Saturday, October 4, 2008

Substance Please

Is it too much to ask that in the homestretch of this election we start hearing more who would actually make the best Prime Minister for this country? Watching the aftermath debate coverage yesterday it seemed instead the focus was on whether Harper "survived" despite the fact that he laid out no plan for the country (even as advance polls were opening yesterday) and who got the best "quips" in. Essentially the message is that substance shouldn't matter. Yet it was obvious that St├ęphane Dion who laid out the most detailed and practical plans for moving this country forward. Harper could not defend his record and has no plan and Layton's plans would be disastrous. Raising taxes on employer's at the worst possible time and abandoning our allies and the Afghan people with hardly any notice would demolish our economy and standing on the world stage. And his nice little "quip" did nothing but try to provide a free pass to Harper's disregard for our democratic institutions. Not to mention Layton's claims that he could more effectively oppose Harper are a joke as he has nothing to show for his "opposition" and even NDP Strategist Gerald Caplan admits that no matter how many seats the NDP gains in this election they would completely cower from opposing the government in any fashion in the next Parliament because they'll have no money to wage another campaign.

If this NANOS poll is correct though Canadians do want to hear more, not less, substance from the party leaders. St├ęphane Dion's leadership numbers and his party's standing soared the night after the debate, while Harper and Layton's did not. Instead though the media focus was on a shoddy poll that was taken as if the second hour of the debate never happened (at least there was one columnist who called them out for it). I know it's hard for the media to break a narrative they have been running with all election, but with 1.5 weeks left I hope we can hear more about who has the best ideas (is there a single economist or environmentalist endorsing the NDP or Conservative policies?) rather than who had the best sound bite for the day. The race is far from over. The stakes are high in this election and this country's economy is in serious trouble so Canadians deserve no less.


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2 comments:

wilson said...

Substance, Dion will tackle the economic crisis by acting on Conservative policy
and by making alterations to the Liberal platform, released less than 2 weeks ago !!! Wow.

I know you will not publish this comment, the 'substance' in this campaign is being poached from PMSH.

Dion pledges to act 'right away' on Tories' $33B infrastructure plan
October 04, 2008

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=ae4ca32e-20d1-4fec-94b7-f8c6bd755bd8
...
Mr. Dion indicated a Liberal government response to what he called the "economic crisis" would require adjustments to the party's $55-billion electoral platform. ...

Danielle Takacs said...

Wilson: Let's just quote a little more of the article here:

"He said some spending plans -- such as tackling aging infrastructure -- would be sped up and some unspecified spending slowed down. By the end of four years, Mr. Dion said, "the investments we are planning will be done."

Which is EXACTLY what he said the day he released his platform. That depending on the economic realities of when he takes government (e.g., the Conservatives very well might be hiding a deficit) some spending promises may be slowed or sped up while ensuring that under no circumstances would a Liberal government put us in deficit. If you are going to say "well he should spell out what he will slow down" recall that in 2006 Harper pledged to find $20 billion in efficiencies to cut from government spending and never spelled that out before e-day so let's not have a double standard here, Dion needs to actually see the books before making some decisions, as would any Prime Minister. At least he has a plan to get our economy rolling again (which goes beyond infrastructure commitments that are already booked). Beats Harper's "don't worry be happy" attitude while forecasts of Canadian recessions are becoming ever more frequent.

So you really believe Harper is the one with substance? Where's his platform? Aren't the advance polls already open? What's his excuse?

Isn't he the one "panicking" by cobbling together a platform with only 7 days left in the campaign?

Where are the environmental regulations he promised? How much will they cost Canadians?

I expect no replies to these questions.