Thursday, May 8, 2008

Carbon Tax, Income Tax Cuts, and the need for Unity

I personally really welcome this move, it is a chance for Dion and the Liberals to take back the environmental card, and show Canadians that the Liberals are not afraid to be bold for the benefit of Canada.

The plan is certainly bold and new, and as such, Liberals need to close ranks behind Dion on this issue and support it. A perfect example of what not to do is in the G&M article:

“Just in the short time Dion has mused about a carbon tax, the Conservatives have already preframed the issue negatively in the media,” said a veteran Liberal strategist who opposes releasing the plan now.
“Imagine what they will do with the actual material in a sinking economy,” he says.
“The issue is Stephen Harper and there is a wealth of material to take him down
. Instead, we pass that up to launch a summer of Dion. No wonder Liberal morale is so low.”

Whoever this "veteran Liberal strategist" is, they seem to be quite content on undermining the leader on a key platform plank. Liberals cannot allow divisions in the Party to be exploited. The issue only becomes a "tax grab" if we give the Conservatives room to allow them to portray it as that. Yes, the Conservatives have preframed it negatively. So we frame the Conservatives as a party afraid of the future, afraid of bold moves for the environment and progressive polices to move Canada forward in a time of economic difficulty. Imagine what they will do? We know what they will do, they will attack Dion and the Liberals as not having "leadership" to guide the economy in rough times. So what? We go right back and promote Dion and the Liberal team as having more experience, and better policies for the economy, while highlighting the failures of the Harper Conservatives on key portfolios.

The wealth of material? The wealth of material is nice, but we need flesh on bone, progressive policies, and this demonstrates it. The Harper Conservatives thought they had a wealth of material in 2004, and ran a campaign based on Paul Martin's and the Liberals weaknesses, without proposing real policies. In 2006, they had real policy proposals which were co-ordinated to be universal and control the narrative. The summer of Dion should be a summer of Liberal offensive moves, with the whole Liberal team touring Canada, promoting progressive ideas such as the carbon plan, and highlighting the benefits of Liberal plans. Real policies will raise morale, not more sniping and infighting.

No comments: