Thursday, September 03, 2009

How Stephen Harper came to love that new deck you built

Over at the National Post blog this morning I talk about why Stephen Harper wants to make your shiny new deck a political football, and how its all this "home renovation tax credit will die" nonsense is a bunch of hooey:

You're about to start hearing a lot about the home renovation tax credit. Actually, make that hear a lot more about it, because you've already been hearing about it for months in taxpayer-funded television commercials, inviting you to take advantage of the credit as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, better known as the most recent Conservative budget.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


Jon Pertwee said...

Congrats on the column Jeff! You must have done something right too as you've already earned the rebuke of Sassylassie and Fred(bunchanumbers). Nice one!

Jeff said...

I suspect that all the people that commented on yesterday's column chastising Ignatieff for game-playing will now applaud Harper's gamesmanship on the tax credit. Just wait for it.

kpn said...

Congrats Jeff on actually getting some space on the NP. IIRC, this is your 2nd post in that Con paper.

I just read ITQ who agrees with you. Unfortunately, will you and ITQ resonate with the average Canadian who pays little attention to Canadian politics. I certainly hope the Libs can get their message out. But, I'm dubious considering the right wing media in this country. Just check National Newswatch. Most of their headlines are from Sun/Global media. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

BTW, I read all of your posts though I don't comment.

McLea said...

So the Liberals are going to defeat the Conservatives on a bill they will subsequently reintroduce once they are elected? Did I just read that?

Political posturing indeed.

Jeff said...

kpn, it will be a question of who can make their case better on framing, but I'm doubtful it will be a long-term campaign issue.


Plenty of political posturing to go around here.

The CPC waits to introduce the tax credit bill to put the Libs in a sticky spot by putting their promise to "defeat the government at the first opportunity" by making that first opportunity a popular tax measure.

The LPC says whatever, we're defeating you anyways because we think you suck overall, but we'll bring the tax credit back.

So, if you want to kvetch about political posturing, at best, it's a wash.

RuralSandi said...

Geez - don't the Con trolls get it? Harper is blackmailing you on the tax credit thing.

No reason Libs couldn't introduce with improvements and/or extenions, for example.

Besides, the only people to gain are those that have $10,000 to spare to get a $1,350 credit.

I had to put on a new roof and chimney, for example, and would have done with or without the credit.

It's a credit for only those that can afford improvements - not those that are struggling and/or out of work. It's a vote buyer.

McLea said...

Hard to argue with that.

But I think I speak for most people when I say that the onus is on the Liberals to provide a convincing reason to bring down the government, and I don't see "we need to bring down the Conservatives so we can reintroduce their legislation" as being a very good start.

The whole timing of this just strikes me as being incredibly odd. Something is going here that isn't immediately clear, that I know for sure.

Andrew Coyne has probably come the closest to nailing it down, but I'm thinking there's more to it than what he suggested. Guess we'll find out.

Metro said...

Read the column, thought you did a nice job. But I prefer to comment here than in the cesspool.

I did, however, notice that you failed to mention who benefits from the new tax credit--Those who spend $10K or better.

I lost my job in the downturn. But I never had $10K to spend on renos anyway. So I don't care if the damn thing goes out the window. I just want to see the Cons retreat to the obscurity and shame they so richly deserve.

MERBOY said...

McLea said...

"So the Liberals are going to defeat the Conservatives on a bill they will subsequently reintroduce once they are elected? Did I just read that?"

The Conservatives have a history of bundling legislation all the parties can agree upon with partisan political BS. What are the odds this bill will just address the home reno tax credit and not introduce something super objectionable at the same time?

Jeff said...

I speak for most people when I say that the onus is on the Liberals to provide a convincing reason to bring down the government,

In a sense, yes, Although it will be a battle of framing. I think the Liberals can, will and are making that case, and you shouldn't get too focused on the trigger. That's just the how. It's not how we get there, it's why, that's a broader question.

I'll also reframe your point slightly. The onus isn't on the Liberals to explain why there should be an election. It's the responsibility of the Liberals to explain why they feel the Conservatives are no longer worthy of their support in the house. That may or may not mean an election.

Now, in our system of government, the onus isn't on the opposition to keep the government in power. The onus is on the government to maintain the confidence of the house. So it is up to Stephen Harper to explain why his government deserves the confidence of the house.

And it's up to Harper to maintain the confidence of the House. The Liberals are out. That leaves the BQ and the NDP. If Harper wants to govern in a minority parliament, he needs to secure the support of one of those parties.

If he can't or doesn't, then he loses the confidence of the house, and then that means an election. And I know we'll disagree here, of course, but I'd argue the greater onus is on Harper to explain why he was unable to maintain the confidence of the house, why he couldn't work with even one other party, and therefore why we have to have an election.

Of course, it's a framing battle, so he'll just say its the Liberals fault because they wouldn't work with us, they're power hungry and they suck.

I plan to do a post on this later when time permits.