September 17, 2008

Carbon taxes originally a Conservative idea

Canada is in the midst of a new federal election and the biggest thing on the agenda is a proposed new carbon tax and income tax cut the Liberal Party is pushing for.

But here's the rub: Its not originally a Liberal idea. Its a Conservative one. Stephen Harper's Conservative Party commissioned a Conservative think tank to make a study into what ways the government could cut carbon emissions in Canada and NOT harm the economy. They spent several million dollars on the study and the conclusion was: Tax carbon omissions and there will be no detrimental effect to the Canadian economy.

But the oil industry in Alberta didn't like the report's conclusions, so they have since pressured Stephen Harper to ignore the findings and to simply do nothing about greenhouse gases.

However the Liberal Party saw the report and said "Hey, tax carbon omissions... not a bad idea. Why aren't we doing this?" And it has since become party policy and no doubt will some day pass in parliament.

So if carbon taxes was originally a Conservative idea, why not just run with it? Well the answer is simple. The Alberta oil industry is funding the new Conservative Party and they're not about to bite the hand that feeds them.

The NDP, the Green Party and the BLOC also support the carbon tax. Indeed according to a poll conducted last march 72% of Canadians support taxing greenhouse gases.

Heck, if we held a Referendum on the topic of carbon taxes (and lowering income taxes simultaneously), its pretty much guaranteed to pass.

Lets pretend for a moment that the Conservatives win a minority government, which could happen. The opposition parties could join together and vote in a referendum on the topic and then let Canadians decide what they want.

At which point Stephen Harper would be wise to flip-flop on this issue again and suddenly remember "Oh yeah, carbon taxes was originally our idea!" just so he can get the credit for it.

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