Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So, What Does He Have to Offer?

I think it's been clear for a while that an election is likely this Fall. So, stories like this are not really news.

A 'media check' moment:

It's not exactly election fever, but Canadians appear more ready this year to head to the polls than they did last fall, says Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.

"We have seen over the winter and the spring more and more interest for federal politics," Dion told reporters Wednesday at a hotel in Ottawa's west end. "And more and more appetite for an election."

You'll note that the way that is written, it suggests that Dion was just musing out loud unprompted, which many think he shouldn't do. Um, he was speaking with reporters. Do you think that maybe he was, for the gazillionth time, asked when the next election might be?

Back to my point though, Garth Turner on his blog stated that Dion and the Lib's have the following to offer as part of what they will give Canadians in the next election, by means of The Green Shift:

• Broad-based income tax cuts to increase cash flow and help consumer spending in troubled times
.• Substantial direct financial help for families to offset higher energy costs.
• Deep tax incentives to get businesses investing in green technologies and innovation.
• Lower corporate taxes, making the country far more competitive for global investment, and help create jobs.
• A cut in small business taxes, because the greatest numbers of new jobs come from start-ups and small-scale expansions.
• Tax write-offs in the form of capital cost allowances letting companies afford green tech investments
• Federal money to achieve the goal of having 10% of Canada’s energy come from renewable sources
• A big new fund to stimulate green manufacturing ventures.
• Money for homeowners to retrofit their houses; inducements to buy hybrid cars and energy-saving appliances
• Incentives for citizens to generate their own power, not just to get off the grid but to feed it.

That's one plank of course, and a good one, but it got me thinking about what Harper might offer. It's tempting to say 'nothing that Canadians want', but that's not true of course.

Like it or not, the Con's did master the art of simple messaging during the last election and I fully expect them to try that again. The question is, what will they offer?

I think there will be more 'crime fighting' stuff, in spite of the fact that crime rates are coming down. Simpson has an interesting article on this today.

Tax cuts of course, but where? A mirror of what the Lib's are proposing? That will shoot their objection to Dion's plan out the window. Dion has hit just about every sector. There is always the infamous GST of course, but if they try that again, I'm sure most economists will come out against them with a strong voice.

What else? I'm at a loss here and perhaps so are they. I've no doubt they'll come up with something, maybe even the vaunted '5 point plan', but they have lost their grip on integrity, accountability and doing things differently. Dion is leading the party differently and given their reaction, they are painfully aware of that, so to argue it's the same old, while arguing his difference, is ridiculous.

Anyway, tell me what you think the Con's will propose during the next election.


ottlib said...

I would not underestimate the Conservatives ability to come up with something to put into the window.

Before the last election I believed that the Conservatives would focus primarily on Accountability. Instead, it became a centrepiece for a platform that, as you say, was easy to understand even if it was very minimalist in its approach.

Fortunately, this time the Conservatives will be facing a chief opponent that will actually have something new to offer.

As well, to answer your question from a different angle, what the Conservatives put forward as an election platform will tell us alot about whether they still believe they can win a majority or not.

If they come up with the minimalist platform again it will indicate that they only believe a minority government is a possibility for them.

If it is more sweeping then it will indicate they still believe they can win a majority government.

Again, the difference this time is the Liberals have a leader who will be swinging for the fences and not falling into the minimalist trap.

With regard to specific policy proposals from the Conservatives, who knows. Crime and taxes will probably be there but I really could not speak to the specifics.

Big Harper Fan said...

He has his charm, charisma, and caring personality to offer.

Frankly Canadian said...

Hey big Harper fan, how does charm, charisma, and the ability to act as if he actually cares, how does that help me? Is Harper fighting global warming? Is Harper stimulating the economy to become less dependant on fossil fuels? Is Harper securing the jobs for my fellow brothers in the auto sector by helping develop new electric or similar type vehicles? Is Harper helping my parents protect their income trust investments? Is Harper helping my community with the lack of day care space available? (I believe over 800 spaces needed immediately in this city alone) Is Harper helping protect my fellow Canadians who are fighting abroad, that if they are to become captives, they should have no fear of cruel torture because our enemy knows we as a nation do not condone unconstitutional practices? Is Harper helping the poor and oppressed people of Zimbabwe or Sudan? Is harper helping my native brothers and sisters fight poverty and all the related social issues that accompany poverty? Is Harper setting examplitory standards on the world stage? Is Harper securing the institutions that administrate this great country, such as the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and Elections Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Canadian Wheat Board, ect.? How does Harper having charm, charisma and caring old American bed fellows help me as a Canadian citizen. THIS COUNTRY NEEDS AN ELECTION A.S.A.P.

