Monday, January 02, 2006

Liberal Campaign Flash Jan 2/06 2pm

Following, here's a bone that we dug up today for all you right & left wingers to chew on from the Liberal H.O.! By the way is it just our imagination or is the Canadian $ improving because of the polls and momentum hype the main line press are according to the Conservatives? Note that we now have a live Canadian $ exchange rate on our sidebar below this posting. It will also be interesting to see how the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) handles the Election swing momentum hype which is also on the sidebar for you to track when the markets open in the morning. - Langley Free Press


Harper's Five Priorities Miss the Mark

In a speech today Conservative leader Stephen Harper set out his five main priorities:
. Government accountability;
. A reduction in the GST;
. Strengthening the justice system;
. A child care allowance; and
. Solving the "fiscal imbalance" and waiting times for patients
A closer look shows that Mr. Harper's approach to each of these issues misses the mark when it comes to what Canadians' priorities.

Key Messages:

Stephen Harper claims he wants improve government accountability, but his plan has huge loopholes.
If Mr. Harper really cares about accountability why won't he tell Canadians who bankrolled his 2002 leadership campaign? Why will he not support our government's efforts to limit the influence of big-money lobby groups like the National Citizens' Coalition on Canadian elections, and make these lobby groups reveal who is funding their campaigns?
GST Reduction
Stephen Harper claims that his tax cut is progressive but, unlike personal income tax cuts, the people who benefit the most are those with large disposable incomes.
It saves:
. four cents on a hamburger but 10 times that if you can afford steak and lobster.
. less than a quarter on a Timex and fifty bucks on a Rolex.
. 40 cents on a pair of Levi's but $20 if you could afford to buy a Gucci suit.
. $250 on a new Grand Prix but nearly $1,000 on a luxury Lexus.

Justice System
Stephen Harper claims he wants to address gun crime, citing recent examples in Toronto, but his public record says something quite different.
Mr. Harper has spent a career fighting gun control, including the 1991 restrictions brought in by the Mulroney government. Mr. Harper and his colleagues voted against every single gun control measure brought in by the Liberal government over the last 12 years. Most recently, Mr. Harper helped precipitate an early election that derailed Bill C-82 which includes new gun crime offences and will double mandatory minimums.
Now Mr. Harper is refusing to support the Liberal government's proposed Canada Handgun Ban. He continues to be out of step with the priorities of Canadians.

Child Care
Stephen Harper said that child care is one of his priorities. However, he has said he will renege on the five-year child care agreements signed with the provinces. Mr. Harper's proposal to give families less than $25 a week, or about $4 a day after taxes, will pay for only three days of child care a month in most provinces. Unlike the Liberal plan, Mr. Harper will do nothing to create new facilities that are safe, employing well-trained educators.
What Mr. Harper doesn't understand is that Canadians expect more from the government than a coupon for our kids.

Fiscal Imbalance / Waiting Times
Stephen Harper promises "medically acceptable waiting times", but his plan allocates no money to improving the system - either in new transfers to the provinces or new direct federal spending.
Harper has a record of supporting expanding private health care, not strengthening the public system. His efforts to bring down the government last spring nearly blocked implementation of the $41 billion federal-provincial heath care deal that Prime Minister Martin negotiated with the provinces and territories
On solving the "fiscal imbalance" Mr. Harper refuses to say what he plans to do or put a price tag on this promise which, at its core, is about reducing the role of the Government of Canada and transferring tax points to the provinces. Harper knows that a tax point transfer will mean much more to wealthier provinces than those with a smaller tax base, but he doesn't seem to care that his plan will exacerbate regional disparities.

Political Slurs
Stephen Harper's speech included an angry attack on the Liberal party saying it had "stolen" funds and included his baseless claim that "a lot more" than a million was "funneled into the election coffers of Liberal campaigners."
In today's speech Mr. Harper said Canadians are "tired of slurs .and spin." We agree and we wish he'd stop rather than rolling out new negative television ads.

Missing Priorities
It was interesting to note what priorities did not make Harper's list: no mention of the economy, education, the environment, seniors, foreign policy, regional development, agriculture, softwood, national unity, protection of minority rights, or support for cities and communities.

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