Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Liberals Strike Back

The Liberals have released an old fundraising letter of Stephen Harper's from 2002 which asks for an "army of Canadians" to help fight in the "battle of Kyoto" (that man will find any excuse to go to war, eh?).

While many of my liblog friends will try and use this to tar him, I think Harper should hold this up and be proud of it. It's proof that, contrary to popular belief, Harper has viewed the environment and the Kyoto accord as a top priority of his for a long time.

28 Comments:

  • Okay, whoever dug this up deserves a promotion. Or at least a whopping gold star. What a find.

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 8:20 PM  

  • ah... not a whopping gold star... just a gold star... harper has been on the record with comments like that for years... unfortunately hte MSM is giving him a pass. So, press the press with the facts on Harper. Hold the Haper BS machine accountable and make the MSM uncomfortable for letting Harper get away with the BS.

    By Blogger Walks With Coffee, at 9:01 PM  

  • Um CG,

    The partial, and I stress partial implementation of carbon emmissions trading in Europe designed to take baby steps down the road to their ridiculously easy Kyoto targets is falling apart in the face of skyrocketing energy prices, industrial uncompetitiveness and regional bickering. The environment and it's protection are important. Kyoto is a first world to third world wealth redistribution scheme which uses the environment as an excuse for it's existence. When Europe can't make it work needing 8% reductions from today's level of GHG emmissions, and can't do so in an environment of zero economic and population growth, what do you suppose will happen when Canada tries to implement 30% + cuts?

    All the CPC has to do is rag the puck a little, until the European scheme comes apart, and it will be academic. If the Grits are going to hitch their wagon to the dog Kyoto (please, please do) and his master, best have an election soon.

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=03445f57-0777-4554-ac7c-ec63cb073223

    By Blogger Grithater, at 9:05 PM  

  • The point Grithater, is that the letter shows Harper is a hypocrite on the environmental issue.

    Canadians see that too when 64% of them say the Tories recent "Green" announcements are driven by polls, not by any concern toward the environment.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 9:10 PM  

  • Oh, look, the CPC is exactly the same as the Libs.

    So much for that issue.

    Environment ball back to the NDP and the Greens, and when the now disgraced two big parties start talking about other things . . . well, then goodbye Greens.

    Libs shouldn't have brought this up. It's a tactical victory that gains strategic loss.

    Cheers,
    lance

    By Blogger lance, at 9:12 PM  

  • Harper is a hypocrite! The fact that we already know this is their only defense.

    By Blogger Walks With Coffee, at 9:32 PM  

  • Scott Tribe said:

    >>The letter shows Harper is a hypocrite on the environmental issue<<

    We are all hypocrites on the environmental issue - it's not the exclusive domain of Stephen Harper or anyone else in high office. Moroever, I suspect that anyone with some time on their hands and access to the Internet can dig up any manner of unflattering positions or statements from federal politicians on a wide variety of topics.

    Look, I've blogged about it and shouted it from my bedroom window - voters are soft on the environment because:

    a) They don't know anything about Kyoto or how to reach our Kyoto targets - it just sounds good and makes us all feel warm and fuzzy as we hop in our SUV's and hit the gridlock after waiting twenty minutes in a drive thru lineup for a double double at Tim Hortons.

    b) Canadians have never taken the environment as a serious issue because our streets are clogged with automobiles, people are happy to pay over a dollar a litre for gas so long as they can still drive their car and people are buying 3000 square foot homes when they probably could live quite comfortably in a 1200 square foot home.

    c) The majority of Canadians don't take public transit and yet public transit has been available since Christ was a cowboy.

    d) You can't point the finger of blame at the Conservative government when the Liberals were signatories to the Kyoto protocol and they didn't do a whole helluva lot to meet our Kyoto obligations during their thirteen years in office.

    e) Eventually, EVENTUALLY - Canadians will grow weary of finger pointing and the constant posturing between the Liberals and Conservatives as to who *cares* about the environment the most. I would add to this that Canadian's collective eyes will begin to glaze over in the not to distant future because eventually people grow weary of "all environment news all the time".

    A reasonable dialogue between the national political parties regarding a reasonable way in which we can begin the process of cleaning up the environment is needed, and that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Both the Liberals and the Tories are trying to score points off each other and want to know something? Time is on the Conservatives side on this issue. Why? Because the longer we wait for an election the more time is offered to Harper to unveil more and more "green" initiatives and he'll be able to run on a track record of actually having done something about the environment when sadly, the Liberals sat on their collective hands for thirteen years.

