Now, isn't it about time he got back to the business of offering an effective opposition and an alternative to PMS?
Iggy still strongly supports corporate welfare for the tar sands; says he sticks by Ontario and BC introducing the HST which kicked in yesterday (along with a simultaneous 2 percent hike of the tax in Nova Scotia) although he also wants to "mitigate" the impact on lower income Canadians, and says that while he wants to engage Mainland China on human rights abuses also doesn't want to antagonize Beijing.
I'll go through the list with my responses:
- With the crap all four of Betty Windsor's kids have put her through, it's impressive she manages to have a sense of humour after all these years. Then again, several of her Prime Ministers in the UK have managed to piss her off as well (a matter of discrete yet still public record) -- not to mention the opposition leaders there. Forget the jokers we have in Ottawa, the GG is pissed off with them enough.
- If he wants the "Green Vote" he has to take a strong stance with Big Oil: Either the sands have to be shut down and Big Oil forced to replant several trees for every one they cut down to mine a non-renewable natural resource ... or they lose corporate welfare and have to assume one hundred percent of clean-up costs. He also has to impress on Alberta the need for a more realistic royalty rate for extraction and the need to save up the money for a rainy day and not to fund pork-barrel projects.
- The HST is a reality, and it can't be undone. And it won't be, no matter what any politican says, or any petitions, or any "recall" campaigns. Here in Ontario, we're having to grin and bear it ... at least there's a weak promise to further reduce provincial income taxes if business cost reductions aren't passed on to the consumer, but it's just hot air for now. And frankly, the anti-HST war in BC has a very unwelcome ally in Bill "Fantastic" Vander Zalm -- whose social conservatism makes PMS look like a socialist. Vander Zalm has no credibility after Fantasy Gardens, despite his being acquitted (even he admitted he could be accused of "stupidity" -- his word), or his doing PSAs for BC's auto insurance monopoly. If Iggy wants to keep the combined tax he needs to offer realistic solutions on how to reduce the income tax burden on Canadians (particularly lower and middle income Canadians) while maintaining or increasing revenues. And he needs to do so well before Harper calls an election so that the latter has no chance to get the upper hand.
- Beijing has antagonized the West enough. It hacks into electric grids and shuts down entire cities in the democratic world. It has an intelligence and corporate spy network that makes the FSB / KGB look like Keystone Kops. And while Canada certainly does have a lot to answer for on the human rights file, it pales in comparison to Mainland China who are the masters of rights abuses. If they don't want to comply with internationally accepted norms, then we need to start re-linking trade to progress in reforms. Iggy needs to draw the line somewhere. Why not on this?
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