The chill came in the afternoon, when panelists, egged on by former Toronto Star columnist David Crane, told the gathering that the most sensible way to green the Canadian economy was to impose a carbon tax.Oh, yeah, we've just seen the Liberal commitment to social policy. Thanks God for the three courageous Liberals who stood up for fetal rights and voted against the motion. Thanks God for 10 or so who just didn't show up. But Ignatieff is not willing to give up; he still pledges to keep fighting for subsidized abortion and contraception. See how committed he is to social policy?
It was exactly that proposal that many blame for the defeat of the Liberals in the last election. It would be a courageous party, in the Yes Minister sense of the word (i.e., politically suicidal), to propose it again.
If the people here have any say in the matter, the Liberal Party will seek to redefine itself as a party committed to social policy and the environment. There is nary a word about the deficit, about keeping taxes low, about fostering international trade.
And now, Ignatieff and his party have declared their commitment to
And what's that they say about an alternative to balancing the books?
The question for Michael Ignatieff and his team will be to what extent the party sticks to that platform going into the next election. To the extent it does, Canadians will be offered a clear choice: focusing on getting the books back in balance, or focusing instead on new investments to make the population healthier, better educated and more secure.Shall I remind you that even when the stimulus spending expires, Canada's budgetary balance will still be negative $20B and, since the government is unwilling to reverse most of its previous spending commitments, it will take 3 more years to get rid of the deficit. So where are the Liberals planning to get the money for the "new investments to make the population healthier, better educated and more secure"? Are they going to raise taxes (previously, their carbon tax was marketed as "revenue neutral") or are they going to resort to more deficit spending, being satisfied with merely keeping the debt to GDP ratio below a certain mark?