Despite all the posturing around the crime legislation,
The Liberals would rather go on the budget for any number of reasons, and it appears its dido for the Conservative “brain trust”:
In a memo addressed to MPs, strategists and senior campaign volunteers, the Conservative brain trust urged high-ranking Tories yesterday to begin the pre-election fight by talking up
If they want to make the economy the ballot box issue, that’s fine with me. I’ll put our economic record and our economic policies up against there’s any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
Now, that’s not to say it will be easy. Far from it. The Cons will have their spin out there, filled with misinformation, obfuscation, and outright falsehoods. Here’s a taste of their likely line:
"In the next election, Canadians will have a clear choice," says the memo, circulated by the party's research bureau. "They can choose the lack of priorities, reckless spending and higher taxes of the Stéphane Dion Liberals..."
"... or they can continue to move forward with lower taxes, balanced budgets and lower debt thanks to the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government."
Of course, that’s a load of bullshit. They’re making that all up. It will be our job to expose their line for the odious crap pile that it is, while at the same time getting our message out.
It is actually the Liberal Party that is the party of fiscal prudence. We inherited a massive deficit from Brian Mulroney (remember him?) and turned it to surplus, turning in a string of eight consecutive balanced budgets. More than $60 billion in debt repayment. When the budget was balanced we returned to Canadians the largest broad-based tax cuts in Canadian history, while at the same time reinvesting in the knowledge economy and in social programs. The balanced approach Canadians favour, not the tax cut cure all the Conservatives push. And a massive job boom. More than three million new jobs from 1997 to 2005.
We have a strong record on the economy, and we need to emphasize it and run on it. Not doing so was one of the (many) major mistakes the Martin team made.
We can contrast our record with that of the Conservatives. A GST cut that only benefits the wealthy. An income tax increase to pay for it. An unnecessary complication of the tax code. The income trust flip-flop; that will be a big one. The billion-dollar softwood sellout, that will be big in B.C., Northern Ontario and
Of course, it won’t be enough to just highlight our record, and highlight the weaknesses of theirs. Canadians are becoming increasingly concerned about the economy, and we need to present a detailed, comprehensive, and balanced plan for dealing with the coming downturn, unlike the half-baked Conservative measures.
This won’t be an easy fight. A lot will depend on how good a job we do our communicating our message, and getting our message out. Frankly, we haven’t been doing a stellar job on that front of late.
But if we communicate our message well, I think the economy is a great issue for us to run on, and one that could definitely break out way. An election on the economy? Bring it on, Steve. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers