Harper has reversed course and has now agreed to give Ontario 21 new Commons seats, up from the 11 the promised last year. Ontario’s alpha-male premier is taking credit:
“He made the traditional argument, which is ‘look, you’re better off than you were before,’” Mr. McGuinty said Wednesday, recounting his conversation with Mr. Harper. “And I said ya, that’s true but that’s not the point. The point is we should be working towards fairness and over time we would have continued to fall behind.”
I’m guessing there is more at work here than McG’s powers of persuasion, and I doubt Harper is giving Ontario the seats out of warm feelings for the people of this province. Did McG agree to a quid pro quo of some kind, maybe w/r/t Senate reform? Or perhaps Harper has really thrown in the towel on Quebec and has decided the road to a majority runs through the keystone province of Confederation?
It’s all very curious. Great news, yes. But curious.
UPDATE — Here’s a newer version of Lee’s story.
And here’s an indispensible backgrounder — thanks to Leslie Seidle of the IRPP for the pointer