As if provincial politics weren't already squalid enough, along comes a Tory leadership race to make it even uglier. No sooner had Management Board chair Dave Tsubouchi told a reporter Sunday, November 18, that the Tories may have to cut government spending by up to $5 billion than tongues started wagging that it was all a political ploy aimed at undermining Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, a contender for the party leadership. Flaherty's promised a balanced budget and more tax cuts this year. Considering that Tsubouchi is an Ernie Eves supporter and normally the finance minister would announce any plans for massive budget cuts himself, it's not completely out of the question. Let the knifings begin.