Saturday, August 30, 2008

Conservatives To Campaign On "We'll Get Back To You On That"

Let's get this straight, the Conservatives won't release a key component of their platform during an election, but will counter with the "it's coming" defence. So, while other leaders spell out their approach to GHG's, the Conservatives will sit on the sidelines and smear, while simultaneously trying to slip by with nothing, hoping nobody will notice. Yes, Dion's plan will hurt the economy, lead to layoffs and higher prices, but don't expect any fair attempt to compare and contrast with our plan. Taking Canadians for a ride:
But asked about the indirect costs to consumers of the Tory plan to regulate emissions, Mr. Kenney said that calculation will have to wait until later this fall, when the regulations are published.

Environment Minister John Baird later told The Canadian Press that the regulations will not be published during an election campaign.

Won't be published during an election, isn't that a gigantic, not to mention convenient, cop out? The absurdity of poking holes, pointing to costs of another's plan, when you avoid the same scrutiny by simply taking a pass on accountability. The ambiguity allows the Conservatives to attack a concrete offering, while countering with broad stroke mumbo jumbo. This slight of hand only works if we let it.

We do have some indications of the possible economic impact, should the Conservatives implement their plan. Baird himself admits to .4 -1.0% of GDP, which translates to tens of billions. The lack of certainty allows the Liberals to effectively fill in the gap, and they would be wise to bring forth some independent analysis of the broad strokes, to present a compelling picture. In other words, the Conservatives only get off the hook if we let them, and strategically we can manipulate their lack of hard data, fill the void if you will.

I want to see some visual presentation, whether an ad, a flyer, a press release, a press conference, whatever, that does a compare and contrast of the two approaches. Here's the Liberal costs, clearly spelled out, along with the tax breaks, independently verified versus the trickle down costs of what the Conservatives suggest. It is imperative that we don't give the Conservatives the cover, we clearly spell out, in a factual way, the hypocrisy of telling Canadians that Dion wants to take money out of your pocket, when the Conservatives already admit the same scenario with their plan. That speaks to fundamental dishonesty, utter hypocrisy, not to mention the simple fact that the Liberals are the only one's to put money back in your pockets, the package not a one way affair. The Liberals are being up front with Canadians, the Conservatives hiding their cost, hiding their plan, failing to come clean with voters. Who is really trying to "trick" voters here, we can make a powerful case if framed properly.

The above highlights the already assumed Liberal theme on style. Dion, honest and sincere, offering a positive vision, Harper's slight of hand, content to fear monger, content to attack. Contrasting the two plans, not only helps sell the Green Shift, it also puts the spotlight on approach, what type of dialogue do Canadians want from their leaders, which approach is high signal, which is unattractive?

As far as I'm concerned, this whole debate is a farcical exercise, the Conservatives NOTHING but smoke and mirrors. The Liberals don't have to defend, there is amble room to expose the Conservatives as dishonest frauds, their attacks not supported by simple facts, facts which reveal the worst in politicians, an insult to the intelligence of voters. Stephen Harper thinks you're stupid, is he right?


The Jurist said...

Good post. But I wonder if rather than comparing the Libs' plan to some guess as to what the Cons might do, the the better tactic might instead be to make the message that "the Conservatives have no plan" - and indeed that Harper forced the election precisely to try to avoid dealing with greenhouse gas emissions even longer after already doing nothing for two and a half years.

Steve V said...


That's what really makes the Conservatives vulnerable. On the one hand, you have every independent analysis saying their plan is a sham, which is a good counter. Then, if you do accept their plan as legitimate, you have the "where's the details" angle, implying the hypocrisy of this harm to the economy angle. The Conservatives have knotted themselves so tight, it doesn't even make basic sense anymore. Apathy is their only asset in this debate.

ace said...

During his last election, Ralph Klein refused to discuss his plans for health-care reform--or anything else for that matter. It was dubbed the Kleinfeld election because it was an election about nothing. It worked--in Alberta anyway.

Steve V said...


The only difference, Klein was ahead 35% in the polls. Good example, he could have hid in his house the entire campaign and still won a majority.

Anonymous said...

The Harper plan will cost Canadians half a trillion dollars!!!

There now I just blew apart the whole con. stratagy. If the Liberals push that statement into the MSM then Harper has no choice but to defend himself thus leading to a debate on policies.

Dion needs to do this NOW!! not later before the election is called if Harper dares.

ace said...

That's true, Steve--but the fact that he was ahead by ONLY 35% was making Tories very nervous. He was punished with a "reduced" majority--only 47% of the vote, and just 62 out of the 83 ridings. Pretty brutal. Harper never had much use for him though.

Steve V said...

Well, let's hope Harper is punished with a one way ticket back to Calgary :)

Dame said...

Is there any of you remembering him appearing in publicly in a "NONSCRIPTED" way??? taking peoples questions directly and answering directly them openly on The spot??? NO he is a Preprogrammed Robot .I Can't recall any of his speeches what would describe HIS VISION what are the Obscure Goals he wants to achieve and can't do it working with parliament in the democratic traditions and ways.
He wants totalitarian Ruling like Emperors of the Old world.
The guy is a Sicko. Down with him.
This Time he should be confronted ON THE SPOT!! Asked . and Demand some explanations.
this time he can't run the same way then the last election.