Thursday, February 07, 2008

Puh-lease

The Harper government will introduce an unusual confidence motion as early as Monday demanding that the Senate pass the Conservative's crime bill by March 1.

The motion, which puts the Opposition Liberals in an awkward and potentially embarrassing situation, could trigger an election if it fails in the House of Commons. The vote could come as early as next week.

Yeah, I'd say "unusual" is a good way to describe it. Cuz, the thing is, the House of Commons can't force the Senate to do anything. They can pass a bill demanding that the senators tap dance to SexyBack but it would have as much weight as a bill demanding that the Senators trade Ray Emery. Anyone who has taken Grade 10 Social Studies knows that.

The smart money has this government dying on the Afghanistan motion (unless the budget gets moved up) which means we might all be in for a very unpleasant campaign this spring.

64 Comments:

  • I know next to nothing about procedure, but given that the motion is calling for something the House can't do, couldn't the opposition just ask that it be ruled out of order?

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 6:52 PM  

  • I'd expect so, but failing that the opposition parties could simply refuse to vote yay or nay on a motion which is nothing more than toothless political student. Abstaining is the most reasonable course of action since either outcome would have just as much real effect.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 7:05 PM  

  • So, do they sit on their hands again...?

    By Blogger daveberta, at 7:09 PM  

  • "So, do they sit on their hands again...?"

    They could laugh at harper's attempt at gamemanship?

    I think that harper's supporters are getting impatient.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:28 PM  

  • Well, I suspect they'll eventually vote 'em down at some point this spring. And it makes a lot more sense to bring thing down on Afghanistan than a GST cut in my opinion so it's hard to be too critical of the abstention strategy to date.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:50 PM  

  • I'm all for senate reform but this is just baffling. I think the Conservatives need a lesson in the structure of Canada's political system.

    Then again, they've been interfering in quasi-judicial agencies like the CNSC so I suppose this is just another step down that road. Next there will be a confidence motion calling on the "Liberal Supreme Court" to do something they want it to do.

    By Anonymous V, at 8:40 PM  

  • Is this just poor writing??

    Tory insiders suggest the Harper government now sees only downside risks in hanging onto power as the American economy enters what is generally understood to be a recession that will sideswipe Canada.
    [from CP]

    Taken literally, it suggests that the Conservatives are considering losing to a Liberal minority for the time being. I know that sounds incredibly bizarre and the Canadian Press must just have really poor editing, but it caught my attention as I search for reasons as to why the Conservatives are so desperate for an election.

    By Anonymous catherine, at 8:41 PM  

  • Harper is tying Dion to a position on the crime bills (A Conservative strong point and something that they will want to focus on during an election).
    This motion has nothing to do with forcing the Senate to act. Harper is merely stating, that the opposition parties are not going to get to choose the topics for discussion this coming election without a fight.
    Think...Dion opposes the motion and he is now soft on crime and cannot control his Senate. If he agrees and forces his Senate then Harper can claim progress on the file, sows division in the Libs and shows Dion to be scared. Sit on his hands and abstain as some here have suggested, and he looks like a visionless excuse for a leader.
    Harper has constructed a no-win situation for Mr. Dion. Politically it's brilliant and it's the reason why I prefer to have someone like Harper negotiating for me on the world stage and not Mr. Dion.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 9:01 PM  

  • My sense is that the Tories have never been serious about getting this legislation passed quickly so they could pull it out of their bag of tricks for an election. Crime bills usually are good wedge issues. No one thought this government would last two years let alone three. And the way things are going it could be around this fall -- just when the economy is getting trickier, perhaps even creating deficits, and the American political scene changing dramatically. The longer these guys are in office the more baggage they wear. So for me it makes sense that the Conservatives want to pull the plug sooner than later when events may be much more difficult to control -- or blame on the Liberals.

    By Blogger Cara, at 9:04 PM  

  • Harper has constructed a no-win situation for Mr. Dion. Politically it's brilliant and it's the reason why I prefer to have someone like Harper negotiating for me on the world stage and not Mr. Dion.

    Hahaha. Brilliant? It's ham-fisted and moronic and an abstention would be an entirely appropriate response to this joke of a motion. Dion is not and should not act as a tyrant. The Senate's scarcely been sitting for two weeks since the end of recess, and I, for one, want this legislation properly scrutinized before it passes third reading.

