Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dion's Carbon Tax a Job Killer?

The National Post's Don Martin thinks that it could be portrayed that way, and if done successfully, could turn the Liberals "into campaign roadkill". (his words)

Let's just see how well it plays in the upcoming by-election in Guelph, with it's significant auto-sector. The City of Guelph stands to lose hundreds of jobs if Dion's Carbon Tax were ever implemented. With Dion's Carbon Tax, the cost of materials for auto parts goes up, making it harder for Linamar (their largest auto parts manufacurer) to bid on part contracts with the big automakers due to the higher cost of production. As such, more contracts will be won by bidders outside of Canada, resulting in reduced production, and therefore shift reductions, in many of Guelph's auto part plants.

There's a line you won't see in any Liberal ads, I'll bet... "Dion's Green Shift = Shift Layoffs"
But as Liberal candidate Gerald Samson told his leader Wednesday, making environmental policy the front-and-centre message of the campaign will be risky business in hard times.

"They seem to not believe the tax shift is going to benefit them," Mr. Samson told Mr. Dion, a lone voice of caution in an otherwise warm crowd of 100 in Cornwall. "I have a hard time explaining it to them."

That's always been the problem with the $15-billion scheme to put a price on carbon pollution and refund the revenue gains through federal tax breaks. It's not doorstep-friendly for campaigning candidates and a tough swallow to voters accustomed to regular federal fleecings.

Besides, the ominous soundtrack to much of the feedback was that the economy takes precedence over the environment in voter concern and that anything that can be successfully demonized as a job killer will turn the proposing party into campaign roadkill.

The first test of Mr. Dion's carbon tax sales success won't be long in coming.

The three vacant ridings where byelections will be held -- two in Quebec and one in Ontario -- will be a public referendum on a Green Shift plan that both the Liberals and Conservatives seem anxious to make the ballot box issue.

While two of the ridings appear safe from a steal, the Conservatives have a heavyweight carrying their flag in the Liberal stronghold of Guelph. Local councillor Gloria Kovach, a prize catch for the Conservatives as a leading national figure for local politicians, just might have enough clout to overcome the 5,000-vote victory cushion given to the Liberals in 2006.

Of course conventional wisdom suggests that byelections just don't matter. But in this case, the environmental concerns of the electorate will be measured against worries about Canada's economic slide.

Anything less than Liberal retention of their two seats will knock the Official Opposition back into House of Commons whimper mode and delay the general election until 2009.

And that would leave envy as the only green in St├ęphane Dion's leadership.

National Post

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  • At Fri Jul 25, 12:03:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Swift said…

    I think Don should get some reliable sources in Quebec. Saint Lambert, which was a easy Bloc win in the last election is going to be a close race between the Bloc and the Conservatives this tine. In Westmount Ville Marie, Garneau is going to face a stiff challenge from the NDP. All three ridings could be won by a different party. The best chance of a party retaining a riding is the liberals in Westmount and the most likely switch is Guelph. No matter who wins, neither the Liberals or the Bloc are going to be very happy with the big drop in their vote percentages.


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