    This will effectively render Stephane Dion inert in terms of his "street cred" with voters. Right now the guy looks like he, wait - there's that word again, *cares* about the environment. If he limits himself to this issue exclusively, he runs a serious risk of being seen as a one issue leader and you can't exactly run on the environment as an issue when the government of the day is delivering programs, legislation and initiatives regardless of whether it, wait for it, *cares* about the environment or not.

    God, the sniping on this issue is becoming laughable. Very simply, Canadians could have chosen to go green many times over in the past twenty years, oddly enough -- they've been pre-occupied with driving their big ass SUV's, nuking food in disposable containers and polluting the environment.

    It's not just the corporate polluters - it's all of us. We have ALL dropped the ball on this and I wait with bated breathe for the national media in this country to begin to report on the degree of responsibility the INDIVIDUAL holds to the planet.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 9:34 PM  

  • I wrote, "Harper is a hypocrite! The fact that we already know this is their only defense."

    But I stand corrected by Sean who wrote, "We are all hypocrites on the environmental issue - it's not the exclusive domain of Stephen Harper "

    Their defense is everyone is a hypocrite so it's ok that Harper is one too... spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in superbowel ads being a hypocrite just like you and me.

    By Blogger Walks With Coffee, at 9:39 PM  

  • Great - we're all hypocrites.

    Now can we stop the finger pointing and get down to the business of developing effective public policy that will help our environment?

    Please?

    Pretty please?

    I swear, I've been reading a multitude of blogs, and a variety of commentary threads at the G&M. For a country that claims the environment is it's new found number one priority, we seem to be focused on playing the blame game.

    So, does anyone want to talk about how all federal parties can drop the crap and focus on Canadian's number one priority, or are we doomed to perpetual finger pointing?

    Just wondering, that's all.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 9:44 PM  

  • Harper has viewed/ Kyoto/ as a top priority of his for a long time

    Nah hah - nice one, CG!

    I bike year round and my neighours in the same building are always impressed by my far-less electricity bills. I'm not perfect, but I really aim for the most environmentally friendly life I can have - I'm really considering voting Green next election.

    I am personally strongly against Kyoto - the Protocol is not a solution, in my mind. I was very glad when Canada left the agreement. We do need to act on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, I do believe that - I do not accept that Kyoto is the way to that goal.

    Believe it or not -- I think that being against the Accord from Day One is a feather in Harper's cap. He was right (and I was originally wrong). I'm very passionate about supporting the environment, but Harper can count me in that "army of Canadians" against Kyoto.

    But the dog is cute and I love him! I wish he was mine.

    By Blogger Red Butler, at 10:26 PM  

  • Time is on the Conservatives side on this issue. Why? Because the longer we wait for an election the more time is offered to Harper to unveil more and more "green" initiatives and he'll be able to run on a track record of actually having done something about the environment when sadly, the Liberals sat on their collective hands for thirteen years.

    What exactly has Harper done other than cancel successful programs implemented by the Liberals (*cough* Energuide), only to bring them back in an inferior form?

    In any event, I find this all very amusing - Harper's penchant for hyperbole has never served him well, and I'll be interested to see his "response" to this.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 10:31 PM  

  • Ummm, wtf?

    My shared computer (which is mine) seems to have a different ID/handle loaded on it... and I think I know just who owns it, too, judging by the number of people who live here...

    Anyway, it's JBG, confused and perplexed.

    By Blogger Red Butler, at 10:36 PM  

  • I put this same link in your last post's comments, but - here it is again.

    It's the best, non-partisan, unbiased, scientific look at climate, with plenty of blame for the right and the left, that I've ever read.

    Kerry Emanuel, Boston Review

    Seriously, if you only ever read one more thing on the topic, make it this essay.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 10:59 PM  

  • Excellent source you linked to Jason Bo Green! I am going to blog about it :)

    Josh Gould wrote:

    >>What exactly has Harper done other than cancel successful programs implemented by the Liberals (*cough* Energuide), only to bring them back in an inferior form?<<

    Oh we're back to that old thing - he stole from us, they stole from them, a variation on the blame game, yes?

    Right now, I could care less if the frikin Communist party had an environmental plan that was stolen by the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP or even the Greens - who bloody cares?

