Thursday, December 10, 2009

Obama had a few choice words for Ignatieff in Oslo today:

On the question of upholding ideals, Barack Obama had this to say, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize today in Oslo, Norway:

“And we honor those ideals by upholding them not just when it is easy, but when it is hard.”

The relevance of this to Ignatieff is as follows. Ignatieff and the Liberals are fighting tooth and nail demanding that the Harper government disclose all that I knew about the transfer of Afghan detainees. The ideal at hand is the people’s right to know and the need for transparency in order to hold government to account.

It’s a shame that the Liberals did not display the same level of vigour and moral rectitude in pursuing the people’s right to know, on the matter of alleged tax leakage from income trusts. That effort on the part of the Liberals could be described as flaccid, at best.

The reasons for this are obvious and can be best understood if you substitute the word “opportunistic” into the words spoken by Barrack Obama today, such that:

“And we honor those ideals by upholding them not just when it is opportunistic to do so, but when it is hard.”

The only time the Liberals ever raise the issue of income trusts is when it is opportunistic for them to do so, as occurred when the Liberals were trying to fend themselves against charges that they would raise taxes, following musings to that effect by Michael Ignatieff. Only then did we hear about income trusts and the enjoinder was “Yeah, but you Conservatives raised taxes on income trusts”.

This is not advocacy on the part of income trust investors. This is exploitation of income trust investors by the Liberals to employ this issue in their own self-defense, but no where else.

The issue of transparency as embodied by this Afghan detainee issue, is not something that can be selectively raised by the Liberals in one context (Afghan detainees) and not the other (income trusts), Transparency is a standard that needs to be adhered to consistently and across all issues, otherwise it is merely a ruse.

Why are the Liberals not making an issue about transparency when it comes to income trusts, and yet they are when it comes to Afghan detainees?

Is that because they are falling short of Barack Obama’s standard for upholding ideals, by only upholding them when it is easy, but not when it is hard?

Hard in the sense that those who lobbied to kill income trusts (i.e. Manulife and Power Corporation) would be disadvantaged commercially if Canadians knew the real truth about tax leakage?

Surely Manulife and Power Corporation are able to live and compete successfully in a world governed by the truth rather than one predicated on falsehoods?

Surely Michael Ignatief believes in his own lofty rhetoric when he wrote:

"Successful countries knock down the barriers -- of red tape, regulation, and monopoly -- that divide citizens, confer unfair advantages or prevent people from working together"

What was the income trust policy, if not a policy to confer unfair advantages on corporations like Manulife and Power Corporation and to the detriment of Canadians at large?

And why are the Liberals so concerned about the truth about Afghan detainees and not about the income trust policy and the truth about tax leakage?

If the Liberals actually care about the need for transparency then they have to start honoring this ideal not just when it is easy or opportunistic, but when it is hard. As if knowing the truth is ever hard to begin with?

The sanctimony of the Liberals over Afghan detainees is hard to swallow, in light of their selective calls for transparency from the Harper government.

Don’t expect for this selective approach to transparency to win you any prizes in the polls. We want the real deal from the Liberals on transparency, and not just some opportunistic facsimile thereof.


Dr Mike said...

"Why are the Liberals not making an issue about transparency when it comes to income trusts, and yet they are when it comes to Afghan detainees?"

Now this is a great question & lies at the heart of what is wrong with Canadian democracy.

The gov`t successfully conjured-up visions of the trust investor as a bunch of greedy rich guys out to shaft the rest of the country when they framed the tax within the Tax Fairness Plan.

Face it , most Canadians want someone else to be taxed---they constantly say , this or that group has too much money so tax them.

It makes no matter that these people may have worked hard to get where they are & probably sacrificed to do just that.

The problem is that Canadians have missed the point here as this tax grab was just another shift of wealth from small investors to the pockets of the big wig corporate executives whose main interest was to line their own pockets.

Who knows how much is owed by the Liberal party to these same mucky mucks.

So it is hats off to Afghan detainees & good bye trust investors.

Dr Mike

Anonymous said...

You may be correct Brent however, asking for these documents would never pass in the House of Commons because the NDP would not agree to it!

It would however, place the Liberal policy on the forefront!

Will E.