Friday, August 8, 2008

Canadian election watch, part II

According to this article from yesterday's Globe and Mail, Stephane Dion is "ready to go" for an election over his Green Shift (which a Liberal insider is quoted describing as very difficult to understand, even for Dion's own aides). Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it. This isn't the first time that an election has been threatened, but the Liberals keep caving.

As for the Green Shift, it's surely going to be a difficult centerpiece for a campaign, because no matter how Dion tries to sell it, it amounts to new taxes. And Harper's no fool; he'll paint it as just another attempt to transfer wealth from the West to Ontario. Never mind that Alberta's oil wealth is essentially unearned and is wreaking havoc on the environment, Finders-Keepers is the name of the game here.

It's all a little depressing, because the more I see and read, it's clear that we're going to need bold action on the environment if our civilization is going to survive this century. Isn't there any way for our political parties to make this crucial argument without sounding disingenuous or over-alarmist?

For example, the carbon tax should not be potrayed as an attempt to make expensive gasoline even more expensive, it should be portrayed as a plan to force the use of alternatives to gasoline, something which we can all agree is sorely needed. Right?

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