The Plug Has Been Pulled
Sunday, September 7, 20084 Comments
Beating the drums of fear once again, Harper said that between now and October 14th Canadians will have to “choose between direction or uncertainty; between common sense or risky experiments; between steadiness or recklessness."
His comments were aimed at opposition leaders – particularly Liberal Leader Stephane Dion - which the Conservatives are trying to paint as inadequate, indecisive and unworthy of the public's support.
Specifically, it is Dion's proposed changes to the tax system that Harper feels is worthy of criticism. Dion's plan, known as “Green Shift”, will divert the focus of taxation from income to carbon, which has serious implications for big business and will have both major parties battling for support by the public.
Harper will argue that the plan will be bad for business in Canada at a time when the economy is already wobbling, while Dion will argue that we must address the threats of climate change somehow, and a carbon tax is the most viable option on the table at present.
The Conservatives will be framing their argument along the lines of risk management, and saying that not only is the Green Shift plan an unproven strategy, but it will cost the country money.
"The opposition insists on large-sale spending and a new tax. But even they admit that their carbon tax proposal is a work in progress," Harper said.
Dion and his Liberals will be making the counter argument that their plan is not complicated, variations of it are working around the world, and that most Canadian economists support the idea of cutting income taxes while moving the burden over to pollution.
Trying to not always be on the defencive, Dion lashed into his rival party by calling them the "most Conservative government in our history" and accusing them of neglecting the poor, being manipulative and secretive, and not doing enough to prevent the economy from slipping towards recession under Harper's watch.
"The words 'fight against poverty' have yet to cross the lips of Mr. Harper," Dion said. "With this Conservative ideology, Canadians are left to fend for themselves."
While the big parties bickered, NDP leader Jack Layton and Elizabeth May of the Greens were busy positioning themselves as the logical alternatives.
With the Bloc trying to maintain their 48 seats, and the Greens now having their first MP as of last week, the chances of Harper winning a majority seem slim. Canada may be heading down the road of one minority government after another – something many Canadians feel leads to nothing getting done, while others think it proves to be more democratic.
There are 308 MP seats in the House of Commons so if Harper wants his majority, he will have to conjure up a total of 155 – something few are betting on this time around due to the lack of hot-button issues or any party with something particularly appealing in the eye of the public at large.
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