Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow jumping the NDP ship for the Chretien Liberals? That was the suggestion in the Star this week -- a bizarre plot twist that, if true, would probably mean the end of Canada's left-wing alternative as we know it. How could Alexa McDonough run against one of her preems in an election?
Well, not even lawyer David Smith -- co-chair of the next Liberal campaign -- takes the speculation that seriously. "The prime minister has a very high regard (for Romanow), but I wouldn't anticipate this is going to happen."
Meanwhile, out in the prairie province, NDP MP Dick Proctor says it's no secret that "the premier is wondering what he's going to do with the rest of his life" and that he's not long for his current job. But Proctor figures it would be hard for Romanow to leave because the NDP out there is in a minority situation -- governing with the support of the provincial Liberals -- and might not last if the big guy exits.
Romanow spokesperson James Miller says the premier has also been touted as a governor-general and ambassador to Ukraine. But, Miller says, "he's going to be premier, that's his job, and he's going to stick with it."
The author of the Star story -- Tim Harper of the Ottawa bureau -- is not prepared to rule it out yet. He says his sources are in Ottawa, not Saskatchewan, and he takes the speculation seriously. "It keeps coming up," he says.