    Of course, the simple fact is that hardly anyone outside the blogosphere or punditry pays attention to these minutiae - it matters not in the slightest.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 9:42 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 9:42 PM  

  • Josh, you're being foolish. NBTrapper is right in this, the goal wasn't to force anyone to do anything. It was to get the media talking about it again.

    You _do_ realize what happens to Liberal polls when crime and punishment are in the news, right? At the same time when they're threatening to bring down the gov't over the budget?

    What would happen if Dion treats this as you suggest? Every news organization would be talking about it, there would be constitutional experts, there would be live TV as Harper walked to the GG.

    The media would be _all over_ this story. It would be Dion's nightmare scenario going into an election. "Crime Bill" stalled by Liberal Senate, would scream the headlines.

    No, hopefully Dion and his Senate have more sense than you about their fortunes. They'll bluster around, but by the time-limit, the bill will have passed the Senate.

    Not because Harper forced them to, because they own desires require that crime and punishment not be an issue.

    Cheers,
    lance

    By Blogger lance, at 10:05 PM  

  • Interesting analysis, but that depends on the liberals being seen as obstructing the crime bill. I don't think it'll be seen as black-and-white by the public as NBTrapper and lance seem to think it will, given these other factors that will also affect perception:

    1) Conservatives are trying to pass a bill forcing the senate to do something

    2) Conservatives had a chance to have lots of the crime stuff pass already but demanded it all be done in one bill when many things had already been passed in the house

    3) Conservatives are putting a "The senate has had this for X weeks" spin on the situation without admitting the majority of the time the senate had been in recess.

    By Anonymous V, at 10:41 PM  

  • CalgaryGrit - I'm surprised that you don't see the benefit in this for the Tories. As Lance says, it is all about getting it in the media and demonstrating that the Libs are soft and crime and it also shines a light on the Senate (a subject that the NDP and Tories agree on) thereby putting the Libs in the position of fighting both sides and therefore looking unreasonable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 PM  

  • It is a desperate act by Harper who tried, and failed, to have an election on the crime legislation last fall.

    The media may indeed be all over it, but what they might point out is that it has been the conservatives who have delayed this bill for months just so they could bring it out at a time they have calculated will be most advantageous to them. It is a bit hypocritical to complain about liberal delays when the truth is the conservatives are responsible for almost a years worth of delay on these bills.

    If Harper wants the country to accept delaying this bill puts our safety at risk, he may find he has some explaining to do.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:59 PM  

  • It's a bald-faced attempt to make the Liberals look soft on crime.

    Unfortunately for Blogging Tory partisan shills like Lance, the Canadian public are a bit smarter then what he or other partisan shills give them credit for and will see through this rather clumsy attempt.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 11:06 PM  

  • NorthBayTrapper says... Harper has constructed a no-win situation for Mr. Dion. Politically it's brilliant and it's the reason why I prefer to have someone like Harper negotiating for me on the world stage and not Mr. Dion.

    How is this brilliant exactly? Has this Harper the bully tactic worked in the past?

    Considering how often he does it and how the opinion polls keep reverting back to what they were when the last election was held... or lower... somehow I don't think it is.

    Even though I didn't vote for Harper last time... when he won I kept telling myself... well at least he said he would clean up government... yeah that's happening... we now have a PM that a majority of Canadians would probably slap across the face if he was standing in front of them.

    I am SO sick of this petty vicious group of thugs running our country.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 11:14 PM  

  • Has anyone considered that...

    Harper needs to shape the issue of campaign. This is just, f***** smart. Why not force an election over an "elected senate".

    Thirty days of bashing unelected and overpaid senators will result in a Conservative majority.

    I am sure Harper's micropolling has revealed the distaste for an elected senate, and he is hoping to make it the reason for forcing an election.

    By Blogger MississaugaJoan, at 11:45 PM  

  • Merboy = ?????

    Chretien was never politically astute. He never took the initiative. He never controlled the topic. He never painted his opposition into a corner. He never demanded focus from his caucus?

    This is my favourite..."Has this Harper the bully..." When you include Liberal talking points in your argument you only discredit your ability to be objectionable. I respect all the others whether they agreed with me or not. I may be wrong in my analysis but hey, I gave it a shot.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 11:46 PM  

  • btw...like your hatred for Harper I hated Chretien.
    However, I guess the difference is that I respect Chretien for his intelligence and his tenacity.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 11:48 PM  

  • Huh? Regardless of the result of any election, the Senate cannot be reformed in a meaningful way without full constitutional change.

