Lawrence Martin’s column of today couldn’t be further from the truth. “Bumbling Grits give Team Harper an economic free ride”
Yeah...on income trusts!!!
The Liberals have an income trust policy......hidden under a bushel. Meanwhile there are two by-elections in Montreal. Are the two Liberal candidates pointing to the direct cause and effect of the CONs/NDPs/Bloc’s support of the trust tax as being SOLELY responsible for the loss of 2500 jobs at Montreal headquartered BCE......let me guess....no.
Would the Liberals be making a huge issue of the 2500 lost jobs at the GM truck assembly plant in Oshawa if the by-election were in Oshawa...let me guess...yes. In doing so would they dostinguish themselves from the other parties? No.
Harper and Flaherty are only tangentially responsible for the lost jobs at GM and are SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for the lost jobs at BCE. Lost jobs and lost tax revenue were the very outcome we were predicting in the first week of November 2006..... via the private equity takeover of BCE/Telus and the 200 trusts.....and all the attendant and inevitable adverse consequences.
So why are the Grits giving Team Harper an “economic free ride”?
Bumbling Grits give Team Harper an economic free ride
August 20, 2008
When it was announced that the governing Tories had registered a fiscal deficit for the first two months of the year, Liberals were practically dancing in the streets. Manna from heaven, they told me. The Conservatives were supposed to be the party of economic rectitude. Yet, they'd gone from a surplus of $2.8-billion from the same period a year earlier to $500-million in the red.
It was good news for any opposition party. Except the Grits. They went missing in action. Nothing happened. The story disappeared in a day. Their blowing it caused some consternation within the ranks, complaints to Stéphane Dion's office, finger-pointing at finance critic John McCallum.
That passed, but then came another potential blessing for them. Unemployment numbers. Huge! Fifty-five thousand job losses in the month of July. Biggest drop in 17 years, stoking fears we're heading downstream with the ailing neighbour. But the same thing happened. The Liberals couldn't capitalize. The unemployment story was a one-day wonder. Caucus members were left to wonder: Where are we?
The economy, not the environment, is emerging as the No. 1 issue in the next election, which now seems certain to take place in the fall. The Conservatives keep serving up balls to bat out of the park. The income-trust flip-flop, the savaging of Ontario as a dismal place to invest, two of the biggest-spending budgets of all time, soaring energy prices, and now the deficit numbers and big unemployment tallies. But check the charts. On the question of which party is seen as the better manager of the economy, it's Stephen Harper's Conservatives out in front by a long shot.
"The economy should be a slam dunk for us," said Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua. "But, as yet, it isn't happening." Speaking of the recent Tory deficit numbers, he said: "To me, it was clear you had to jump on those."
The Liberals enjoy some immunity from prosecution on the economy. On other issues such as the environment and ethics, the Conservatives can point, with some effectiveness, to past Liberal failings. Mr. Harper was up to that old trick yesterday in rather sophomoric fashion. He said Jean Chrétien's criticism of his not attending the Beijing Olympics was hypocritical because he had only attended one such Olympic opening himself. Of course, on China, Mr. Chrétien was making a point about the importance of building relations with the world's emerging economic giant. Missing Olympic openings in Seoul or Sydney was hardly a valid comparison.
On the economy, Mr. Harper can't resort to blaming the other side. Paul Martin and Mr. Chrétien erased a staggering $42-billion deficit and put in place economic fundamentals that saw the country go on a long happy fiscal roll. There was, of course, a considerable amount of luck involved, and their tenure coincided with fortuitous international conditions. But they deserve some credit.
"We've got a great story to tell on this," said Mr. Bevilacqua. "We have to refresh people's memories." The Liberals should have had their leader and others out stomping for a week, waving the Martin/Chrétien numbers against those of the Tories. Some party members say they've been making noises, but their noises haven't found the way into the media. That's always a problem. But the test for any political party is to have the moxie to attract media attention.
In the United States, Bill Clinton posted positive numbers just as the Liberals did here. Conservatives then came to power in Washington and have plunged the country into one of its worst deficit crises. It's more fodder for building the case that conservatives should no longer be considered prudent fiscal managers.
Being a willowy styled academic and an expert on things constitutional, the Liberal Leader doesn't carry much heft on the economy. Much of his own economic platform is buried in his Green Shift plan. And there are few big-bang measures with which the public can identify.
But, given the Tory vulnerabilities, that shouldn't stop the Liberals from being able to score points. One idea the party is mulling is to have the men with the economic clout - Mr. Martin and Mr. Chrétien - do some speaking out. Although former prime ministers shouldn't be heard from too often, there are times - Mr. Chrétien didn't do badly on China - they can be most effective. On the economy, with a few pointed reminders of their own record, they could end the free ride the Grits are giving Team Harper.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 9:11 AM