Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hidden Agenda?

The Ontario Tories bared more than their...uhh...private members...this weekend, releasing their election platform (summarized by CP here).

I've always been a fan of parties releasing their platforms early - it gives you time to define yourself, and show voters what you stand for. Which in Tim Hudak's case, seems to be largely what Dalton McGuinty stands for. Here's how Adam Radwanski describes it:

Change for the sake of change.

That, roughly, is Tim Hudak’s estimate of what Ontarians want in this year’s provincial election. So on Sunday, the Progressive Conservative Leader unveiled a platform – “changebook” – that gives voters the option of keeping most of Dalton McGuinty’s priorities, without keeping Dalton McGuinty.

Sure, Hudak dangles a few carrots, but the HST, corporate tax cuts, and all-day kindergarten are here to stay, and Hudak promises only a few administrative tweaks to the Health Care system. This follows up recent flip-flips on the Human Rights Tribunal and health premiums. Sure, he's still promising to scale back the Green Energy Act, but it's unclear where he'll find the kilowatts to accomplish this and still follow through on McGuinty's promise to close Ontario's coal plants by 2014.

There are, of course, a few populist trinkets recycled from the federal election - income splitting for couples and removing the HST from home heating fuels. While these will be popular, they do open up Hudak to the "hidden agenda" attack. After all, Hudak will not be able to pay for his $3-11 billion in goodies (depending on how you count it) solely by having 6 fewer Cabinet Ministers.

So expect the Liberals to counter with some nasty hidden agenda commercials once we get closer to Election Day. For now, the OLP has launched a feel-good spot - it's a minute long, very similar in style to the positive beer commercials run by Harper last election.

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  • Your comments suggest that you haven't actually read Changebook but merely the media's stories.

    Changebook is fully costed out, with the details readily available for anyone who looks. And where are you going to look? Changebook.ca

    But let's face it: do you really believe that McGuinty doesn't already have two or three tax increases lined up for just after the election, in case he wins? He's promised before to not raise taxes. He's even put that promise in writing. The only sure thing in this election is that if we put the Ontario Liberals back in power, taxes will go up.

    Under Tim Hudak and an Ontario Progressive Conservative Majority Government, taxes will go down. Businesses will no longer be chased out of Ontario.

    You may call that a small difference. I call it a huge difference.

    By Blogger Paul, at 1:47 p.m.  

  • Paul - How has McGuinty chased business out of Ontario? He's lowered corporate taxes and brought in the HST (which is good for business).

    Those are two measured Hudak says he won't touch.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:03 p.m.  

  • And I read the costing document.

    If you believe every one of the PC numbers, they still have a 4 billion dollar hole - they've promised to make up that gap in non-Health Care cuts, but haven't identified where those 4 billion in cuts will come from.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:07 p.m.  

  • You think that all the tax increases McGuinty and his Liberals have introduced over the past seven years have attracted businesses to Ontario? You're out of your mind!

    True, not every penny of the spending cuts have been identified to the person, but they most certainly have been identified. Some will come from a review of the 650 Agencies, Boards, and Commissions we currently have. Some will come from a 2% reduction in budget spending outside of Health and Education.

    But anyone who has read Changebook and the associated backgrounder already knows that. As all Ontarians should between now and election day!

    By Blogger Paul, at 4:33 p.m.  

  • but they most certainly have been identified.

    By saying "we'll find some other stuff to cut".

    By Blogger Sean C, at 5:39 p.m.  

  • Enough pictures of manufacturing plants? Gee, I wonder if McGuinty is targeting the 905 and Southwestern Ontario...

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 11:05 p.m.  

  • "Enough pictures of manufacturing plants?"

    The manufacturing plants are included, without a doubt, to deceive Ontario voters into believing that Ontario's manufacturing sector is thriving, when in fact McGuinty has overseen the departure of about 300,000 manufacturing jobs.

    Heck, a large part of the reason that demand for electricity hasn't outstripped supply recently - another key "success" claimed by McGuinty - is that the industrial sector has been hit so hard by the Liberal Government in Ontario that they've shut their doors and no longer need the electricity.

    Only the Liberals under McGuinty would take pride in turning Ontario into a Have-Not Province.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 p.m.  

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