    Thirty days of bashing unelected and overpaid senators will result in a Conservative majority.

    BS. It will take all of about thirty seconds to point out that, unless Harper has plans for some big time constitutional negotiations and referenda, he'll be spouting nothing but hot air.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 12:09 AM  

  • Well, let's see Scott, every news media that I watched tonight talked about the Crime bill. All of them listed what was in it using words like "mandatory sentencing", "gun crime", "violent crime", "sex offenders".

    I'm sure the newspapers and talk radio will follow tomorrow.

    And what are Layton and Duceppe talking about? The Liberal senate, of course: "How dare they obstruct parliament! We've voted on this." was the theme from both of them.

    It's was just plain stupid for the Liberals to have allowed the CPC the traction on this and whether I'm partisan or not has nothing to do with it.

    Maybe you should give those "nervous nellies" a little credit. They may know what they're talking about.

    Cheers,
    lance

    By Blogger lance, at 12:20 AM  

  • Well Lance, I did not see what you saw, at least not on CBC. I only watched the main headlines on CTV so if it was there, it certainly was not the lead story.

    I did notice this in the Globe story:

    "Mr. Van Loan said the Senate has had the omnibus Bill C-2 for 71 days and only began reviewing it Wednesday. He did not mention that the Senate only resumed sitting Jan. 28 after a six-week break. In total, the Senate has sat for 25 days since the bill was given first reading in the Red Chamber on Nov. 29.

    Since the House has already passed the bill, and by law has no power to compel the Senate to do anything, the gesture was baldly political. Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion called it a “juvenile trick by a government desperate to fall.”

    The National Post was similar.

    Maybe you think that reflects well on Harper.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 2:04 AM  

  • northbaytrapper

    You are so right...Harper has them right where he wants them. Even the MSM admits that Dion is cornered.

    The Senate is just trying to pick a fight on a bill that was passed by our ELECTED MPs weeks ago.

    By Blogger islandconservative, at 2:08 AM  

  • CON-burpers spinning yarns again.
    Yep, his motives are crystal clear again, which isn't one of his better attributes. Instead of having to campaign on the economy, which I have tripped on, or Afghanistan, where my lies partisan blarney were seen for what they are, I'll do it on the well-hated Senate -- and throw in 'rising crime' stuff again (memo to self - make sure Stats Can people's phones are disconnected so actual stats on crime in Canada can't be disseminated during campaign)...
    Just last month, Harper got a loud and clear memo from the Manley report, communicate more. He also received another tip - don't show your machismo bravado because people can see through it. So for about, maybe a week or 10 days, he hide. But just as Wiarton Willy comes out to check his shadow, Harper couldn't stay away from the mean juice. What he's now offering up is pure pap with a ridiculous chaser. But he's counting on the media's help -- will they dig into the fact that Harper has stalled this legislation for a longer period than the Senate has held it? Will they report on why the CONs are so desperate to rush into an election (e-cough-nomy, stupid!) and will he be able to silence questions about his intent, when he could just as soon forget this bill, walk over to Mme Jean's house and ask for a writ due to lack of ideas and desire to hit the WWF tour?
    We know what card he's playing. Too bad its not a full deck, tho.

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 2:43 AM  

  • Funny, the senate can not be pressured into anything, yet that is where most of these comments were aimed, ignoring the Afghanistan troop pull out angle.

    Could that be because we know that *pull out* is not an oprion?

    CG said . . .
    * *
    Yeah, I'd say *unusual* is a good way to describe it. Cuz, the thing is, the House of Commons can't force the Senate to do anything. They can pass a bill demanding that the senators tap dance to SexyBack but it would have as much weight as a bill demanding that the Senators trade Ray Emery. Anyone who has taken Grade 10 Social Studies knows that.

    The smart money has this government dying on the Afghanistan motion (unless the budget gets moved up) which means we might all be in for a very unpleasant campaign this spring. * *
    ===========================

    CG, I knew you were pressed for time, but with 3200 marines headed for Afghanistan, the French about to commit 700 or more and 12,000 regulars deemed required by 20 man war advisory, all equals No Leave.

    guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,,2253152,00.html

    claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1507/article_detail.asp

    pajamasmedia.com/2008/02/lets_hope_pakistans_nukes_are.php

    Dion may be wiser after looking into the matter to tone down on the *Pull Out* shrillness. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 2:48 AM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... This is my favourite..."Has this Harper the bully..." When you include Liberal talking points in your argument you only discredit your ability to be objectionable. I respect all the others whether they agreed with me or not. I may be wrong in my analysis but hey, I gave it a shot.

