Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oh No!

Well it seems a new poll has some Con's just giddy with delight. Proof positive some say that Dion's plan simply cannot's doomed.

Why? Because public opinion has shifted! You see the environment is no longer the number one concern for Canadians. It's dropped to, wait for it, number 3, behind gas prices and concern for the economy. Isn't that just awful!

Once again all important facts are left out of the revelers arguments. Concern about the rising price of gasoline come in first at 18%, which was equal to the percentage of those who were concerned about the economy, (doesn't that make the environment second ?). So how low did the environment fall compared to the top two issues. A whopping 16%! Isn't that devastating? It's Canadians 2nd most pressing issue and it's 2 points behind the others. The Con's have no plan for the environment and they are convinced that this poll is the end of Dion's plan. Amazing.

Now, let's think about what the Con priorities are and where they fall on Canadians priority list shall we. Terra 6%, Crime 3%, Taxes 1%.

As for the article and the conclusions it draws, well it's journalism at it's worse really. Without one question about Dion's plan being asked to participants, the writer and pollster assume that the poll results signal that his plan will be negatively affected. Astonishing. Furthermore, if anyone actually thought that Stelmach and Steve's new best friend Wall were going to endorse Dion, well you don't live on the same planet that I do.

So really what this article is really telling us is that Gloria Galloway thinks this poll is going to damage to a plan that has yet to be sold and no one was asked about. Remarkable.


Prairie Kid said...

Some ideas are just so bad that nobody wants to buy them. The Green Shift is one of them. Not only is it a bad idea, it's being sold by someone who is hard to understand at the best of times, never mind trying to sell a new idea.

Babylonian said...

I will be honest, I was scared Dion's plan was gonna have emmissions targets, green rebates, R&D boosting, hydrogen infrastructure, a top down, bottom up, inside out kind of plan. What does he do? He adds a phucking carbon tax. If a dog is barks a good idea, I'll throw him a bone..........but looks like this isn't the case.

If Dion actually HAD a knock-em dead green plan, then there would be a fair bit for conservatives to worry about.

ottlib said...


The poll did not ask straight out whether respondents agreed with the Green Shift plan. It seems like an obvious question to me.

Decima asked that question and they concluded that the Liberals have alot of room to grow because of the Green Shift idea.

So why did not Strategic Council not ask the same question?


And why is there no party support estimates to go along with the poll? No news organization worth its salt commissions a poll without that question.

Hmmmm again.

I was wondering where the Globe and Mail was going to come down on the Green Shift plan and I think we have our answer. Which is funny because they have written many editorials about the need to reduce Canada's ghg emissions. I guess they are very much like the Conservatives. Alot of talk but they really do not want to see any real action.

Prairie Kid, let us take it as a given that you will not like plan Mr. Dion will put forth. Let us also take it as a given that you will not ever believe Mr. Dion will be able to connect with Canadians. Further let us take it as a given that many people who support the Green Shift Plan and Mr. Dion will disagree with you.

With that in mind unless you have something else to say besides what you did why don't you not bother to make any comments. The statements from people like you are really beginning to bore me.

kitt said...

Well let's get Dions carbon shift implimented now so that I can start saving on my personal taxes to cover the jacked up priced from big oil and their buddy Harpo. See how everything is tied together, you CON dullurds?

ottlib said...


If Mr. Dion would have put forth all you said it would be a complicated mess.

Instead he put forth an idea of taxing carbon and giving the revenue back to Canadians in income tax cuts. (A part you left out of your comment)

Many have tried to portray the Plan as complicated. However, all the Liberals have to do is stress they are taxing pollution and reducing taxes on income. Simple really and it will probably have more appeal than many of the pundits think.

As well, it is a plan that spells things out. The only other party that has done that is the Green Party.

The Conservatives talk about more regulation for industry and the NDP talk about a Cap-and-Trade system but neither have yet to spell out how they would implement either one.

As knb states, Canadians do care about global warming so I expect this plan will be a threat to both the Conservatives and the NDP as long as it is the only plan out there for Canadians to look at.

Anonymous said...

Strategic Counsel, much like Kinsella's puny outfit, have rich clients in the energy sector.

knb said...

prairie kid...yawn.

When you actually have an argument, one that can be debated, be sure to come back.

Until then, you're boring CPC talking points don't hold any sway here.

knb said...

babylonian, how the heck would you sell that?

As it stands, this plan is something to sell. Put a price on carbon and give people a break to mitigate that on their taxes, (and other measures for those who don't pay taxes).

Do you seriously believe that the Con's aren't worried? Geesh, even the NDP is worried.

ottlib said...

Sorry knb, I seem to be taking over your blog tonight.

It should be noted that the two issues that are most important to Canadians make the Conservatives more vulnerable than the Liberals.

