Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Iggy Dumps Carbon Tax

This doesn't surprise me. While considered the most efficient means of tackling the AGW by economists, the last election proved it (at least in the flawed version offered by Dion) too damn easy to demagogue. And after that miserable experience, the idea is going to be dead in the Canadian federal context for awhile now.

Expect a version of a C&T system to appear in Iggy's policy manual sometime soon. Iggy:

'We want to do the right thing environmentally but this isn't working for us, think again'," he said.

"And I'm saying to you, we need to think again. You can't lead this country unless you listen, and we're listening."

You know he's been humping this line for several months now. Can we move past the thinking and listening stage to floating an idea or two?


The Mound of Sound said...

This may rival Iggy's self-serving pandering on Gaza as the most boneheaded, unprincipled thing he's done. He claims to be a leader. It's the prime function of a leader to create public support for tough policies. Instead and yet again, he folds his hand to take the easy way out.

Jay said...

I have been open to Micheal Ignatieff but I have to say I am not encouraged by what I have seen thus far. So far I see a slightly watered down Harper. I hope things change because frankly I am starting to find it hard to vote for him from what I have seen. I won't be voting liberal just for the sake of voting liberal. I want some return to the Canada we had not a slower paced version of Harper's Canada.

Now I am waiting to hear from something quite strange, Iggy heads who are as vicious as the harperite comment patrol.

Also not to keen on the hush that seems to have been blanketing liblogs of late since Cherniaks edict on Israel.

Steve V said...

Given what happened in the last election, a carbon tax negatively seared in the minds of Canadians, it's best that the Liberals distance themselves from the policy. I still say it's the best option for the environment, but Dion's inability to sell it, the rejection, means only a fool goes for another round. A shame, but a necessity at this point.

Jay said...

Good point Steve.

But I didn't think being leader was supposed to be about tossing aside things for the sake of ease.

A real leader can sell anything. Look what Harper has gotten Canadians to blindly accept.

Yet Iggy doesn't want his job to be hard.

Good thing Trudeau didn't act the same way. He did a lot of hard things and succeeded. Maybe Michael isn't the answer liberals were looking for.

bigcitylib said...


Look at what Harper has tossed under the bus because nobody outside of his base would accept it.

The point is, C&T does exactly the same thing as a Carbon Tax (just not as cleanly), so as long as this doesn't become an excuse for no policy I'm okay with it. It WILL make it more difficult to distinguish Harper from Iggy on the issue, because suddenly we're talking about details. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not.

ch said...

All the indications are that Obama understands the urgency to act on climate change. He has appointed people who understand and I am sure they understand that a carbon tax is the simplest and most efficient means to price carbon. The Congressional Budget Office has been extremely clear on this. However, Obama didn't campaign on a carbon tax and it seems unlikely he will implement one.

If Obama does go for a carbon tax, then I think the Liberals should be able to sell it in Canada. If he doesn't (which seems to be the most likely case) I don't think it will sell in Canada.

The other parties will say that they will hook into Obama's plan, for a North American plan, which will solve the problem and people won't see the cost to them. In that situation, I think the Liberals will lose for sure if they try to sell a carbon tax which we know will be outright attacked by both the Conservatives and the NDP.

Steve V said...


Look at the laundry list of things Harper has abandoned to make his brand more palatable.

The carbon tax may make a return, particularly if the Americans start to buy in, but given that cap and trade is the preferred method to date, that seems unlikely.

Unfortunately, you can't rewrite history. The carbon tax concept was mangled badly, Canadians never understood it and completely bought into the attack lines. To go into the next election, with even worse economic conditions, and try to re-sell this plan, plays right into Harper's hands. All you need ask yourself- would the Conservatives like to see the Liberals run on a carbon tax again? The answer tells us Ignatieff is wise to put it on the shelf for now.

Gerry said...

A good leader knows when to choose his moment. Ignatieff is right. This is not the time for a carbon tax. Dion made sure of that with his half-baked introduction of a policy that was sound in principle but poorly explained. Canadians are more concerned about the economy now. It would be foolish to propose it again under current circumstances. Good politicians know how to balance their principles with pragmatism.

Ti-Guy said...

If Canadians had a problem understanding a carbon tax, I can't wait to see how dumb they'll be struck over cap and trade.

Raging Ranter said...

How about just an energy tax? Just a straight up tax on energy consumed - carbon intensive or not. What does it matter if the electricity I use comes from wind power? Once I use it, you can't use it. Such is the nature of energy. And if you can't use it, you'll be forced to use more carbon-intensive sources. So taxing energy in all its forms is really the only thing that will spur conservation. But that won't sell, so forget it. (No, I haven't converted to the carbon cause - I don't give a rat's ass about carbon itself. I just think we should be wasting less energy and polluting less. Taxing energy - with a corresponding cut in income taxes - is the best way to ameliorate that waste.)

Ti-Guy said...

You've been making a lot of sense lately, Ranty. Dare I speculate that you've finally gotten laid?

Raging Ranter said...

Laid? That would be like.... sinning wouldn't it?

Ti-Guy said...

As a Catholic, I am duty-bound to tell you that yes, it would be sinning.

For us, breathing is a sin, so take that for what it's worth.