    I voted NDP in our last federal election and Green in the recent Ontario election... but you're probably right... I'm nothing but a Liberal partisan... who just happens to vote against them half the time.

    Maybe I agree with the Liberal talking points because in this case they're all right... Harper puts on his bully costume EVERY TIME he tries to do anything... and sorry but it's tired and completely obnoxious.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 9:34 AM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... btw...like your hatred for Harper I hated Chretien. However, I guess the difference is that I respect Chretien for his intelligence and his tenacity.

    Another difference... sure Chretien was a bully sometimes... but with Harper... it's like there's nothing else to him... he's all bully all the time. Acting like a bully is all about scoring political points... it does NOTHING for the people that pay taxes in this country.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 9:38 AM  

  • After listening to the Carstairs & Bakers justifying their existance,the Torys campaigning for an elected Senate might just be an added bonus in addition to the LPC being soft on crime!

    By Blogger greyburr, at 9:52 AM  

  • Well, if Harper can spin this as "Dion is a weak leader" or "Dion is soft on crime", then it's good politics - that's obviously what he's trying to do.

    I don't think the public will pay too much attention to this since the media is rightly pointing out how silly the whole thing is.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:23 AM  

  • Speaking of crime, what's harper doing about this issue of sacrilege?

    Friday, February 08,2008
    KABUL: Conservative clerics and elders demanded Thursday that the Afghan government not interfere with a controversial death sentence handed down to a young journalist convicted of insulting Islam for distributing a report questioning polygamy. Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, 23, was sentenced to death on Jan. 22 by a three-judge panel in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for handing out a report he printed off the Internet to fellow journalism students at Balkh University.

    The article questioned why men can have four wives but women cannot have multiple husbands.

    Kaambakhsh has appealed his conviction.

    More than 100 tribal and religious leaders convened Wednesday in Gardez, the capital of the conservative eastern province of Paktia, and demanded that the government support the sentence.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:50 PM  

  • I think the Liberal party should pass this bill, thus stealing the "tough on crime" thunder from the conservatives, and then just let the senate sit on it until Afghanistan or the Budget triggers an election. When the conservatives decry the wait, the senate turns around and points out how long the conservatives waited to put the bill out in the first place -- and given that they obviously needed much time to deliberate it, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the senate is taking equal care.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:00 PM  

  • My sense is that the Tories have never been serious about getting this legislation passed quickly so they could pull it out of their bag of tricks for an election.

    I'd say!

    Let's see, they filibustered their own "tough on crime" bills in Committee, and denied the Liberal opposition unanimous consent, when they (Liberals) sought it to pass the sentencing bills immediately at all stages and send them to the Senate.

    Why the fluck hasn't the Press Gallery called Van Loony out on this crap?

    By Anonymous reefer madness, at 3:30 PM  

  • Budget friction is OK, but for heaven*s sake, check those links I posted above and do not suggest any Afghan pull-out.

    Now we have 5 trans-ocean cables cut. That*s a big hit to our defenses.

    Meanwhile a committee is asking Mulroney*s chef about the purchase of lampshades, and if lampshades were broken because Brian*s parties were *Wild*?

    How does that connect to Schreiver and Airbus?

    Better get a grip before the Liberal Party is deflated on ridicule alone. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 3:39 PM  

  • tonyguitar,

    Maybe the real reason so many extra troops are being sent is because Afghanistan has become a NARCO NATION.

    In 2001, there were 8,000 hectares of opium poppy cultivation.

    In 2007, there were 193,000 hectares of opium poppy cultivation (an increase of 2400%).

    The legacy of Russia's departure from Afghanistan was the rise of the Taliban.

    The legacy of NATO's (and Canada's) inevitable departure from Afghanistan will be the rise of the NARCO NATION.

    According to the U.N., in 2007, 3.3 million Afghanis were involved in opium cultivation (an increase of 400,000 (population of Brampton) from 2006).

    That means 14.3% of the total Afghanistan population (which is 23 million) is involved in opium cultivation.

    By Blogger MississaugaJoan, at 4:44 PM  

  • Just listened to Mike Duffy (CTV) interview the guy from Nanos Research. Seems that there is a trend with the Conservatives losing support. No wonder harper is in a hurry to have an election. The longer he waits the lower the support.

