Bill Casey is not cut from the same cloth as Garth Turner, but let's not kid ourselves into believing that he has sacrificed his political career to the dictates of conscience.
Casey's plans to retire at the next election have been an open secret for months; to grandstand on a budget vote costs him nothing except ending his career with a brief stint outside caucus.
Nor does his vote against a confidence motion make him a martyr for the cause of freer votes in Parliament: not even the most enthusiastic boosters of free range MPs have ever suggested that a government MP should be free to vote no confidence in his own government. Were it to be so, not even a majority government could survive without endlessly brokering side deals with its own caucus.
Had Bill Casey simply not shown up that night, few would have cared about his abstention after the vote, and he could have got the point across without being turfed from caucus.
Nothing turned on his vote and nothing will turn on it.
The offshore deal will fail, as have all other such deals, because the dynamic of federal-provincial relations between Ottawa and Atlantic Canada, that of grudging charity to an incessantly whining supplicant, will not change any time soon.