Apparently, Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is slowly morphing into former leader Stéphane Dion—at least, in his style and the substance of his political policy. Unable to sell himself and his “renewed” Liberal Party to Canadians as a viable alternative to the Stephen Harper Conservatives, Ignatieff has now reached into the Grit election grab-bag of platform policies and plucked out Stéphane Dion’s old saw: Green Shift.
Remember how the Grits tried to sell Dion on his “integrity” and on his expertise on the environment—which was basically for Canada to ruin its economy by being a slave to the failed Kyoto Accord. That led to the placing of the Green Shift as the central plank in the LPC’s 2008 election platform. And that led to one of the worst election defeats the Liberals have suffered.
With Ignatieff, the Grits highlighted his vaunted intelligence, his international experience and his supposed Trudeau-like charisma. That had some traction until Canadians got to know the fellow better. So then we were told about the strength of the Liberal team and the downplaying and, at times, undermining of the leader. And when all else failed, we’re back to Green Shift. [Shudder]
Here’s some of what Ignatieff had to say on Tuesday in a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade:
“Our Liberal strategy begins with one, simple commitment: At the heart of our next platform will be the most significant national investment in clean energy jobs this country has ever seen.” …
“The Conservatives are waiting for recovery, waiting for the private economy to pick up the slack when the public investment winds down. We Liberals believe in a more active vision. We must invest now to make recovery sustainable and enduring.” …
“Forward-looking clean energy investments will give us real credibility in the global fight against climate change. We should back that up with Canadian proposals for a continental cap-and-trade system, with hard caps.” …
“That’s what we have government for. To anticipate. To plan. To look beyond the immediate horizon to grasp the unseen challenge and turn it into an opportunity.”
The last time I heard words like those were when the left tried to sell us on the failed communist economic strategy of “central planning.” Remember those five-year plans? To hear Ignatieff tell it, the only worthwhile things that have happened in Canada were those planned and executed by his Liberal Party. Read his speech, it’s full of that bull.
Individual entrepreneurship, hard work and genius built Canada, not the Liberal Party. But then, how would Ignatieff know, he wasn’t really here to observe it. While he lived and worked in the United Kingdom and the United States, we individual Canadians and corporations were busy building Canada into the powerhouse it is now. The Liberal Party was happy to follow and try to bribe us with our own tax dollars to keep re-electing them.
To the federal Grits, fiscal responsibility in Ottawa meant merely shifting the tax burden onto the provinces so they could balance the federal budget. The real heavy lifting came from governments like Mike Harris’s PCs in Ontario, which had to make up for missing health care and education dollars and at the same time revive an economy left in tatters after successive Liberal and NDP regimes.
Ignatieff faults the the Tories for expecting the private economy to “pick up the slack.” Unlike Ignatieff and his socialist team members like Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy and Ujjal Dosanjh, most Canadians believe in a free market system, after seeing the complete collapse of the planned economies under communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe.
As we saw with the LPC’s Green Shift, “investing in clean energy” means a massive tax on Canadians so that we can have the money to “invest” in alternative sources of energy. And why do we need this? Because the planet is warming. And will this help slow or reverse the warming? Nope.
No known mitigation strategy will amount to a hill of beans as the planet either warms or cools as it passes through its age-old climate cycles.
So here we go again: up the Green Shift hump and down the cap-and-trade trough to ruination of our rebounding economy. And all because Michael Ignatieff decided he wants to be our prime minister.
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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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