A day after Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said the Liberals would consider a carbon tax, his office denied it is under consideration.
Outside the Commons on Thursday, Dion was asked whether his party would consider a carbon tax. "We have a set of possibilities, and it's a possibility," he said. But on Friday, Dion's office issued a news release denying that a carbon tax was under consideration...
John Bennett of the Climate Action Network said he was disappointed by the apparent confusion.
"It definitely does sound like a flip-flop to me. They'd better come up shortly with some strong regulations."
Maybe Dion shouldn't have said what he did, but he did. Either Dion was trying to appease or he was genuine in his comments, I prefer the latter. Whatever, the real problem I have is releasing a complete contradiction the very next day. Are we trying to fuel the flip-flop argument? Is there a better way to re-inforce the Tory attacks?
The carbon tax idea is controversial, the Conservatives have tried to score points and we respond. I think the tactical play, leave the Dion quote out there, downplay it, something like- "we are currently wading through all the ideas, once we complete out consultations we will have a firm approach, although I would stress that the carbon tax idea isn't on the front burner". Bottomline, we don't have a concrete policy yet, so any "slip" by Dion (is it really, or are we just reacting to the Tories) is temporary. What has lasting impact is the appearance that you flip-flop, especially when the word is already on people's tongues.
The press release today was unnecessary, it looks desperate, and worst of all it accomplishes nothing. I don't see anything particularly concerning about what Dion said, don't micro-manage and clarify, it just makes it worse. Now we have environmentalists criticizing Dion on his strength. Sometimes the less said, the better, instead of the appearance of elementary contradictions that fit neatly into your opponents main line of attack.