Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fueling the Debate

I, for one, think it's great to see a bit of policy debate in the Liberal leadership race on something other than Afghanistan. Every candidate out there has stated they're for the environment so, if nothing else, the carbon tax debate should show us some differences in their platforms.

Both Dion and Kennedy say they disagree with Ignatieff's carbon tax musings in today's Globe.

"I've always been against it. I will have other ways to get there."

[Dion] said he does not understand Mr. Ignatieff's comments. After speculating on imposing a carbon tax, Mr. Ignatieff added he would not want to hit any part of the country harder than another.

"The first sentence he said is we need to protect Alberta. And in the second sentence he said carbon tax," Mr. Dion said in an interview.

Another leadership contender, former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy, said there are better ways to get the resource sector to reduce pollution, including incentives, possibly some trading of emissions credits as part of a transition to a cleaner industry, and incentives to encourage
consumers to choose newer, greener technologies.

"I think a carbon tax is the clumsiest of the options that we've got so far, and therefore it's not part of my plan," Mr. Kennedy said. And he raised concerns that a carbon tax will divide Canada along regional lines.

"I lived in Alberta when the national energy plan came in, and fairly or not, people associated that with an undermining of the energy sector.

UPDATE: Kennedy is in the Toronto Star as well.

OTTAWA — Canada should impose a tax on gas-guzzling SUVs and cut the GST on hybrid vehicles to help meet its Kyoto commitments, says Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy.

Kennedy said Thursday that those two measures would yield a ``much more practical" reduction in greenhouse gas emissions than the carbon tax floated by leadership frontrunner Michael Ignatieff.


  • You know, we're an odd bunch, we Liberals. When we have a leader, we loudly demand that policy be established from the grassroots, or at least inclusive of the voices in caucus. But when it's leadership race time, suddenly we want the leader to tell us what our platform is going to be.

    By Blogger JP, at 12:39 p.m.  

  • I'd say the fact that Ignatieff is willing to say something that is unpopular is a sign that you may have found a real leader in the bunch. Given that Ignatieff is a new Liberal, it is obvious he has not read the Liberal playbook.
    "How to win power by saying whatever is necessary, whether you mean it or not"

    Sorry guys....but until you are willing to dump the Volpe's, Cauchon's, Dosanjh's..etc....your party will always remain a party of opportunists, and little else.

    Ignatieff's carbon tax, though unpopular will no doubt achieve an actual reduction in CO2 emissions (which are not the real problem anyway) it will also result in lost votes. Kennedy has the right Liberal ideas....promise to fix the problem, but offer no alternatives other than the usual liberal rhetoric.

    Same old same old Liberal bafflegab under the guise of vision and transparency.
    Face it.....the Liberal Party's transparency is due to the fact it is so lacking in substance we can see right through it.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 12:47 p.m.  

  • I dont think that it follows that: willingness to say something unpopular = real leader. Often ideas are unpopular because they are bad ideas. Sticking to an unpopular policy only makes a real leader when, from some objective standard, that leader is right and the population is wrong.

    By Blogger Kyle Carruthers, at 1:00 p.m.  

  • Dion and Kennedy, brave little soldiers that they are, only took four freaking days to decide the carbon tax was a bad idea, and only after the Conservatives started mocking it in the Commons.

    By Blogger Raymaker, at 1:09 p.m.  

  • Derek,

    Dion's been on the record on his position for nearly two years.

    Likely it took 4 days for someone to ask him to comment on Ignatieff's thoughts.

    I am starting to think - that on every substantive issue - Dion has a 34908 page policy staement already written, which he can quote from on cue.

    By Blogger Hammering Jow, at 1:39 p.m.  

  • I see some folks are starting to see that Dion's coronation has already been predetermined.
    Good job on the investigative work.
    But just so the foundation is re-enforced on the Dion crowning.
    Iggy was brought into the fold to peddle some rather un-liberal idea's so as to sanitize them for liberal consumption. Rae, also a lame duck with no chance of winning, was brought in to assure the kook-fringe that inhabits a good portion of the LPC that their party won't be taken over by conservatives posing as liberals.
    You can stop the charade now, the rule of alternation still applies, and Dion is the only francophone candidate running.

    Oh but if you want to call this bunk, rest assured my feelings won't be hurt. As a matter of fact I'll be dissapointed if you believe any of it.

    Just keep repeating, there will be no coronation this time.

    By Blogger gimbol, at 2:52 p.m.  

  • Ignatieff's political inexperience and consequences of his absence from Canada are showing.

    By Blogger jnpliberal, at 3:48 p.m.  

  • The carbon tax is an old idea which is considered to be inflationary. It's not leadership to suggest it; it's lack of imagination, or lack of knowledge of emissions trading.

    Both Dion
    and especially Brison have made their positions clear from Day One on their websites.

    Dion specifically mentioned NO carbon tax, while Brison discussed in some detail how emissions trading, combined with ways to encourage R&D in clean energy, would work.

    By Blogger Penny, at 5:02 p.m.  

  • The carbon tax issue is purely Leadership posturing. The entire story is detailed here:

    Check it out......

    By Blogger Liberal Helpings, at 8:13 p.m.  

  • The terms "SUV" and "Hybrid" are rather arbitrary.

    Any one ask Kennedy what he'll do about a 4 cylinder "SUV" that has better km/liter than an 8 cyliner Truck "hybrid" which gives it the efficiency of a 6 cylinder (in city driving only)?

    I mean, the Smartcar, the most fuel efficient vehicle in Canada right now (a V3) wouldn't apply for the tax break but the Hybrid Ford Escape (a V8 with the efficiency of a V6) would.

    Further more a V4 "SUV" would be taxed, but a V12 Jaguar wouldn't.

    For that matter, what about an SUV that's also a hybrid?

    Secondly, how much of a tax cut/break are we talking here?

    Most SUVs and hybrids are already pricey vehicles and I don't think a couple hundred dollars will deter the crowd that's out to buy and Escallade.

    Instead of basing the policy on the vague terms "SUV" and "Hybrid", it should be based on the fuel efficiency of the vehicle....but then again people who buy a V10 truck aren't really worried about the price of gas so why would the tax deter them in the first place?

    By Blogger Cool Blue, at 7:58 p.m.  

  • Kyle wrote:
    "I dont think that it follows that: willingness to say something unpopular = real leader. Often ideas are unpopular because they are bad ideas. Sticking to an unpopular policy only makes a real leader when, from some objective standard, that leader is right and the population is wrong."

    Actually Kyle, if you go over what I wrote again, you will see that I don't agree with Ignatieff's idea, I only admit that it would work to reduce CO2. I simply pointed out that Ignatieff wasn't going to offer everything to everyone the way Paul martin did.

    Real Leadership is being shown by Harper, who KNOWS Kyoto is a bullshit policy designed to make politicians look good, and to hell with real results.

    If it would get them votes, the Liberals would start shooting homeless people and then claim they have reduced the number of people living in poverty in Canada.

    That's was my point.

    If voicing unpopular ideas whether they were right or wrong was a sign of leadership, then we would have to admit that Jack Layton is the best leader in Canada.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 1:33 a.m.  

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