the good old days of Health Care Premiums. Ed Schreyer of the NDP eliminated premiums more than 40 years ago, and the Conservatives eventually agreed that it was a good idea.
Might this be one of those infamous tipping points? Quite a few people are beginning to think so.
And here in Winnipeg we thought life would be dull and boring with a huge Tory majority in the legislature!
I’m Roger Currie