After two days of fielding calls from angry locals, and under not-so-veiled threat of future electoral retribution from premier Danny Williams, House rookie Judy Foote became the first of Newfoundland and Labrador’s six Liberal MPs to voice her intention to vote against both the budget and her leader. If Williams has his way, she won’t be the last. He wants to see the budget amended to remove a controversial proposal to tweak the equalization formula that, he says, would cost his province over a billion dollars. In a direct appeal to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff earlier this week, Williams called on the opposition to support a one year moratorium on changes to equalization, and mindful of the political weight that Williams hefts in his home province, the Liberals are being downright conciliatory in response, assuring the premier that his frustration is entirely understandable. But will that be enough to keep Foote in caucus should she vote nay next week?
UPDATE: And then there were two. According to Canadian Press, St. John’s MP Scott Andrews is also ready to vote against the budget.
Friday, January 30, 2009