    The issue is the environment from what the newspapers and the polls seem to say. God, enough with the finger pointing - let's just bloody do something of shut the heck up!

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 11:05 PM  

  • The kyoto accord should be opposed by all Canadians. Not because it seeks to reduce GHG's but rather because it is a wealth redistribution scheme cooked up to benefit the third world at the expense of the first.

    The funny thing that no one wants to talk about is HOW the trading of credits is supposed to work and WHO measures the results.

    The simple answer is a UN bureaucracy with lots of lawyers and environmental consultants. Guess who is getting rich while no real reductions are being made...

    Reducing GHG's is important but Kyoto is not about that goal. It was a BAD deal signed by an incompetent Liberal government. That is why it should be rejected.

    Reduce GHG's by converting from coal fired electricity, mandatory emission standards for vehicles...But dont trade emission credits to the benefit of lawyers and bureaucrats.

    By Blogger renegadejet, at 11:23 PM  

  • So, no finger-pointing is allowed, unless it happens to be by the Conservatives while they reinstate Liberal-initiated programs after just cancelling them, in order to develop their own environmental plan?

    ...the Liberals sat on their collective hands for thirteen years.

    That's not finger-pointing? The Liberal record isn't great, but those who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones... especially when said houses are filling with CO2.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 11:26 PM  

  • Josh Gould wrote:

    >>That's not finger-pointing? The Liberal record isn't great, but those who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones... especially when said houses are filling with CO2.<<

    No that's not finger pointing, it's not even a criticism - it's an observation and a fact. Frankly I don't care what the Liberal record is, or the Tory one for that matter.

    What I'd like to see (and I suspect most voters would agree) is an end to partisan sniping and some real action on this issue.

    Help me understand how finger pointing will help us come up with a workable plan to fight climate change?

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 12:03 AM  

  • Help me understand how finger pointing will help us come up with a workable plan to fight climate change?

    It doesn't. And when Harper stops taking every opportunity to turn a serious issue into a cheap partisan shot, let me know. This government's environmental policy has made Martin's presumed "dithering" look like strong leadership.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 12:19 AM  

  • Regardless of whether Kyoto is good or not, the point is that the Tories are attacking the Libs for doing nothing on climate change when they wanted to do even less in opposition.

    It's the same as attacking the Libs for the Maher Arrar situation when they all thought he was a terrorist.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:55 AM  

  • ""This party will not take its position based on public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based on focus groups. We will not take a stand based on phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of pubic opinion..."

    Stephen Harper in Hansard, January 2003


    "Stephen Harper not only opposes Kyoto, but he refutes the science. He’s back in the dinosaur era. Harper is just totally out of it." - David Suzuki

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:11 AM  

  • So let me get this straight....if a politician has a view, whether its a correct or incorrect view, and sticks by his principles; then they are "ignoring the will of the people". And if a politician has a view and changes that view or at least his or her actions regarding that issue; then they are a hypocrite and can't be trusted. To be honest, I don't really care what Harper's view was in 2002 or for that matter what is view is today. The reality is that the government is beginning to take steps to do "something" about the environment. True its later into the mandate than some would hope, but the Liberals didn't do anything but talk about it for 13 years. Harper's personal views on Kyoto is subservient to the fact that his government is now trying to do what the voters are asking for. Harper doesn't have to agree with it. Jean Chretien was a practicing Catholic, but that didn't change the way his government treated abortion, or gay rights, or any other issue. Nor should it have. I want a government that is responsive to changes that happen around us, (the income trust issue is another whole debate we can have around this), I want a government that has the ability to listen to voters and change the way they do business. Harper and the CPC have been accused of being idealogues and of being stuck in one way of thinking. His change of tack on the environmental issue shows that this may not always be the case.

    By Blogger Intcord, at 6:21 AM  

  • The CPC can take a lot of thunder out of Dion's sails by doing something about GHG. But that means pissing off their base many of whom think Harper has swung too far to the left already.

    In the absence of anything substantial I think Canadians who are concerned about Global Warming will break towards a candidate who is serious about the issue as opposed to one who thinks its the 21st century equivalent of faked apollo landings (no I don't believe in that hoax theory either).

    By Blogger Jose, at 6:26 AM  

  • Calgarygrit said:

    >>Regardless of whether Kyoto is good or not, the point is that the Tories are attacking the Libs for doing nothing on climate change when they wanted to do even less in opposition.<<

    Okay so the Liberals would never do this were the situation reversed?