Stephen Harper promised that he would do something about gas prices when they exceeded $.85 per litre. Of course he has done nothing even though I just filled up today at $1.35 per litre. If any Conservative believes that promise will not resurface again during an election campaign I hope that you are willing to share what ever it is you are smoking.

As for the economy, if you take a look at history it is always the sitting government who suffers when the electorate becomes concerned with the economy. If the economy does tank badly, or the concern amongst Canadians deepens, it will be the Conservatives who will be blamed for it. That is particularly true when Canadians are reminded that the Liberals left Canadians with a $15 billion budget surplus, which the Conservatives managed to reduce to near zero in just two years.

knb said...

ottlib, your hmmm's are the same as mine, though you're the expert on polls.

I'll wait to read more in the G&M. Galloway doesn't qualify as it's definitive voice for me. I mean no disrespect, but whenever I see her on Duffy's show, I wonder how large the staff is that help's her put ink out. Not the brightest bulb in my view. Just a rung above Taber. Both have connections, sadly those connections relate to 'insiders', not synapses.

Sorry. Too harsh? Perhaps, but I crave intelligent media and discourse. I feel like that tree in the forest that nobody heard, but it did make a noise of course. Why isn't the forest speaking out?

knb said...

kitt, connectivity doesn't exist/occur in Conservative ranks.

knb said...

No worries ottlib. I welcome your rebuttal of nonsense. A team approach is welcomed.

That is particularly true when Canadians are reminded that the Liberals left Canadians with a $15 billion budget surplus, which the Conservatives managed to reduce to near zero in just two years.

I'm not sure Canadians get that yet, so more emphasis must be placed there. The Con's can say what they like. How they have adopted the 'good stewardship of the country's finances' is beyond me.

In rich Ontario, no one forgets Harris. New focus on mental health, which I think the Lib's should take on as their next plank, Harper and Flaherty through Harris only serve to remind us of what a disaster they stand for.

Thanks for the help.

Anonymous said...

knb - you reference Harris and Flaherty. Any comments regarding Bob Rae and how he did in Ontario???

Platty said...

Dion predicted his proposed carbon tax will trigger substantial reductions by 2012....
..."I'm confident we will have significant reductions. I'm not telling you specific numbers because you would not trust me," he said

Well, at least the milquetoast knows how much we all trust him....


Anonymous said...

Yeah, he's a smart man so he probably recognizes we trust him more than Harpie.

Prairie Kid said...

Here's a comment I posted on Mr. Morton's blog.

Canadians are responsible for approximately 3% of the world’s greenhouse gases. If we all stopped driving cars and taking airplanes as of today, in a year from now we might have reduced the amount to 2%. Big deal. The only thing we would have accomplished is making a statement to the rest of the world that we are doing something for the environment. That’s like having terminal cancer and donating money to the Cancer Society. It doesn’t do a thing to cure your illness but it does make you feel better. In the mean time, Asia is building approximately a coal-fired electric plant every week or two.

Secondly, if you think for a minute that companies who have to pay a carbon tax will not pass that cost on to consumers, you’re not looking at reality. And those companies will charge the companies they supply their goods to a fee to make up the difference they had to pay on their carbon tax. And companies never add the exact amount to their cost. They add a couple of points for all the extra paper work, etc. In other words, you will be paying more for 90% of all goods purchased.

If you make $50,000. a year, and you spend approximately $45,000 of that on goods and services to sustain yourself, you can be sure that you will be paying a minimum of 10% more on everything you buy.

On the plus side, your income tax might be reduced by 5% if you’re lucky.

I could be out to lunch but that doesn’t look like revenue neutrality to me?

KNB . . . please tell me I'm wrong. I'd love to hear your argument.

And one last point. The Green Shift will have to have a complete department dedicated to administering it and policing it.

I can see another Gun Registry coming up.

And all that just to reduce our measly 3%.

wilson said...

''the environment "was No. 1 up until January" among Canadians surveyed.
At that time, 22 per cent said it was the most pressing matter in Canada.''

Dropping from #1 @ 22% to #3 @ 16% in just 6 months , is significant if it is a trend.

The impact of high gas prices, with only higher prices on the horizon, is making people question the need for even more 'punishment' with a government imposed carbon tax.
Especially when $9 Billion of the $15.3 B is NOT for bettering the environment, but instead, funding Dions promises.

Dion's 3 pillars was developed last year, when the enviroment was #1.
Dion missed the boat on this one. When he was in government as enviro minister, he should have got the job done then.
Too late now.

wilson said...

Prairie Kid, ''And all that just to reduce our measly 3%.''

No, not reducing from 3% to 0%; it's to reduce our ghg's 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, which amounts to reducing Cdn ghg's to just over 2%.