    On the bright side, there are still @50% of voters who are comfortable with a harper majority. Is there a reason to vote for the New Government? What have they achieved besides extending ‘the mission’ in Afghanistan?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:56 PM  

  • Good point jimtan.

    I have a feeling they'll say we accomplished all four of the five priorities in our first two years. We've lowered taxes. We would have been able to do more if we weren't saddled with this minority...

    You can sell that both ways. After two years, people will only switch for a good reason, not a lack of one.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 6:19 PM  

  • "I have a feeling they'll say we accomplished all four of the five priorities in our first two years. We've lowered taxes."

    Like the hospital wait times? Lowered the GST, wrong tax?

    Let's search our memory. In 2006, many people voted against the corrupt Liberals. Is there a reason to vote for harper this time?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 8:26 PM  

  • MississaugaJoan,

    Agreed. Similar to Mexico in many ways.

    Drug lords are rolling severed heads into restaurants where the competition lunches just to intimidate slightly.

    Drug gang theme songs are played on the radio.

    Afghan No. 2?

    BTW, You have some interesting neighbours in madrasah style compounds in Mississagua.

    See archives on TheCanadianSentinel.blogspot.com

    = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 11:57 PM  

  • Yeah, the Cons have already bankrupted the Canadian surpluses while we head towards potentially tough times. And how has it helped the average Canadian: pennies off chocolate bars..

    The real question Canadians need answered is will Dion answer Layton's statesmanlike call for a working together towards a return to a neo-Pearsonian foreign policy or will he cave in yet again to Harper and the hawks?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:44 AM  

  • "pennies off chocolate bars.."

    No offence, but I know people that will drive an extra two blocks to save a penny on gas, let alone two. When the utility cheques are a couple of bucks cheaper each people notice.
    When the insurance premiums are a couple of bucks less people notice. I could go on all day.
    The big reason the GST is a winner, was because the Libs promised, then lied on it.
    Sell short the frugal nature of most coupon carrying Canadians to your own peril.
    If the Libs plan on running a campaign against the GST cut they will be shredded into a million little pieces.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 12:51 PM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... The big reason the GST is a winner, was because the Libs promised, then lied on it.

    So this makes it good policy and good for Canadians moreso than good for the Conservative party how exactly?

    I realize that many people in LOVE with the Conservative party voted for them just to see them win... what about all of the people that voted for them to see better government?

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 1:07 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:12 PM  

  • “If the Libs plan on running a campaign against the GST cut they will be shredded into a million little pieces.”

    Typical Conservative sound bite. Sounds good, but it’s worthless. I think that Canadians are getting tired of the sanctimonious rednecks.

    I respect Chretien because he was persuaded by the economists to forego a bad policy. The media and business community did not attack the Liberals after the election. Chretien went on to win another majority based on the merits of his policies, and not on anti-Mulroney sentiments. That was after he cut government spending.

    Do you see the difference between Chretien and PMSH?

    The conservative opposition resurrected the GST issue for election purposes. Cutting the GST instead of income taxes is still poor policy. Even ardent conservative supporters in the media agree. So?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:14 PM  

  • jimtan = tool

    you mock me and say that I use Conservative soundbites where the words are my own. You then go on with this gem, "I think that Canadians are getting tired of the sanctimonious rednecks." I'll let your words speak for you.
    As for putting words in my mouth, I personally would like to see income tax cuts as opposed to a GST cut (along with a flat tax). I'm surprised to see my Liberal friends here say screw the poor and slam a reduction in a regressive tax (you Libs don't realize you're Conservatives)
    The point I was making was that the tax cut was fulfilled where the Libs failed. It's something people can see. If you slam it, people will think you are going to go back on it (why wouldn't you if it is bad policy?!) and hence...political suicide.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 1:10 AM  

  • "The point I was making was that the tax cut was fulfilled where the Libs failed."

    You’re confusing the NDP with the Liberals.

    For your info, the NDP believe in more taxes to pay for better services. On the other extreme, the Conservatives want fewer services and fewer taxes. In the middle, the Liberals have increased spending and cut taxes when money was available.

