Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has recently been elbowing the New Democrats out of the way so he can attack the Harper government’s pro-business agenda. A bit rich coming from the leader of a party which, until recently, championed the need for corporate tax cuts.
Yesterday, Ignatieff used Question Period in the House of Commons to imply to Canadians that any government that cuts corporate taxes is somehow “lining up behind banks and insurance companies” and is thereby precluded from being on the side of “middle class Canadian families”—as if the two things are mutually exclusive. His question in the House was:
“When will the Prime Minister stop lining up behind banks and insurance companies and start lining up behind middle class Canadian families who need security in retirement?”
Even more unseemly is the eagerness with which the chief Grit is embracing NDP policy positions. Jack Layton has barely enough time to articulate a social position before Ignatieff snatches it away and calls it his own. Has the former professor moved so far to the left since he was a teacher at Harvard, or has the influential socialist wing of his party taken full control of policy? I’m inclined to believe the latter.
I cannot think of a single pro-business policy position to come from the Liberals in several months. All they ever seem to want to tell us about is their plan to increase corporate taxes so they can enrich pensions, implement national daycare and increase funding for homecare. Almost all of which, by the way, are provincial, not federal, responsibilities.
Ignatieff has even borrowed Jack Layton’s euphemism for the term “spending.” Like Layton and other socialists, Ignatieff uses the term “investment” when he’s talking about government “spending” on social programs. With “investments,” one expects direct returns and the original expenditure remains intact as some form of asset that will produce returns on into the future. While one might expect good things to come from prudent government “spending” on social programs, the expenditures, once made, are gone and have to be re-spent year after year.
Perhaps as a prelude to a coalition with the New Democrats, the federal Liberals are synchronizing their policies. [smile]