Friday, April 3, 2009

My prediction: Flaherty will not run for re-election

This is actually less a prediction, than it is advice. Today Christine Elliott, spouse of Jim Flaherty, announced her candidacy for leadership of the Ontario Conservative. That event took place at the historic Centennial Building in Whitby, with Jin Flaherty participating by video link up from London.

Evidently being the spouse of Jim Flaherty forms a large part of Christine’s campaign to become Conservative Party leader or Jim’s roll would not have been so prominent. The other leg of Christine’s campaign revolves around slamming Dalton McGuinty’s HST, that will see PST and GST paid on everything under the sun. I agree with Christine on her opposition to this massive tax grab, since it is merely an exercise in shifting $2 billion in tax burden away from corporations and onto the backs of individuals. This is a very populist issue for Christine to have embraced. Too bad however that Jim Flaherty was the prime instigator of this tax. How he ever expects to “explain away” this massive burden on the voters in Whitby-Oshawa leads me to believe that he has no intention to run again for office.

Jim’s role in the HST tax, makes it obvious who his real constituency is, namely corporations and not the voters of Whitby-Oshawa. The same conclusion could be reached on the income trust tax and those who understand its implications, however this was a difficult message for me to convey in the 2008 election to the people of Whitby-Oshawa. Flaherty’s role in the HST makes that conclusion much easier to convey to the average voter. The fact that Christine Elliott has now premised her campaign on HST bashing, only makes her an ally in defeating her husband in the next election.

As for whether Flaherty intends to step down or not, is pure fanciful speculation. But it is good advice, given that Flaherty has done everything he entered politics to do, namely reduce the corporate tax rate at the federal and Ontario provincial level. Now he can collect his prize of Board appointments to those same corporations that he has served so well. That way he can also avoid family arguments in the public about the merits of the HST as he tries to deny the pivotal role that he played in hoisting it onto the backs of voters in Whitby-Oshawa, and his own version of a “tax on everything” and making “Ontario the last place in Canada to consume and raise a family”.

Combine this with the enormous hit that Flaherty has taken to his already tarnished reputation on his handling of Canada’s faltering economy, and the whole thing starts to make a lot of sense.

Bye Jim, as either way you are gone.

Elliott makes pitch to lead Ontario's Progressive Conservatives

Canadian Press
April 3, 2009

TORONTO — Christine Elliott, an Ontario Conservative and wife of Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, is making her pitch to lead the provincial Progressive Conservatives today.

Elliott says Ontario is in crisis and needs a party working families can turn to to form the next government. She says the Tories can win in Ontario if they have a vision that recognizes that growth and prosperity can help the less fortunate.

Elliott says the party must respect its legacy but can't replicate old campaigns from the past.

That comment could be a warning to her rival Tim Hudak, who is backed by former premier Mike Harris and many Tories who were active when Harris was in charge.

Some experts predict that the race will see the party swing back to the right, hoping to duplicate its success in 1995 with Harris's neo-conservative Common Sense Revolution platform.

But Elliott seems to be reaching out to the so-called "Red Tories" - the more centre and left-leaning Conservatives who dominated the party in the 1970s and '80s.

Elliott says her convictions are rooted in her experiences as a mother, businesswoman and advocate for the vulnerable.

She slammed the Liberal government for its plans to harmonize the provincial sales tax with the federal GST - a move her husband has long pushed the province to do.


uranowski said...

I was raised in Whitby and have volunteer on two campaigns against Mr. Flaherty. You should not underestimate his arrogance. I think Jim Flaherty will run again and he will explain away the HST during the election.

Dr Mike said...

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeese Jim don`t run again as my wallet can`t take any more.

I am on the verge of my last nerve.

Dr Mike.

PS - go Frank Klees.