Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So, Now the Real Dialogue Begins

For a brief moment, tomorrow we can ask the children (read Con's) to leave the room as the adults discuss what is really facing the planet and present a serious way to combat it.

Is this going to be easy? Absolutely not, but I think the Conservatives have seriously underestimated how much people really want to be engaged in an intelligent way, on a subject that most people really do care about.

Will the Con's immediately come out with further attacks? Of course! That is all they know, but think about what they have said thus far. None of it stands up to scrutiny even given the very meager details that have come out today. (Incidentally, could the insiders kindly shut the hell up now? Where I come from divulging your strategy to the opposing team isn't very clever...just saying.)

Just about every Con MP stood today, to lie in the House. My favourite line from the article is this,

In the Commons, Tory MP Cheryl Gallant said a carbon tax is “nothing more than a yuppie fad” that will punish poor, rural and working class Canadians.

Yuppie fad? Yuppie? When is the last time you heard that expression used? What century are these people living in? No wonder their youth vote is so huge! My father, (and I am of a certain age) doesn't use that expression. This summer maybe more promising than even I thought!

Here's what I think is clever about releasing this now. Yes it gives the Lib's time to sell it and yes most people concerned with the issue will want to listen, but the Con's are going to be running around all summer, off leash, spewing yuppie nonsense and much worse. The headlines will write themselves.

If, and it's a big if, the media follows the story over the summer Canadians will be faced with reality versus fiction and perhaps at long last the Con non-plan will be exposed. It hasn't been endorsed by a single credible critic and it's hard to imagine anything but a good deal of third party support for what I've seen so far of Dion's plan.

We also have this other optic. The Con's being sued for not living up to our Kyoto agreements, missing deadlines, etc. Who looks credible? Not the Con's.

The NDP have their position that is not without merit, (though if Dion includes a cap and trade piece too, I'm not sure where they go with their attack), the Greens obviously have a solid plan, but one that is too onerous to be bought by most people at this point in time.

To my way of thinking the Lib's seem to have the most comprehensive plan of all. Who is missing? Oh yeah, the Con's of course who have a blow-hard spewing nothing and what he does spit out, has been roundly discounted.

Knowing that over 60% of this country is progressive, how much headway do you really think juvenile scare tactics put forward by the Con's are going to sway people in the midst of a serious discussion?

No matter how hard they try, the Con's still have no idea how to speak to the masses and attract votes. Their message is always directed to their 'base' and as Gallant shows us, that still includes people who do not live in the real world.

All of that said, I go back to my original point. This won't be easy, but anything worth winning never is. In my view the odds are on our side.


Anonymous said...

To put things in perspective, consider this passage from Saturday's edition of the New York Times:

"China has clearly overtaken the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, a new study has found, its emissions increasing 8 percent in 2007. The Chinese increase accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the year’s global greenhouse gas emissions, the study found."

Canada's emissions are a drop in the bucket. We are a fully developed sparsely populated country with one of the world's coldest climates requiring more energy just to heat our homes.

AGW is something governments have to contend with, but it is not the only pressing concern. I hope Dion has bold plans to deal with our other pressing societal concerns and doesn't put all his eggs in this one policy basket.

knb said...

Anon...the two most pressing issues are climate change and the economy. Dion has linked them from the beginning and in this plan. He goes farther...he brings justice into the mix.

The Con's on the other hand dismiss the environment, dismiss poverty and social justice and have destroyed the contemporary economy.

Take your pick.

ottlib said...

You do mean the dialogue between the Liberal Party and Canadians right?

After all, I really do not expect the Conservatives to contribute anything to the dialogue except juvenile talking points and talking oil spots.

I hear part of the Liberal strategy is to release some advertizements promoting their plan. Would it not be breath of fresh air to see a political party in this country release some positive and informative advertizements?

The political realist in me is taking a cautious view with regard to the impact of the Liberal announcement and the communications plan (which I touched on at my own blog tonight) on the political landscape.

However, I do believe that this is a positive first step towards showing Canadians that the Liberals are shaping up to be an effective government-in-waiting.

Anonymous said...

To put things in perspective,...
What I pay in taxes is but a drop in the bucket to the overall federal budget, but I still have to pay...

As for the Dion plan, I'll wait and see before commenting. Speaking from someone who does live in the greenest province, I can tell you that most tax shifting has been a tax grab and has not given the expected results.

It's very easy to say what has to be done, but without taking human nature and social fairness into account, we end up punishing those who can least afford it.

Alot of "greenies" pushed for ethanol and the Connies jumped on the bandwagon - the results of all this has been higher commodity prices that are hurting the poor. So whatever plan Dion has, it will be a hard balancing act.

Raphael Alexander said...

I agree with anonymous. We will yet again sacrifice the backs of working Canadians in order to satisfy a Liberal agenda, all for what? a possible 2% reduction in net emissions? Preposterous.

Wake up to the elephant in the room: India and China and their massively overpopulated countries. Another tax on the back of the working class, even the so-called revenue neutral magic voodoo being proposed by Dion, is still in the best-case scenario an interest free loan to the government. And those tax cuts will be forthcoming I'm sure, if I hold my breath long enough.

Last but not least, those revenue neutral cheques we get back from the government will probably go where they belong: back into the gas pump to pay for $150 barrel oil. So who's kidding whom?

The Mound of Sound said...

Fine post KNB. Yes we'll sacrifice meaningfully at home to make an overall insignificant difference overall but it's all about "learning" that we have to act globally. It's all about learning because those who raise silly, frightened quibbles can't or won't understand what lies ahead if the most advantaged don't figure this out first. It's our societies' opportunity - for our own long-term wellbeing as much as anyone else's - and those who must follow us will pay dearly for it if we shun this opportunity.

Raphael Alexander said...

Mound of Sound, from what I've learned about Liberals, and God knows I've tried to, it's not so much about doing what is pragmatic and practical, but doing what "feels right". Well I'm sure we'll all feel great to be environmental philanthropists, but the reality cheque in the mail will be a lower standard of living for middle income Canadians.

Anonymous said...

but the reality cheque in the mail will be a lower standard of living for middle income Canadians.
Odd how that always happens during Conservative governance.
Mulroney was a dire period for the middle class and poor and Harper is doing the same (how's the economy doing stupid?).....