Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Tory Platform

In 2008, we didn't see the Tory platform until the dying days of the campaign. This time, we got it before the writ even dropped.

With all three opposition parties ready to vote down the government, we're now almost certain to be in a campaign by the weekend. Which means today's budget becomes the de facto election platform for the Conservatives. And while it's a pretty uninspiring budget, it's a very impressive platform.

While I'm a little disappointed there's no blogging tax credit in this budget, Jim Flaherty appears to have given every single other Canadian some kind of token tax credit - something voters are sure to notice as they complete their taxes this April.

Have a sick relative? Well, there's the family caregiver tax credit, stolen from the Liberals' Family Care plan. Have a kid who plays piano? There's a tax credit for that. Are you a low income Senior? Here's an extra $12 a month.

Expecting to be mercilessly attacked on their corporate tax cuts, they've closed a corporate tax loophole. Knowing they'll be attacked on a dirty environmental record, the ecoEnergy program gets extended to much fanfare (even though it has existed for 14 years).

But surely this will anger the Tory base, n'est-ce-pas? Well, there's a tax credit for volunteer firefighters. And programs to get more doctors in rural areas.

The budget lacks direction. Nothing in it will do a lot for the economy. Most voters won't get more than a few dollars from it. But the budget is full of the kind of promises that sound good in stump speeches and look good in commercials.

Today we saw the Tory platform and, truth be told, it's an impressive document.

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  • I have trouble seeing it as a Conservative platform, but maybe I'm assuming that they'd be more ideologically pure than to run a campaign on small promises to everyone. It just doesn't feel like a true conservative budget when it contains so many half-attempts to woo the NDP.

    By Blogger Ian, at 5:48 p.m.  

  • Harper idealogically pure?

    Since when?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:52 p.m.  

  • Well put

    By Blogger Dan-O, at 7:23 p.m.  

  • "Have a sick relative? Well, there's the family caregiver tax credit, stolen from the Liberals' Family Care Plan."

    I thought that the present government wanted input ... so there is one policy that seems like a good idea ... therefore included. Same with some input from the NDP's ideas. [Though not enough to make a differance,]

    I have a question. Will the Liberals who owe money to Elections Canada be able to run in the election. If they do, is there not going to be a back-lash on EC and the Liberal party?

    BTW Of all the Liberal sites on the net, this is the only one that is balanced and only one that would convince me to vote Liberal .... I have no political preferance and will probably decide on election day. I voted Liberal before - when they promised to get rid or change the GST.

    Open to be convinced to vote Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:53 p.m.  

  • Anon - Nothing wrong with the CPC taking opposition ideas. The Libs did it all the time when in power.

    That's one of the reasons, I feel like this is a very strong election budget.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 8:08 p.m.  

  • Minor quibble w/ your thesis, but don't they have to PASS the budget for Canadians to notice those tax credits "as they complete their taxes" this April?

    Or do you just think it's enough that they'll wish those credits were out there, and know all about it from the bombardment of Tory ads?

    Doubting most voters will get far enough to find those details, personally.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:49 p.m.  

  • support a grassroots effort to end the Harperstan blight:

    By Blogger Northern PoV, at 11:36 p.m.  

  • I am totally disgusted that the opposition is going to bring down this minority government and cost us another 300 million for another election. The public isn't looking for another election especially when the results will most likely not be that different. But alas, the one good thing that may come from this with Harper picking up a few more seats....A MAJORITY!!!!! To the Libs, socialists and separtists ...THANKS.

    By Anonymous Tony, at 3:42 a.m.  

  • Tony - If Harper wanted to avoid an "unnecesary election", he could have given the NDP what they were asking for.

    A minority parliament is about compromise, and Harper wasn't willing to compromise either.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:44 a.m.  

  • As per my statement above; The Cons did give concessions to Liberal and NDP - the problen is that to you there was not enough spent. They do not have billions to throw away on such programs as a stadium in Quebec ... I thought they were balanced.

    Do the Liberals want to send us tax paters deeper in debt more than we presently are? I hope not. It would be interesting to see how the Liberals and NDP would present a budget to compaire to the present Con one.

    Open to be convinced to vote Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 a.m.  

  • Excellent post. Was laughing with the opportunist tag switch to bastard.

    This budget along with the coalition question will not shake the undecided toward the Liberals in my opinion.

    Your team will spend $ 10 million on television with ads in 36 days promising something better than the best performing country in the G7?

    Are you kidding me?

    Trust, as a cynical person now voting for our PM and the Conservatives I don't expect them to bat 400.
    From Martin, Dion and now Ignatieff are you guys kidding me?

    Best of luck I have predicted 62 seats for the Liberals if the country is not too angry at your party.

    If the Conservatives can channel the coalition rage (Dec 3 2008 46%) it will be a John Turner party result with 40 seats.

    Is that Liberal Biennial convention deposit in Ottawa refundable?

    By Blogger CanadianSense, at 1:29 p.m.  

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