We will have concluded an entire campaign, without one reporter positing the simplest of questions, a free ride of biblical proportions. It's the equivalent of Dion continually arguing that the Conservatives favor corporate tax cuts, pandering to big business, without anyone pointing out that the Liberals favor the same policy. In other words, the most ridiculous of contentions, and yet Harper is allowed to spew the nonsense, unchecked and not held to account.
The Liberals came out with a press release, that will surely be ignored, but it really is an objective point:
It is bad enough that Mr. Harper has skated through the election campaign without being honest with Canadians about what a fraud his climate change plan is, but Mr. Harper’s failure to be honest about the increased costs his plan will place on consumers—at the pump and otherwise—is simply inexcusable.
Every independent analysis of Mr. Harper’s climate change plan has determined it will not meet its own modest targets. These include studies by: CIBC, Deutsche Bank, Pembina Institute, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, CD Howe Institute, National Energy Board, and National Round Table on Environment and the Economy.
This week, 230 leading Canadian economists noted in an open letter to Canada’s federal party leaders that “all carbon reduction policies increase the prices individuals face” and concluded that reducing emissions through regulation, as Mr. Harper plans to do, “is the most expensive way to meet a given climate change goal.”
And while Mr. Harper plans a complex regulatory system that will lead to a price on carbon of $65 a tonne, his government has yet to release its final regulations and refuses to come clean and tell Canadians about the additional costs his plan will create before the October 14 vote.
While Mr. Harper plans to price carbon at $65 per tonne, he fails to be honest about this with Canadians on the hustings. Worse, Mr. Harper has no plan to help Canadians offset these additional costs with tax cuts on personal income, business and investments.
Nobody can deny the above, because the Conservatives own language admits a cost "which isn't trivial", the price of fossil fuels will increase, and the trickle down will result in increased costs for secondary items. That's a simple fact, that's the Conservatives own characterization. And yet, Harper is allowed to claim the Liberals are dangerous because they would do what he would do, minus the tax cut side to balance. In the final analysis, without the tax relief, one could easily argue that the Conservative plan would punish Canadians in a much more substantive way than the Liberal plan. Crickets, nobody seems to acknowledge this elemental fact, the media continually allows Harper to present his intellectually dishonest attack, without any critical questioning.
I'm hard pressed to find another example where one party has been given such a free ride, on such a central issue in a campaign. The entire Conservative argument is predicated on the carbon tax, it is their main thrust, and yet nobody seems to notice the contradiction, nobody finds it necessary to asked the pointed questions. Partisanship aside, that Stephen Harper has been allowed to mislead Canadians without being held to account, is the great travesty of this election. It really is...