Monday, September 22, 2008

The Liberal Platform: An Action Plan for the 21st Century

I think Liberals had a lot to be proud of today with the release of the platform. The lack of Conservative response says it all. It's balanced, responsible and takes on the issues our government needs to be tackling TODAY (see here for the costing). Today Canadians have seen just how a Liberal government would compare to a Conservative government.

On Productivity:
- A Liberal government offers Canadians the LOWEST income taxes
- A Liberal government offers the LOWEST corporate taxes
- A Liberal government offers the STRONGEST plan to tackle the infrastructure deficit, help our manufacturing sector, strengthen our post-secondary education system and access for students, and foster greater R&D to bring about the ideas and technologies of the future
- A Liberal government offers the MOST support to families and the ONLY real plan to create child care spaces so parents have more freedom to fulfill their highest potential in the work force
- A Liberal government would recognize the contribution arts and culture make to our economy and support them as they should as opposed to Conservatives who seem to have an ideological loathing of them instead
- A Liberal government would finance its commitments with methods most supported by all major economists: by putting a price on pollution and finding efficiencies as past Liberal governments have done with great success.
- A Liberal government would be the MOST committed to balanced budgets by re-establishing the $3 Billion contingency fund Jim Flaherty did away with. Conservatives are prepared to bring us into deficit, in fact we may already be there. If it turns out Flaherty and Harper are lying about the nation’s finances, Liberals will phase in their promises only based on what’s available, as any prudent government should.

On Social Justice:
- A Liberal government would take on the shame of poverty with realistic goals and a comprehensive plan. You’d be like to ever hear the word poverty mentioned by Stephen Harper once this election.
- A Liberal government would take the health care crisis seriously and actually make progress in decreasing wait times by creating incentives to have more doctors and nurses, while ensuring Canadians needing catastrophic drug coverage aren’t out in the cold
- A Liberal government would fix the backlog in our immigration system and help ensure they succeed, without having to pick favourites and treat them like economic units
- A Liberal government would buid a STRONGER relationship with our Aboriginal Peoples, do more to lift them out of poverty and settle land calims along with holding a First Ministers Conference on Aboriginal issues within 6 months of assuming office and bringing back the Kelowna Accords

On the Environment:
- A Liberal government will cut income and corporate taxes and it shift to pollution as all major economists and environmentalists recommend. The Conservatives plan has been panned by everyone and at the same time Harper is afraid to reveal its real costs.
- A Liberal government would do the most to help Canadians go Green in their homes (through financial support and Green mortgages)
- A Liberal government would do the most to protect our natural resources and natural parks
- A Liberal government would take greater efforts to ensure we have cleaner air, continued fresh water supply and safe food

On the World Stage:
- A Liberal government would stand up for Canadian's rights EVERYWHERE, no exceptions.
- A Liberal government would restore our reputation as a leading voice on human rights
- A Liberal government would restore our place as active middle power in the world so we can make a real difference in major international initiatives again
- A Liberal government would take foreign aid seriously again and strongly ramp up our efforts to be in line with other developed countries.

The Conservatives have no strategy for the years ahead, they don’t understand the economy – they think all the country’s problems can be solved with tax credits and neglect investing in the areas most important to our future productivity – post-secondary education, child care, and research and innovation. Meanwhile while they’ve been moaning about the costs about the Green Shift - the costs of their environmental plan remain hidden until after the election. So now the onus is on Stephen Harper. What’s his plan for the next 4 years? How will he revive the economy? Does he have anything to say about social justice? How will his environmental plan work and how much will it cost Canadians? How will he pay for his platform?

The Liberals have laid out their cards and showed they have a bold, but responsible plan for our country. I imagine Mr. Harper doesn’t have one or is scrambling now to make one up on the fly that at least holds a candle to the Liberal platform. Let Harper try to find a single economist or environmentalist willing to line up behind his plan.

For now though hopefully Canadians see that with a Liberal government Canada would be a world leader in economic productivity, environmental sustainability, protecting human rights, delivering foreign aid, and be a major player again in many of the world’s conflicts. With a Conservative government we would continually fall farther behind on all fronts and lose more and more capital on the world stage with each year. We don’t have to choose that path and I’m hopeful that come October 14th Canadians will choose the party best prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

See here, here, and here for some other Liberal views.

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Ann D said...

I love it, too. I have been blogging about it all day. I think my family thinks I need to get a new interest -- something that doesn't involve sharing political factoids with them. But the platform has so much potential. How can you help but get excited?