I know I have been blogging a lot on the Liberal party lately. That is because I think that the re-vitalization of the Liberals will pose the biggest threat to the Green Party of Canada in the next Election. The threat the Liberals pose to the Conservatives, and NDP is greater though, because Stephan Dion presented an enormous gift to the GPC. Ignatieff will shortly add a bow and ribbon to it. That gift goes by the name of ; ‘The Green Shift’.
Most of my readers will remember that a Green Tax shift, and the use of market mechanisms to
fight pollution have been an integral part of Green Party policy for years now. Having studied neo-classical economics, this is in fact the main policy plank that prompted me to join the party in 2004. I was astounded that somebody had the balls to propose a revenue neutral tax on a seriously bad externality, in order to address the root causes. Now that’s good public policy, and has won thousands of volunteer hours from me.
As we all know, Stephan Dion championed a flawed version of this most excellent policy in the 2008 election. It is not hyperbole to state that he failed miserably to sell the package to the electorate. What he did do though, is catch the attention of millions of Canadians, and there is no doubt that there are millions of Canadians with whom the message resonated, even if the messenger earned a bullet.
In the process of re-casting the Liberal Party in his own image, Michael Ignatieff will almost certainly hide the green tax shift in the deepest hole he can find. That is the Green Party’s great opportunity. An awful lot of thoughtful Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, and moderate apolitical Canadians will not want to see this great Tax Credit plan disappear, so it is time for the Green Party to really work the issue. After all, there is just no way to claim that Tax Shifting is fringe policy anymore.
So, in a nutshell this is the Liberal Party’s gift to the Green Party of Canada. They borrowed one of our main policy planks. They spent millions of dollars, and tens of millions worth of free publicity to promote a flawed version of our policy to the electorate. Now they will hand it back to us saying, ‘It’s broken, you can have it.’ My response is ‘Thank you very much’. Now we can re-polish it as a tax relief plan, and scoop up those Progressive Conservative, and Liberal voters who actually care about good policy. Just like you and me.
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