Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tory Election Platform, Part II

The Prime Minister announced that his government will be introducing changes to the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act as part of its fall legislative agenda. Currently the Act allows the Canadian Government to regulate all shipping in zones up to 100 nautical miles from the nearest Canadian land in order to guard against pollution of the region’s marine and coastal environments. Under the proposed new law, this jurisdiction will be extended to 200 nautical miles.

Of course, as Kelly McParland points out, no fall sitting, no legislative agenda but perhaps a campaign issue to run on. A bit of a snorer, though. If Harper's going to go on this and Senate Reform, maybe just wake me in November.

Update: Scott points out that Harper has cancelled the very ships Canada would need to enforce the new limit.


Joseph said...

I rarely feel this confident, but I'm almost ready to scream "Mark my words"

Harper will run on the economy, announcing an economic stimulus plan (i.e. box of goodies) to put up against their green shift attacks.

Sure, it will exacerbate the deficits we're heading towards, but it will allow him to hand out more candy since the costs won't be born out until after the election.

That's my prediction.

I think the senate reform and the arctic and crime will be secondary.

He has already hinted in his ducking and weaving this week that "we need clarity in the parliament during a time of economic uncertainty" (not an exact quote but pretty darn close).

I just hope the liberals are prepared to respond or offer their own plans, while hammering the conservatives. They would be making a mistake if they misjudged this. For one, they should be ready to nail Flaherty and the government for every quote that knocked Ontario in the past year.

I strongly believe despite everything else in the news that Harper wants to go now because he knows the economy is sliding fast. He wants to lock in an election now while they can still claim good stewardship and milk the anxieties, but before things head further south.

Joseph said...

I should have said "to put up along with their green shift attacks."

Gayle said...

"For one, they should be ready to nail Flaherty and the government for every quote that knocked Ontario in the past year."

I cannot imagine a situation where they would not do this. The LPC have also been making noise on the economy - and you are quite right, while the economy is traditionally a strong point for conservatives, the reality that is coming may make that Harper's weakest spot if he were to hold off the election.

Joseph said...

I guess my concern is that the conservatives will launch some "plan" right at the beginning and try to drive the whole election on that plan "vs" green shift.

I just think Liberals should be prepared to quickly launch their own economic plans as well so they don't end up responding the entire campaign.

The conservatives are counting on being able to run vs the green shift from an economic perspective. I expect they built the plan with that in mind.

So I hope the Liberals have a full plan to announce to flesh out what is already known and to respond directly to voter's growing anxieties on the economy.

Gayle said...

I see what you are saying Joseph. I just like to feel confident that the liberals will have thought of that. I believe Dion mentioned the Green Shift is part of a larger economic plan.

bigcitylib said...


You may be right, but I find it hard to believe they would go from saying there's no fiscal room for tax cuts etc. to offering a whack of dough.

Also, I think running a deficit is, after the 1990s, a huge no no, so even the hint of one won't fly.

Didn't the Tories just have some kind of policy wing-ding. What did they come up with there?

Reality Bites said...

I hope the Liberals are borrowing talent from the Ontario Liberals... the only Liberals who've managed to win a majority in recent memory.

Joseph said...

You are probably right, Gayle. I just want to make sure they're prepared to knock that aspect up a notch.

It needs to be clear how green shift is an economic plan and not just an environmental plan. And I would go as far as to say more flesh around other economic / budget plans as well.

I am somewhat confident . . . my fear stems around the number of posts and comments that seem to think the conservatives are going to run on other things when it is clear to me they are going to run on the economy, and more specifically economic fears.

This ain't going to be about senate reform ; ). It would be unwise to believe that.

I agree with you, BCL, on the deficit issue. But I think the conservatives want to go NOW because they can still claim that their plans won't result in deficit spending. My point is the liberals will need to challenge that assertion specifically and repeatedly, and be prepared to do it from a position of strength. I wouldn't want to see them stuck in defense mode on green shift.

It just concerns me when I get the sense that everyone acts like it isn't a concern.

Voters respond to economic fears. I think the Liberals are in a good position to argue their stewardship is better than conservatives, but right now polls show the conservatives trusted much more on the economy and the economy rapidly becoming the number one issue on voter's minds. So I think it is unwise to think the conservatives won't try to milk that as far as they can or that it will be "easy" to fight them on that turf.

The sense of complacency concerns me, not the ability of Liberals to counter it if they are prepared to do so.