27 March 2008

Duncan class; Flaherty crass

What the hell is wrong with the federal Conservative party? I mean, we have longstanding disagreements on policy issues, certainly, but their recent sniping from Ottawa (read: Flaherty) at Ontario (and particularly Finance Minister Duncan) is not only infantile but also completely dumbfounding. It used to be that a newfoundland premier would take shots at Ottawa for local votes at provincial election time, but I don't recall really that the feds often responded in kind, because of course it's just local grandstanding and the feds need to have a working relationship with the provinces, no matter which colour tie the Premier wears at the moment.

But this situation is just ridiculous:

-the description is preposterous - ON is the third lowest overall tax burden of 10 provinces, and although facing a slowdown has jobs available, GDP growth, and much
healthier economic indicators than our friends to the South.

-the prescription is preposterous - the recent dramatic appreciation in the CAD$ relative to USD$ and the recession in the US, are the obvious cause of the Ontario slowdown; a complete elimination of corporate taxes would not even cancel out the effect of the dollar change over the last year for exporters.

-the prediction is preposterous - Flaherty said on CBC for "a fact" that Ontario would be come a have-not province if we didn't cut corporate taxes. Anyone who predicts the future for a fact is a bald-faced liar.

-the whole position is preposterous! The Tories will never get a majority without gains in Ontario. Do they really think that insulting us and undermining confidence in our economy is going to do that?

And all this from a guy that was part of the Mike Harris Ontario government. Jim, if we wanted your advice, we wouldn't have thrown you out of office in 1999. Which we did, Jim, partly because unlike the current bunch, your friends could not balance the budget while at Queen's Park.

Then again, all things considered, it's not surprising that someone we kicked out of office 9 years ago is now one of the best and brightest the Tories can come up with. They should bring back Joe Clark, compared to the current crop he seems worldly, sophisticated, and debonair.

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