The Harper government certainly wants to ensure that they do not lose more public support. They are taking out radio and newspaper ads Tuesday to say that Ottawa never broke its promise, and that Danny Williams wants a special deal which would be unfair to other provinces. Perhaps the Harper government realizes that the 21 Conservative seats in NL, Sasketchewan and the other Atlantic provinces, can make a difference in getting a majority in the next election. Or, he is trying to dissuade voters in general from voting for Layton and Dion, or he is turning the tables on Danny to paint him and/or Newfoundland and Labrador as greedy and being out of line in his demands. In any case it is an acknowledgement that yes, we do exist. I guess the image as a promise breaker is getting a tad worrisome.
There was a CTV interview with Premier Williams on Saturday in which he said that it was the long term potential benefits to the province that was in question, not the Atlantic Accord as it is. However, the Harper government line is that no promise was broken, which refers to the Atlantic Accord being untouched till 2012, or 2020. But that time frame is not what is in contention - correct me if this is not the case. So if the ads approach is to tell the public that Premier Williams' asserts that an Atlantic Accord promise has been broken, then that would be a misleading advertisement by Harper's government. The Atlantic Accord stays the same at least till 2012, that is not what Williams is arguing against. If the Conservative ads are informing the public this way, it would amount to the same level of honesty the anti-sealing propaganda offers each year, and that is malicious.