RuralSandi said...

Geez, if Harper supposedly has this charm, charisma....when is it going to show?

ottlib said...

Gee, I think big harper fan was being ironic. At least I hope so.

Anonymous said...

I'd say we should be on the look out for the Cons to offer income splitting for single income families.

With the spectrum auction funds being higher than expected, it's a distinct possibility.

We should be prepared with a response.

This would KILL!

penlan said...

I think the CONs will have a similar "form", messaging & points, as they did in the last election. It worked then. Doubt it will work again.

Yes, crime & lowering taxes being main talking points. As well as an environmental platform that will just be one big lie, as usual.

The Economy, & the state of it, will be big this time with promised ideas to stimulate it, again faux based.

Accountability will not be mentioned although I think Adscam will be raised again, but minimally as the CONs have too many scams of their very own now. But raised as a reminder.

A lot of blaming the Libs, from the past, for everything that is wrong & stating that 2 1/2 - 3 yrs. of CON govt. isn't long enough to put everything right. They need more time & a majority to "get it done".

There will be talk on lowering taxes on gasoline & finding "other" ways to bring down the cost, but if re-elected it won't happen for whatever reasons they will make up.

But now that we have Dion he will be much more confrontational than Martin was & have many more solid/substantive ideas to present to Canadians. Ones that will be more of what we want, need & can understand more fully.

Can't think of anything else at the moment.

Good question knb!

Omar said...

It's tempting to say 'nothing that Canadians want', but that's not true of course.

And on tap for tomorrows consumption we have yet another creepy Conservative mail-out for the voters of West Nova entitled "Above the Law?", from MP Brian Storseth(who??). You open it open to the headline 'Age is no excuse' and 'Nobody is above the law'. Oddly enough the hooded individuals on the cover resemble native protesters more than they do young hoodlums, but I guess that is open to interpretation. The flyer goes on to state proudly 'Real Action. Real Results'. Personally it makes me want to vomit.

~Please give to the Liberal Party of Canada~

Thank you, merci beaucoup.

knb said...

If they come up with the minimalist platform again it will indicate that they only believe a minority government is a possibility for them.

If it is more sweeping then it will indicate they still believe they can win a majority government.

That's an interesting thought ottlib, though I can' conceive of what they could do that would be sweeping given their ideology.

knb said...

Big harper fan needs to buy a fan and get out of the heat, unless of course he/she was being sarcastic.

knb said...

frankly canadian, great summary.

knb said...

Interesting idea anon, though I'm not sure they'd go for a Garth idea.

Maybe though.

knb said...

Good points penlan. Have you noticed that everything they announce is historic?

btw, I saw your question at Garth's yesterday. Did you get an answer?

knb said...

I got the same one today omar.

Here in Mississauga, mine's from John Williams, MP from Edmonton. Your guy is from Alberta too.

penlan said...


No did not get an answer from Garth, as far as I know. And I have looked a few times. I was disappointed about that.

I need an answer, to be honest, & I'm not alone.

knb said...

I know you need an answer penlan.

Do pages 34 and 35 help you out at all?

You might also try e-mailing him or the party.

knb said...

penlan, I also meant to include page 29 which gives you an idea of costs.

penlan said...


I don't know how those would help me. I don't pay income taxes of any kind. I think that I'm in a totally different category, along with others like myself.

I will take your suggestion & write to the party.


penlan said...

Hi knb,

I cut & pasted my comment at Garth's blog & emailed it to him, plus added a short note at the beginning.

Will let you know if I hear back from him. If I don't then I will forward it to the Party & see if someone there will respond.

knb said...

Terrific penlan. I wish you well. Keep me posted.