PMSHs enviro plan reduces ghg's 20% below 2006 levels; the difference between the carbon tax and Cons plans is about 1/10th %.

Is it worth wrecking the economy in 4 provinces for 1/10th of 1% in ghg reductions?

wilson said...

It's beginning to look like a trend knb

Northern premiers reject carbon tax plan
June 28, 2008
The three northern premiers have rejected Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion's plan for a national carbon tax, saying it will just add to the already high costs of energy in the region.

Platty said...

Yeah, he's a smart man so he probably recognizes we trust him more than Harpie.

Read the quote again there Joey, okay here, I'll explain it for you. Dion said no one would trust him, he didn't say no one would trust Harper, he said no one would trust him, Dion.

Got it?

Okay, now you go have a little lie down and all of the voices will go away.....


Anonymous said...

How about wrapping your thick skull around this, platty.

I wasn't reading your blathering quotes because your opinion couldn't possibly mean less to me. I was making my own observation.

Dion can be honest with people because he knows he's saying what is on his mind and not calculating the political edge he might gain. So we trust him more than we trust Harpie.

Now, I'm sure you get all giggly and smitten when Harper's image pops up, but most of us don't have that reaction.

catherine said...

Platty, when Dion says he isn't quoting a specific amount for reductions it is because there are no specific amounts which can be trusted.

A carbon tax gives a good estimate on costs to consumers and industries but not on reductions, a cap and trade gives a good estimate on reductions but not at costs to consumers. If the two plans were set such that the costs were the same, then the reductions would be the same and similarly if their costs are the same the reductions will be the same (if the plans are comprehensive, with no exceptions or else applied to the same sources.

The initial EU cap and trade was set too low and had to be adjusted. Similarly Sweden's carbon tax has been increased twice (and broadened) since it started. Having either of these systems in place (which you can expect to take at least two year, more likely 3, for cap and trade) and less than 1 year for carbon tax) allows the system to be ajusted so that it does achieve the goals you want, including keeping the economy growing through investments in sustainable technologies.

The advantage to knowing the costs (as in the tax approach) is you can then help protect low-income Canadians and perhaps specific industries, who NEED to be protected from rising energy costs even if you don't price carbon, but somewhat more so, if you do price it. Of course, even these people/industries need to change, but they need to protection during the change.

catherine said...

Wilson, about your 2% argument:

First, controlling GHGs also controls polluntants that typically go along with GHGs, so it makes our own environment better for us and our children.

Second, the price of oil may have fluctuations but it is rising on average due to supply/demand/increasing cost of extraction, and the shift to sustainable technologies and energy sources which happens with a carbon tax will make our economy stronger. It takes time, a decade, not a few years, but the payoff is also big. Sweden is an example, which grew its economy 44% while cutting emissions, and now exports green technology to China and elsewhere and runs city buses on garbage. Our economy will be in BETTER shape because of this initiative.

Collecting import tariffs and not having to pay export tarrifs for GHG emmissions will also be a plus for Canada. Switzerland has pushed hard to this and the EU and US are discussing it. It is discussed in Dion's plan.

Canada still has credibility in the world because we have typically tried to help solve problems and not created many new ones for the world. We can still try to assume a leadership role here to influence other countries. If we put a working plan in place it can influence others, and we can help them by exporting our expertise and our new technologies. Sweden signed a deal with China on wind energy which supports development and use in both countries.

To wait until China and India have implemented their own carbon pricing, will hurt our economy. We now have the change to start slowly, learn, and adjust as we curb use of fossil fuels and develop alternatives. We won't have that luxury when this is forced on us rather than us taking the lead.

The Green Shift starts modestly to allow people to adapt. A quicker start might would cause faster reductions in the first year or two, but would also cause hardship before any alternatives were in place. This plan is to start gradually, so that we can keep our economy heathly, businesses can make small changes as they develop and/or import technology for the bigger changes needed in years 3 and 4.

catherine said...

Clarification: " not having to pay export tarrifs for GHG emmissions"

I meant to pay these to OTHER countries. Our industries will pay the carbon tax in Canada not to the countries buying their products. More money in Canada is more money for tax credits and investments to stimulate the economy to develop alternatives and to build infrastructure (like high speed trains).

Anonymous said...

Many have tried to portray the Plan as complicated. However, all the Liberals have to do is stress they are taxing pollution and reducing taxes on income
Problem with that is the the cost of the tax is passed to the consumer.
You can look at how the implementation has worked in Quebec and soon BC. While it's fine and dandy to say this will be neutral, I hardly doubt it will.
Let's put it this way, in Quebec the carbon tax was "supposed" to be neutral and they even passed laws saying that consumers would not be gouged. In the end, the cost was passed to consumers and gas firms openly defy the law saying it is unenforceable.