    I would point out to you that flaherty’s tax cuts are based on a strong economy and the fiscal discipline of the previous Liberal government.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:31 AM  

  • NorthBayTrapper says... I'm surprised to see my Liberal friends here say screw the poor and slam a reduction in a regressive tax (you Libs don't realize you're Conservatives)

    The poor who spend almost all of their money on things that are already tax free (rent and groceries) are doing so much better now??? PLEASE... let's move onto the next topic... you're going nowhere with this one.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 8:01 AM  

  • You can call yourself the Liberal Party but in fact you are more Conservative in ideology.
    Martin did a good job but some would argue the only way he was able to do it was because Mulroney had set the table for him by fixing the GDP/debt ratio left by your PET (A true Liberal).
    As for Merboy, I'll keep this simple. The poor pay NO income tax, so a cut in the income tax would help those that have no income or those below the tax free exempt how?!
    Take the cotton out of your ears, I prefer an income tax cut to a GST cut. You are so blinded by your partisanship (I'm partisan but I listen) that you cannot hear my point.
    To campaign hard against the GST would be POLITICAL suicide.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 9:40 AM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... As for Merboy, I'll keep this simple. The poor pay NO income tax, so a cut in the income tax would help those that have no income or those below the tax free exempt how?!

    1. The basic personal tax exemption is about $9,000... anything I've ever read puts the poverty rate somewhere between $15K and $20K... but if you want to imagine that the poor don't pay income taxes that's your prerogative I suppose.

    2. What exactly do you think the people making under $9,000 per year are buying that is taxable? $9,000 per year divided by 12 is only $750 per month... to me that pretty much barely covers cheap rent and some groceries...

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 11:09 AM  

  • So Merboy,

    Are you suggesting we should tax the rich more heavily and give it to poor?
    Or should we say screw the poor?

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 11:27 AM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... Are you suggesting we should tax the rich more heavily and give it to poor?
    Or should we say screw the poor?

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that we raise existing taxes... the debate is whether the GST cut was effective and equitable... as with basically all of the economists in Canada I think it was a waste of money in comparison to other forms of tax relief aka income tax cuts.

    How surprising that you avoided my question about what taxable items the poor people who don't pay income tax are spending their money on... I'll ask again so you have another chance to prove how this GST cut really helps the poor:

    The basic personal income tax exemption is $9,000 aka $750 per month... how much money per month are people making that kind of money spending on taxable items after they've paid for rent and groceries which are not taxable?

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 12:08 PM  

  • "You can call yourself the Liberal Party but in fact you are more Conservative in ideology."

    But, the Liberals supported same-sex marriage. How conservative is that?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:14 PM  

  • Wow. Let's take these things in order...
    School supplies, after school programs, clothes, shoes, boots, gas, transit, gas, electricity, phone, cable, laundry soap, McDonalds, books, etc...
    Now for the second. Same-sex marriage is a social conservative hot point and has nothing to do with our discussion. There are members of both the Libs and the Cons who support both sides of the argument. It would appear that it isn't an issue anymore, but if you wish to argue against the wind you can certainly request a nt from CG.
    Finally, if you read my original post Merboy, no where did I say the GST was the best tax cut. My argument was that it was the best politics and I gave you the reasons why I thought so.
    You are arguing with me on something we agree about. Perhaps you even agree with me on a flat tax (that would move you from small c fiscal Conservative to big C).

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 1:49 PM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... Finally, if you read my original post Merboy, no where did I say the GST was the best tax cut. My argument was that it was the best politics and I gave you the reasons why I thought so.

    Yeah you said... The big reason the GST is a winner, was because the Libs promised, then lied on it.

    Then I said... So this makes it good policy and good for Canadians moreso than good for the Conservative party how exactly?

    You then followed with all the standard Conservative talking points about how the GST cut is great because it helps the poor who don't pay taxes.

    The poor that don't pay taxes aren't paying taxes on as much as $9000 or $750 per month... if you take out the money they spend on rent + groceries which aren't taxable... maybe they have $150 per month to spend on items that are taxable... so the GST cut would save them a whopping $3 per month...

    Can you please just admit that the GST cut does very very very little for the poor and consequently Conservative supporters should just stop listing that as a selling point for it?

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 2:54 PM  

  • It does little for the poor but does mean something substantial for my family.
    Follow your points. I answered all of your questions. I agreed that the GST was not the best tax cut. I argued that it was the best politics and I gave you the reasons that followed.
    Any tax cut does little or nothing for the poor. The GST is the only tax cut that does ANYTHING. Now your turn to answer. Do you agree with this statement.
    If you do, then you have a choice...you can either subsidize the poor by raising taxes or tell them to pull up their bootstraps.
    I like the latter...although that would be bad politics.
    I look forward to your reply as I am enjoying this conversation.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 3:30 PM  

  • "Now for the second. Same-sex marriage is a social conservative hot point and has nothing to do with our discussion. There are members of both the Libs and the Cons who support both sides of the argument."

