As Christina Blizzard notes in her T.O. Sun column this morning, while the latest Stephen Harper budget seems to have laid an egg in Quebec, where it is quite accurately perceived as a blatent attempt to buy votes for Jean Charest's Liberals in next week's election, it will almost certainly have the effect of greasing the skids for a Liberal return to power in Ontario. For one thing, if Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara can't craft an election year balanced-budget this week and still sprinkle goodies over the citizenry, then he is beyond incompetent. It was clear in 2006 that McGuinty's bunch was fiddling the books so it looked like the Province was running a deficit. This year the message will be SHAZAM! we're back in black and election-ready and, by the way Ontarions, here's a wad of program spending.
Note that Harper's attempts to buy Ontario votes have been fairly subtle and low key. At least, there will have been a respectful distance between the handing over of Federal dough and our Provincial election. In Quebec, by contrast, the Tories have acted like a John waving cash before a street-walker: here's the dough, now render me some services. Who would wonder at a backlash? The real question is: does Harper's budget doom Jean Charest rather than secure his victory?
Speaking as a life long Tory I will not be voting Conservative in the next election. The Harper government is now little different from the Libs it replaced. What the Liberals did under the table with adscam, Harper has just institutionalized with his budget - blatant Quebec vote buying. Two key election promises have now been thrown overboard - no new taxes on income trusts and capital gains tax deferral. All the talk about competitiveness and broad-based tax reduction, just talk. This is a pandering budget worthy of Paul Martin at his worse.
Sadly, Harper has fallen into the trap most Conservative governments end up in - they run from the right then govern from the left. In doing so, they inevitably lose the base which is far more than what they might pick up. Just ask Ernie Eaves and Joe Clark.
The question for me now is whether I will sit out the next election or hold my nose and vote Liberal. If it weren't for the single issue, crypto-marxist chosen by the Libs that's where I would vote.
Anon...since your understanding of politics seems almost exclusively impressionistic and emotional, you probably really shouldn't vote at all.
You lost it at decisively at "crypto-marxist."
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