Yes the green shift is more than just a tax but you can't expect radical changes but imposing them on consumers. Companies are there to make ever increasing profit margins for investors - that reality makes it impossible for incorporations to have the social conscious and green values espoused by many.

I laugh when people say just force car users to take public transport. How is that a great plan when public transport is wholly inefficient? And seems to be run by a corrupt system?

A few years ago many protested the dangers of nuclear power, now some of the same seem to be embracing it.

While troglodyte conservatives see it as their right to pollute the environment as they see fit, I take the more true Libertarian approach to not harm others while maintaining my freedom.

There are many small ways to reduce our carbon footprint and people would easily adapt them if they did not directly impact their standards of living.

ottlib said...

I find it a hoot when Conservatives reject the Green Shift because it does not set any ghg emission targets.

Now that is comedy. This from a group of people who have not set any targets themselves or even come up with a credible plan to cut ghg emissions.

Now I know people like wilson will point to John Baird's plan but I would point out that his plan has been panned by every independant commentator as window dressing. So save that talking point for your Conservative brethren because it has no credibility outside of that cabal.

Canadian are concerned about gas prices, the economy and the environment. The Green Shift Plan can be sold in a way that addresses two out of three of these concerns. Plus like I said before two of the three top concerns of Canadians are more of a threat to the Conservatives than the Liberals.

So by all means believe the Green Shift Plan is a non-starter. Whatever gets you through the night.

But keep in mind that the idea of putting a cost on pollution while reducing income taxes is a simple idea with a great deal of potential to resonate across the country.

That is why Mr. Harper sounded so damned hysterical in his two statements regarding it when it was released.

Oh yes, Wilson, the Meech Lake Accord was supported by every Provincial Premier except Clyde Wells. However, when he and Elijah Harper killed that Accord they were feted as heroes by most Canadians.

So I would not take too much comfort in the Norther Premier's objections. More often than the political class likes to admit, Canadians are often out front of their political leaders on the important issues and that is the case now with regard to global warming and climate change.

knb said...

Prairie Kid

Your first point presumes that the plan is designed to make a huge dent in a worldwide problem. It's not. It's designed to get this country moving in the right direction which then gives us more clout when negotiating with other countries going forward.

Your second point states that companies will pass their costs on. Some may, but they'd be wiser to look at ways to avoid being taxed. Many industries have been begging for some sort of regulation so they can plan for the future.

Here's the clincher though. Both the Con and NDP plan of (the later being an actual cap and trade) will also cost companies. The difference of course is that cost is not spoken of, it's essntially hidden. So, don't you think your theory still applies here and said companies will just pass on the cost?

Here's the difference though. Dion's plan is the only one that gives business relief in the form of tax cuts. The other two do not.

Revenue neutrality only refers to the fact that the government would not keep any of the taxes collected.

Your claim that a new department would be created is patently false. That's the beauty of the plan, it can be administered through existing departments.

knb said...

wilson: PMSHs enviro plan reduces ghg's 20% below 2006 levels; the difference between the carbon tax and Cons plans is about 1/10th %.

No, Harper's plan doesn't reduce anything compared to any base line. It's intensity based nonsense that cap's nothing.

knb said...

cherniak_wtf, I don't know how the neutrality was sold in Quebec, but that is not this plan's aim. the neutrality refers only to the fact that the government will not keep any taxes collected.

Companies are there to make ever increasing profit margins for investors - that reality makes it impossible for incorporations to have the social conscious and green values espoused by many

Indeed, but whether a tax shift is in place or not, energy prices will continue to rise so companies are already looking to alternatives and ways to cut costs. A tax cut can assist them in doing that.
Companies who maintain the status quo are doing their shareholders no favours.

I completely agree with your comments on public transit. Is it corrupt in Quebec? It's not properly funded here. My sense is that Dion would address that in some fashion.

There are many small ways to reduce our carbon footprint and people would easily adapt them if they did not directly impact their standards of living.

While I think some of us would do well to impact our standards of living, I hear you.

Feel free to share your ideas. I'd be really interested in hearing them.

Anonymous said...

Feel free to share your ideas. I'd be really interested in hearing them.
Some are as simple as having properly synchronized traffic lights (including lights that stay green at night until transversal traffic is there).
To having people buy stock in companies they feel are polluting/aren't green enough and showing up at stockholders meetings.
We can lobby city halls to curtail urban sprawl and encourage certain eco-friendly dwellings.

Yes, greener cars exist but until they are more affordable, the Tim Horton democraphic will not buy them.

Sure there is a cost on pollution but until a balance is achieved between cost/benefits/profit margins, no one will want to pay higher taxes.