Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Liberal Policy Provides Great Frame

When the Liberals first announced they would cancel further corporate tax cuts, I saw it as a terrific move, that would give them fiscal latitude moving forward. In addition, the prospect of offering Canadians concrete pledges, contrasted with tax cuts for fat cats offered attractive "class" considerations. The frame is delicious- we're for the little guy, they're for the rich.

I note today that Tom Flanagan say potential problems for the Conservatives, in light of today's announcement by the Liberals. I also note the decidedly negative reaction from the NDP, which I attribute to a perceived threat. In one bold move, the Liberals have put something in the window, which they can draw on during a campaign- an initiative which encompasses a much broader contrast.

I've confronted the issues surrounding today's Liberal pledge. I'm sure many other people have as well, quite a common and sad reality really. Easing the emotional burden, by providing financial assistance, is something we can all relate to, it's something that gives Liberals an outline for voters. The cost isn't excessive, put beside the other big ticket government expenditures, it looks the innocent amount, backed by a perceived moral necessity. I mean, seriously, who doesn't agree with a policy that helps people during extremely difficult times? This policy is the basis of a "compassionate society", a winner in every conceivable way from the Liberals perspective.

The key to this corporate tax debate is to highlight our already, objectively verified, competitive climate. The Liberals need to address the obvious Conservative attack about "job killing", and I think they can with relative ease, particularly now when they can provide clear choices. The Conservatives will find no electoral comfort in being drawn into a debate about tax cuts for banks and big oil vs things like providing financial assistance to ALL Canadians who need it.

A further point, if the Conservatives want to say these type of initiatives are "reckless", they effectively undercut their own record. If any new expenditures are dangerous, how does one justify the billions the Conservatives are contemplating, on a host of files. Where is this money coming from, and isn't even that more pronounced, when you add on a 6 billion dollar shortfall for your big business tax cuts?

The election hasn't started, but the battle lines are clearly being drawn. The Liberals are now starting to draw the distinctions that everyone has been demanding. That they've chosen this particular terrain to highlight the divergence in policies, I think will prove to be a brilliant move. I really do.


Holly Stick said...

In your first sentence, are they cancelling taxes or tax cuts?

Kirk said...

Haven't you heard? The really important issue here is the cigarette in the guys hand in a photograph.

Evan Solomon is all over that important breaking news, John Ibbitson has an important piece on it on the G&M site, CTV News channel and Power Play aren't letting the public remain uninformed on this nationally important issue either! Will The National once again show their Liberal bias and neglect this stunning revelation?

Stephan Harper after his ever relevant crusades against the census and the LGR also knows that this is what really matters to Canadians!


Steve V said...

Thx. Changed it.

marie said...

Good post Steve

A whole lot of seniors in those age groups as well as their aging children who would love to see this policy implemented. A very smart move and an excellent policy to work on and implement when M Ignatieff becomes the next Prime Minister of Canada

Kirk said...

I like this policy but I don't think the Liberals should do a lot of this.

It's not policies that matter now, Liberal policies certainly aren't being covered on the national TV news which means few will hear about them.

People think they know what the NDP stands for but who knows any of their policies?

The Conservatives are "known" for their tough on crime stance but no one cares about the effectiveness of those policies only that they are, on principle, "tough on crime".

They've muddied their financial message with all their spending but really could anyone ever pin down their policies outside of "cut taxes"?

People think they are about small government even though they are the biggest spending govt in history. Policy doesn't matter there, it's what they believe the Conservatives believe.

So what is the value of concrete Liberal policies? Very little, I say.

The question is what are the Liberals principles. What drives them, what do they believe?

When the Liberals took to opposing Harper's legislation but letting it pass anyways they muddied their message. People no longer know what they stand for.

Instead of policy announcements the Liberals, when they oppose legislation, must state why they oppose it and all vote against that legislation.

Stop fearing an election. Let the NDP cut a deal with Harper. Let the legislation fall. But let Canadians know what the Liberals believe.

Steve V said...


This policy speaks to principles, that's why I think it will prove so useful. I'd also add, it's not about getting play in the press now, but it will resonate with people during a campaign.