Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gas taxes and...puffin poop?

Look how cutthroat our politics are, compared to our mild mannered southern neighbors. We aren't even two days into the campaign and Stephane Dion is already calling Harper a liar. And it was only a "kinda, sorta" lie (Harper said Dion wanted to raise the GST; Dion actually said he would only "consider it"). Yet it's taken Barack Obama months to include some conjugation of the verb "to lie" in any of his ads or speeches.

Cutthroat perhaps, but they can also be juvenile :

An internet ad posted by the Conservatives on Monday night showed a puffin pooping on St├ęphane Dion, in a nod to former Liberal leadership rival Michael Ignatieff's musings last year about the puffin while on a trip to Newfoundland.

Okay, let me be the first to say that puffin shit has no place in this campaign.

Anyway, the number one reason why I cannot justify voting blue this year:

Tories to cut diesel, jet fuel excise

WINNIPEG — In his first promise of the election campaign, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is pledging to cut federal excises taxes on diesel and aviation fuel in half within four years.

Mr. Harper is vowing he would the tax by two cents -- reducing it to two cents per litre from the current four cents.

He says it will offer welcome relief for consumers because it would reduce shipping costs for goods they buy, from food to furniture. The levy reduction will cost the federal treasury $600-million.

“It's modest, affordable and responds to real needs,” said the Conservative Leader, who used a Winnipeg warehouse of vegetables as a backdrop to illustrate the impact of fuel taxes on consumer goods.

Mr. Harper's pledge is a measure that would displease environmentalists, who together with the Liberals say that ratcheting up carbon taxes on fossil fuels is the best way to fight global warming and wean Canada's economy off its dependency on oil.

Today's promise is meant to contrast the Tories with Liberal rival St├ęphane Dion, whose proposed carbon tax would hike excise taxes on diesel and aviation fuel by 7 cents a litre.
That's some epic fail there. It's a cynical ploy to draw a contrast with Dion and the carbon tax, all for short-term political gain. Gas/carbon taxes need to go up, not down. Much like John McCain's inane "gas tax holiday", I doubt Mr. Harper will be able to find a single economist (other than himself, of course) who thinks this is a good idea.

The sooner we adjust to the reality of scarce oil the better. Let's not prolong the illusion.

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