Saturday, September 20, 2008

Green Shift? What Green Shift?

With the Green Shift becoming naught but a painful memory, Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion struggles to explain how little a part it was intended to play in his campaign platform.

Most of us thought that, since he opened with it and emphasized it so much in the early days and even before the campaign started, the Green shift was a major plank in his platform. Not so, apparently.

"You have said it was, never me," Dion is reported to have told reporters.

hall findlayLiberal Party spokesperson and Willowdale candidate, Martha Hall Findlay, said:

"…there has been a real frustration on our part with the misleading messaging of the Conservatives and our recognition that the significant income tax cuts that formed part of the Green Shift are simply not being recognized enough."

Could it be that the Canadian public aren't buying the nonsense about tax cuts offsetting the carbon tax because they are pretty certain tax cuts will not? And here's why.

Most, I believe, would want more assurance that those average Canadians who will pay for the carbon tax through dramatically higher prices for a broad range of products and services, will receive a direct offset through reduced personal income tax. In other words, they want tax neutrality, not new spending programs that may or may not benefit them.

Also, Canadians see the enormous spending initiatives being announced by the Liberals in this campaign and strongly suspect that a big chunk of the proposed carbon tax is earmarked to help pay for them. Where else will the money come from—deficit budgeting?

Martha Hall Findlay seems to have become one of Stéphane Dion's chief spin doctors. Interesting that, because she ran against him for leader of their party. And she only supported Dion after being eliminated on the first ballot at the 2006  Liberal Party leadership convention. Recently, I saw Hall Findlay on the Michael Coren Show stalwartly defending Dion. So effusive was her praise for the man, one would have thought he was the second coming.

Shame to see her used thus for she is an accomplished woman in her own right, with a bright future in the Liberal Party. Party loyalty, I guess, but one senses a bit of phoniness about her when she starts "spinning" for the party.

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