26 June 2008

Shots at Dion fall close to Campbell

Following up on my earlier post today, here's further comment on a carbon tax. This time it's about the inconsistent reaction by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the plan proposed by Stephane Dion and the one now being implemented by Gordon Campbell in BC.
You have to wonder how long Premier Gordon Campbell is going to sit quietly while Stephen Harper rails on about how stupid his pet idea is.

Probably quite a while, is my guess. Federal-provincial relations are huge rats' nests of conflicting interests. And Campbell has to sustain a certain number of bites if he wants to see the federal lolly continue to arrive.

But it still must be galling for Campbell to watch Harper spew such venom at the carbon tax concept.

Particularly when the prime minister's tune has changed so dramatically in the past few months. He had no problems at all with the carbon tax when he was in B.C. a few weeks after it was introduced.

But when federal Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion announced a milder national version of the same thing last week, Harper almost started foaming at the mouth. Now the Conservatives are going to attempt to win the next federal election by eviscerating Dion over the tax.

Dion's proposal is much like the plan Campbell introduced in February. So far Harper has called the idea "crazy," "intellectually bankrupt" and "nonsense."

He's equated it to the reviled national energy program from the early 1980s, "in the sense that the program was designed to screw the West and really damage the energy sector -- and this will do those things. This is different in that this will actually screw everybody across the country."

Harper stomped all over the federal Liberals. "They're so bankrupt intellectually that the only policy idea they can come up with is to impose a new tax on energy prices at a time when energy prices are a national and global problem? Mr. Dion's policies are crazy. This is crazy economics. It's crazy environmental policy."

...But when Harper was in B.C. just weeks after Campbell's carbon tax was introduced, did he have any thoughts about how "foolish, unnecessary, crazy and intellectually bankrupt" it was? Did he express any thoughts about how Campbell was out to "screw everybody"?

Of course not...

The article's worth reading in full.

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