I agree with everything Scott said, a worthy idea for sure and something the Liberals should/could embrace.
Tossing this idea around, one criticism or hesitation, the notion that this environmental plank could be complicated. First off, seems a pretty simple concept, that anyone with a mortgage or knowledge of personal finances should be able to figure out with little effort. In addition, when you look at some of the incentive programs now, the audit retrofit concept, this idea hardly seems daunting in comparison.
I won't rehash the program, Scott and Antonio provide excellent reviews. What I find fascinating, how will the Liberals approach the environmental file in the next election. Everyone knows the economy will be the central issue, but that fact doesn't mean other files don't deserve innovative attention and/or that voters won't focus on them. In many ways, now more than ever, there is a practical imperative to tie environmental considerations with the new economy, countries that understand this reality will be best placed to thrive. The Liberals would be well advised to formulate a union, a coherent economic package that puts all measures at their disposal into concert, towards the new "green economy".
A chief worry I have, that Liberals will shy away from a green agenda, given what happened last election. It would be a colossal mistake to confuse poor messaging, a poor messenger (let's keep it real) and a "hail mary" political motivation as a conclusive template. That's not to say I think we should rehash the carbon tax, as much as I found it easily the best policy, it's a political albatross at the moment, it just reads TAX, TAX, TAX to Canadians. I have no interest in trying to change perceptions, so the idea is effectively dead and that is one legacy I can concur with. That said, stepping back, it doesn't mean Liberals need cede the whole file- put out your basic timid and bland platform, with pedestrian goodies, nothing that DARES, nothing that DARE offend.
The last polling I saw, the Liberals were actually tied with the Conservatives on the environment. Ick! Tied on a measure that is one of Harper's worst, we can do much, much better than that. People can comfort themselves that it's not a "big" issue anymore, but that doesn't consider the economic tie in, nor does it recognize what our opponents will use. To date, about all Canadians know about the Ignatieff Liberals, we're big supporters of the tar sands. To be fair, Ignatieff has talked about environmental sustainability, not viewing development with a "klondike-like" mentality, but really the central theme is support for a dirty technology. Because of this perception, I think it makes it doubly important that we articulate a progressive, innovative, creative environmental platform, so that our message is more coherent in totality.
Do we really want Elizabeth May scoffing at Ignatieff during a debate? Do we really want Gilles painting the Liberals as "pale green"? There is potential bleeding at hand, rather than looking at the environment as a vote winner, at the very least you need to consider it as a way to shore up your flank, to stay in the conversation with credibility.
Don't let past perceived failures and misfounded fears turn us into VANILLA.