    But, the Liberal government supported it. That's why it passed. No?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:42 PM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... Any tax cut does little or nothing for the poor. The GST is the only tax cut that does ANYTHING. Now your turn to answer. Do you agree with this statement.

    I agree... but... my point was the amount poor people get out of the GST cut is microscopic... and consequently it's insulting to even pretend it's a selling point.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 3:48 PM  

  • It's not insulting. It's a fact. If you were poor and were offered a GST cut or an income tax cut which would you prefer. How does an income tax cut help Dion solve his prosperity gap sales pitch? All I am saying is that there is good politics and bad politics. We all have what we would like to see get done, however, it's what is sellable to the Canadian population as a whole that matters. The biggest problem with the Libs right now in my opinion is their consistency. The Cons have swayed here and there yet they continue on a pretty predictable path which makes people feel safe (save your bloviating). Dion is all over the map whether it is on Afghanistan, the environment, the GST, provincial juridisction, crime. Noboby knows what he stands for. They see Paul Martin all over again. Someone who will say one thing one day only to change it the next when he senses friction. Chretien was a leader. He didn't change his mind and I respect him. Martin and Dion earn no respect from me.
    If the Libs want to win, they will leave the freezing poor to the NDP, they will follow a Conservative fiscal policy (smaller government, lower taxes, pay down the debt) and they will support the mission in Afghanistan while continuing to pander to minority groups with political flex.

    Yes Jimtan, the Liberal government of the day supported it and helped pass it along with the Bloc, the NDP and a portion of the Conservative party.
    Not ground breaking stuff here. I fail to see your point?

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 4:10 PM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... It's not insulting. It's a fact. If you were poor and were offered a GST cut or an income tax cut which would you prefer.

    If I made $9000 per year and Steven Harper was in front of me talking about how he was going to use up 10 BILLION dollars of tax revenue and everyone should love him for it because it helps the poor I would probably tell him to keep his "charity".

    Sorry but yeah it is insulting to list "helping the poor" as a selling point when such a tiny amount of the money is going to them... it's like giving a homeless person the after dinner mint you got at Kelsey's and bragging to everyone how you're a poverty crusader.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 4:36 PM  

  • I don't believe he ever claimed to be such. My liberal friends all the like the cut because it's as they term is "regressive".
    I agree with you on the merits of the cut, but to be frank, I'd rather have that cut than not.
    You fail to see the politics. Harper has promised a GST cut and followed through. The Libs promised and lied. That's the distinction people will make.
    It's not right or wrong, it's reality.
    Merboy, a question....would you raise taxes to transfer money to the poor people you use in your aforementioned anecdote?
    There are 3 ways to help those people. Wealth transfers (aka taxes), a consumer tax reduction, or you foster a healthy job market and let them work their way out of it.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 4:50 PM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... would you raise taxes to transfer money to the poor people you use in your aforementioned anecdote? There are 3 ways to help those people. Wealth transfers (aka taxes), a consumer tax reduction, or you foster a healthy job market and let them work their way out of it.

    The present government came into office at a time when huge budget surpluses were the norm... they had the option of using the money wisely... instead they went for the easy sell... and I completely disagree with what they did... does that mean I think they should raise taxes now... no... I think they should be punished for essentially wasting our money.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 5:18 PM  

  • thanks for avoiding the question.

    I asked what "you" would do.

    By Blogger NorthBayTrapper, at 5:49 PM  

  • NorthBayTrapper said... thanks for avoiding the question. I asked what "you" would do.

    I would've put most if not all of that money into mass transit infrastructure + operation costs. I also would've used the transit pass tax rebate money for mass transit infrastructure + operation costs.

    I think huge investment in mass transit actually would be something you could sell as helping the poor... not to mention the environment... and productivity through a major reduction of traffic conjestion.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 6:04 PM  

  • "Not ground breaking stuff here. I fail to see your point?"

    You need to acknowledge that the Liberal party can be progressive. Most Liberal MPs and members supported the bill. The bill would not have passed without the overwhelming support of the Liberal MPs.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 8:50 PM  

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