Thursday, August 21, 2008

The only "green shaft" that I am aware of, is Harper's Tax Failure Plan to double tax income trusts

Liberals must convince voters the Green Shift is not the shaft
Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun
Published: Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Green Shift carbon plan has so far failed to light the fire under the federal Liberals that the party had hoped for.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that leader Stephane Dion chose to launch his new idea in late June, just as Canadians were turning their attention to summer vacation plans. Few people were inclined to ponder Dion's policy on their camping or canoe trips.

While the Green Shift hasn't turned into a green shaft for the Grits, it clearly hasn't benefited them much.....blah blah blah

Meanwhile $35 billion dollars later and the opposite outcome of what was promised, namely tax leakage to replace no tax leakage????


Robert Gibbs said...

It's Harper's "Income Trust Shaft."

Have you been tricked by Stevie's double tax on every income trust?

Robert Gibbs said...

Strangely enough...a National Post article critical of Harper.

Must have been one of those "well let's through one in, so we don't appear entirely partisan" blurbs.


Daniel Goldbloom on the Conservatives’ Election Law: Stephen Harper needs to fish or stop using folksy 19th-century American idioms

Posted: August 21, 2008, 4:09 PM by Dan Goldbloom

I think we’re all getting sick of election speculation. For weeks, it seems like not a day has passed without Stephen Harper taunting Stéphane Dion to force us to the polls. Increasingly frustrated that his opponent will neither fish nor cut bait (perhaps the least threatening taunt ever), Harper ruefully announced that he just might have to start jigging himself.

The only barrier between the Prime Minister and the election he so desperately wants is that pesky little law the Conservatives passed in 2006 that puts federal elections on a fixed schedule. Passing a law intended to curb the government’s electoral advantage, only to dump it in the fishing hole once it became a nuisance, would smack of transparent cynicism.

Not surprisingly, commentators are salivating over Harper’s conundrum. How will the PM get his election without breaking his own law, they ask? Well, the answer is that Harper will never break this law of his — because the law itself is unbreakable.

Of course, it’s not unbreakable in the sense that breaching it would turn the transgressor into a pillar of salt, or perhaps even a bait worm. It’s unbreakable in the sense that no action undertaken by a prime minister is capable of contravening the letter of the law.

Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act, contains the following all-important passage: “Nothing in this section affects the powers of the Governor General, including the power to dissolve Parliament at the Governor General’s discretion.”

In other words, nothing in the legislation prevents Harper from asking the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, thereby causing an election. As it turns out, the entire piece of legislation — ostensibly setting into law a staple of Reform party ideology — is a non-binding sham.

Bill C-16 was supposed to make the electoral process more predictable and fair, but it seems to have had the opposite effect. If the government tells the people (and the other political parties) to expect an election at a certain date, only to call it at a time it deems more convenient, how can the bill demonstrate any of its supposed benefits? Moreover, how can it be more than a false assurance to the other parties that they need not worry about electoral preparation?

The Conservatives have mustered several defences against those who have pointed out their hypocrisy. Harper has unconvincingly argued that the opposition parties have “paralyzed” parliament to the point of making it ungovernable, thereby necessitating an election call. Some of his defenders have argued that this statute was only intended to cover majority governments — a bizarre notion, considering that the initiative came from a Conservative minority government and set the first election date within that minority government’s mandate.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Liberals will give Harper what he wants and bring down the government. I’m also not sure whether most Canadians know, or very much care about Bill C-16. And it’s entirely possible that it will make little difference who prompts the election.

In any case, the man in charge is doing an incredible amount of complaining about the man who wants to be in charge. And for what? Being an ineffective opposition leader? Stephen Harper sounds like a man who forgot his bait and tackle at home and decided to tour the country blaming fish.