Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Weak Opposition

The Opposition messaging against the Conservative Budget makes me wonder where their spin doctors are. Perhaps vacationing on spring break, being the young turks they are. Let us review today's Opposition response as was officially presented in the house and during QP.

Liberals: I would have given out more money. To everyone. But youse guys have a shotgun approach with this budget.

BQ: Yes you have addressed the Fiscal Imbalance, but it is not enough, we could get more if Quebec was a nation.

NDP: This budget was created at the boardroom table not the kitchen table.

The Liberals and NDP messaging is a mess. The Conservative budget gave no big corporate tax breaks, and actually closed tax loopholes on offshore tax havens used by the rich. But they did bring in their Tax Credit for Low Income earners. Something the Liberals and NDP advocated for.

Sure they did not bring in a $10 federal minimum wage which the Federal NDP are calling for (because the Ontario NDP are calling for it in the upcoming provincial election campaign). An increase in the Federal Minimum wage is a red herring because it affects so few workers and is not even a living wage program nor a Guaranteed Annual Income, which the NDP should be advocating for.

What the problem here is that this is a Liberal budget, it is a scattergun just like they have used, and it is aimed at gaining support for the government, just like they have always done. And so it does benefit working families in Canada which was it's purpose. With its targeted tax cuts and give aways it is already causing a caucus fracture in the Liberals.

The NDP though have made their opposition to the budget a matter of closing the prosperity gap between the working class and the rich elite. Therefore it behooves them to offer an alternative budget. And their pals at the Centre for Policy Alternatives have already given them a blueprint, even before the budget came down yesterday.

Along with their child care plan, their pharmacare plan, their green plan, and other announcements they have made, all they needed was the CCPA blueprint and a plan for a Guaranteed Annual Income and they could have created an alternative budget to build an election campaign around.

Instead they went for misleading sound bites accusing the government of giving big business tax breaks that did not occur.

They even quote Lenin to make it look like they have a radical alternative, which is so much smoke and mirrors. Of course Jack may now opt for a goatee along with the mustache to show how left he is.

“For every one step forward, Conservatives take two steps back,” says Layton

Obviously Brad Lavigne is still the caucus brain trust behind this dogs breakfast. Perhaps they should have sent Brad off for a much needed spring break and come up with their own Alternative Budget. Then they would have had some credibility in opposing this budget that is all things to all people.


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