Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nice Spin, Globe and Mail

So the Globe and Mail published an article yesterday stating that the introduction of the enabling legislation for the HST was bad news for the Liberals. I really liked their argument. They essentially stated that if they voted for the measure they would lose support in Ontario and BC and if they voted against the measure they would lose support in Ontario and BC.

What crap!! As I have stated on this blog before the enabling legislation has a greater potential to hurt the Conservatives than it does the Liberals.

So far, the Conservatives have managed to fly under the radar on the HST in both provinces. It should be remembered that it was Jim Flaherty that proposed the idea to both provinces. It should be remembered that it was Jim Flaherty's department that negotiated the HST deal with both provincies. It should be remembered that it is Jim Flaherty that will have to table the legislation. It should be remembered that because this bill deals with taxes it will be a confidence motion. Therefore, the Conservatives are going to have to fight for this bill just to survive as the government.

Suddenly, the Conservative government's role in the HST will be highlighted.

Yet somehow this is very bad news for the Liberals.

Of course, the spin the Globe and Mail published is quoted directly from the Conservative talking points. It is SOPs for the Conservatives that when they are going to do something that can potentially harm them politically they try to deflect blame to someone else, with the Liberals being a favourate target.

I have no real problem with the Conservatives trying to give this porker a whole makeover but I have a real problem with the Globe and Mail publishing a story about the HST enabling legislation that just puts forward the Conservative Party position with barely a hint of independent analysis.

My already low regard for the Globe and Mail went even lower yesterday.

9 Comments:

Blogger Joseph said...

I found their analysis riveting as well. How ingenious! Only a conservative government could attempt to spin a tax bill with their fingerprints all over it into a liability for another party.

Unfortunately, with the help of the G&M, they stand a better chance of succeeding with that strategy.

Actually, I had been thinking that the Liberals should vote for the implementation bill or just abstain on the grounds that it's the conservative's initiative and that they could have implemented it in such a way that parliament wouldn't have had a vote.

But at this point, I think the Liberals should vote against it, and point out exactly how they would have implemented it differently.

Simply say, "We don't have a problem with harmonizing sales taxes in there, but here is how consumers are hurt by this shoddy implementation of it." I know Here in BC, the papers are filled with the point by point examples of how this does amount to increase on taxes on any number of products and services. I imagine there are similar issues in Ontario.

Vote "No" and have a seat. There is no loss in that position, and low and behold "Harper forced through an unpopular tax" (using G&M speak). Anytime a question arises, point at the government in charge. You know, the ones who pushed it through.

If the Bloc supports it, fine. If they don't and government falls, I can't imagine a better starting point for an election on confidence falling on an unpopular tax in Ontario.

Go for it.

November 28, 2009 1:19 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

That should have been "in theory" paragraph 4.

November 28, 2009 1:20 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

One final point. I find it completely incredulous that the conservatives are spinning this as a free-vote. Really? I mean, REALLY?

So we're to believe the government would allow itself to fall on a confidence measure because a handful of their own members didn't vote for an agreement their government drafted with two provinces?

Really? They'll just go "Oh, well, guess ol' Joey in rural Saskatchewan just wasn't convinced. And it was so close. Sorry, Ontario and BC, our word means squat. To the polls we go."

Right.

November 28, 2009 2:05 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

There is a another reason why the Conservatives are spinning it this way besides trying to blame the Liberals.

Once this bill is tabled and debate begins on it the Conservative government's role in the imposition of the HST will become very apparent. It is in the government's interests to fast-track this bill to reduce the damage this might cause. That is the reason why Mr. Flaherty was making noises about passing this bill by January.

I am still on the fence with regard to how the Liberals should vote for this bill but I do know that they should be pushing to extend the debate on this bill as long as possible. If can they delay a vote until late winter, early spring they can make maximum political hay out of it.

Such an approach will negate any chance of them succeeding in pushing this bill onto another party.

November 28, 2009 3:15 PM  
Blogger wilson said...

The Canada-Ontario agreement was signed in March 2009.
If you think back to then ottlib,
there was the threat of an election and Libs or Cons could have won a minority.

So in the agreement, there is a line that says Canada will table legislation to allow the Provinces taxation flexibility.

I assume that line is explicitely there because the Premiers wanted some assurance that if they announced they were going to harmonize, the next PM could not back out.
Both Premiers said so much this week.

MI gave a verbal promise to McGuinty he would honor the agreement made with the govt.

The HST is effective in June 2010,
bringing it out now gives the Premiers time to sell it.
And Carole James (sp?) will make sure the focus is back on the Premiers.
She said they can an will stop it.

The only thing devious here is the media trying to spin every move MI or Harper make as some kind of brilliant strategy or failed plan.

November 28, 2009 9:34 PM  
Blogger wilson said...

'MI gave a verbal promise to McGuinty he would honor the agreement made with the govt.'

If he votes against or abstains, he breaks his promise to 2 Premiers.

November 28, 2009 9:38 PM  
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