    Sorry CG, this is still a variation on the blame game. Obviously it's the job of whoever sits on the opposition side of the house to oppose the government, but there's something to be said for constructive opposition rather than finger pointing.

    I agree that it's tiresome for the Cons to club the Liberals with their record on the environment and that's why I'm hoping for some workable initiatives or, gasp, a workable plan to come from the government sooner than later. Perhaps then we might see opposition parties oppose elements of any yet to be named environmental policy with the goal of improving it for everyone's collective benefit.

    From my perspective, the Cons lack of credibility on this issue is at par with the lack of credibility within Liberal ranks for years of inaction: both parties have dirty hands.

    Mind you, I have suggested before that time is on the Cons side - even if the Liberals maintain their desire to somehow prove to Canadians that the Cons are disingenuous when it comes to cleaning up the environment. It gives the Cons time to enact policy and establish a track record, regardless of whether they, wait for it, *care* about the environment or not. Finally, it marginalizes Stephane Dion as a one issue guy.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 6:32 AM  

  • the point is that the Tories are attacking the Libs for doing nothing on climate change when they wanted to do even less in opposition.

    Hmm, I see what you are saying here.

    The "conservative" side of Western politics has been notably reluctant to take climate concerns seriously - and they've often mocked and taunted legitimate fears when they could have plainly and honestly disagreed. Certainly, this is to their discredit - it has infuriated me.

    It's a funny situation for me - I guess the minority sitch is a part of it. I have a great mistrust today of the "liberal" side of the West (Gore, Clinton, Clinton, Blair, Canadian Liberals) who talked up support but did little. I'm finding more serious effort in this minority Tory-with-"liberal"-propping-up Parliament. Out of all the choices, I'm currently leaning to the Tory side. But, would I feel the same in a majority situation? I really can't say - I can guess "No", though.

    It's like a reformed smoker vs. a lifelong nonsmoker -- the first is usually more enthusiastic about stopping people from smoking, I guess.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 9:06 AM  

  • Scot tribe: "The point Grithater, is that the letter shows Harper is a hypocrite on the environmental issue." OK Scott. The actual point is that that plus $1.50 gets you a Tims.

    The real point is that Kyoto is a UN mandated equalization scheme, and will not do anything for the environment. Canadians are coming to understand the difference. But please do keep saying Kyoto, Kyoto, all will be well because of Kyoto as it simply isolates the Liberals even further.

    Canadians will come to know that China and India will increase GHG emissions by more than Canada's total output over the next five years, so that even if we pay the murderous gangsters who run Russia 50 Billion of our hard earned taxes in a purely symbolic gesture, nothing changes.

    By Blogger Grithater, at 10:19 AM  

  • "whoever dug this up deserves a promotion"

    About bloody time. But couldn't they find something more recent than 2002? And a video clip? Video's more effective than print.

    "Oh, look, the CPC is exactly the same as the Libs. So much for that issue. [...] Libs shouldn't have brought this up."

    Yes they should have. It gives the MSM something to run with. Plus, like you're saying, it reminds Canadians that the CPC is, at best, no better than the Liberals. Which, according to them, is pretty bad indeed.

    "Harper is a hypocrite on the environmental issue"

    What? Harper has never once stated that the environment was a top priority for him. Not once. Ever. How does a letter confirming that make him a hypocrite?

    The hypocrite is the man wearing a green scarf and calling it a pillar, and yet has never lifted a finger, or put together any kind of plan.

    "We are all hypocrites on the environmental issue"

    SSsshhh!!!

    "Now can we stop the finger pointing and get down to the business of developing effective public policy that will help our environment?"

    No!!! It feels great to blame our leaders instead of, you know, taking the bus or dropping big bucks on a new energy-efficient furnace. The first leader who makes us do something will lose ... we want lip service, not results.

    Advantage: Dion! Bravo!!

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:28 AM  

  • Just because someone is against the Kyoto Accord or agrees that the science behind climate change is complex doesn't mean they're a denier of the need to clean up the environment.

    By Blogger Hatrock, at 11:03 AM  

  • A plan was developed. The CPC deliberatley chose not to implement it.

    What has been accomplished in the last year with regulations developed and ready for implementation?

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:14 AM  

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