It's obviously early days, (earlier than early really), but further to my post yesterday about Dion and the tax shift he is proposing, it would seem that so far the conversation is headed in the right direction.
I think the Con's probably felt they had swept the Environment issue off the table and in a way they had. They threw around lofty terms that meant nothing really, chose Baird to spend more time excoriating the Lib's than actually doing anything concrete and called it a day.
Their followers bought it, but no one else did and realising that it was futile to argue with the government because they were deaf on the matter, the public conversation died down.
Dion has injected a new component into the debate that once again has people talking. Not only is that a good thing, based on what CPC MP's are saying, I think it's the Con's biggest nightmare.
I suspect that many Environmentalists will be contacted to react to this idea over the next few weeks, especially once it's finally announced and depending on what the plan ends up being, I'm pretty certain it will be endorsed.
We saw the first go-round of that playing out on Question Period today. Baird, blustered and sputtered and of course told us exactly what Dion was going to do, ignoring the fact of course that Dion himself hasn't said what he is going.
You can see where the Con's intend to take this. They begin by pointing out that Dion has changed his plan a few times. The suggestion being of course, that he is indecisive. It always makes me laugh when Con's bring up such arguments. It's such a validation of the fact that they are incapable of evolving and adapting to changing circumstances.
They then suggest that Dion cannot be trusted with tax dollars, because after all he has $64B hole that he has to fill. Umm, perhaps John forgets that a policy platform will be costed.
He then links Dion with favouring big business at the expense of the middle class . (Note, he almost slips and says that his party wants to go after big oil, lol). Well listen for yourself. He talks an awful lot but says nothing.
Conversely, David Suzuki was praising Dion's idea while condemning the Con non- plan. Baird can present his plan as something it's not as much as he likes. He will now once again be called out on it, not just by the Lib's, but by those who know. Who will Baird get to defend their non-plan I wonder? They can't go back to trotting out climate change deniers, they've now spent too much time chanting, we believe!
As was mentioned on the show the NDP may not fair too well here either. It's one thing to disagree with the Lib plan but if the experts come out for it, well, the NDP will are going to be arguing with them too. That's a rather bizarre spot for the NDP to be. Additionally, people like Jane Taber who see only black and white, will continue to lump the NDP and the Con's together, which is rather interesting in itself.
Finally, I think we have only seen the very tip of the iceberg here. I'm thinking/hoping that Dion's plan is not going to be restricted to simply a revenue neutral carbon tax, but likely include reinvestment, cap and trade and other ideas that will make it both palatable and difficult to criticise.
Time will tell of course, but in the meantime it's great to see the debate back on again and it's also nice to see the narrative walk away from weak leadership, to a bold and courageous move by Dion.
Oh, and if there really are nervous Lib's in the caucus, how about using that energy to develop strategy to sell this plan rather than criticise it? The next election isn't going to be a cakewalk any way you cut it and this at least puts something substantial in the mix that will expose the Con's fraudulant claims on this file.