Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kinsella On Board?

"It doesn't look like a total disaster."

About as close as a thumbs up as we're likely to get from Canada's 2nd grumpiest blogger (this guy being number one). I am reminded of Lou Grant's famous "It doesn't stink." from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Considering the source, high praise indeed.


Sean Cummings said...

I think it's the wrong time for the plan, so I don't endorse it. (Not that my endorsement means anything more than a chicken shift sandwich in the grand scheme of things...)

What I am endorsing is that we finally know what Dion stands for, even if he was diametrically opposed to a carbon tax two years ago. What we don't know is what the Tories stand for and being the fair minded guy that I am and most voters are, we aren't terribly pleased as punch with political parties who condemn their opponents principled stand when they don't even know what they stand for. It's that whole "throwing rocks at glass houses thing..."

If Dion pulls this off, aside from being a huge personal victory, it will be a kick in the nuts to the political establishment that seems to think it knows what Canadians want better than we do ourselves.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I commented over at WK's last week and predicted that Warren would eventually embrace the tax shift. Why? Because he's still a Liberal and he'll support Dion in the next election. It didn't take too long for my prediction to come true. Hey, it was so-o-o predictable.

I'm more surprised at TGV's equivocation. Yes, like WK and Dion, TGV was diametrically opposed to a carbon tax. Now that they've taken the time to take a good, hard look at the tax shift idea, Dion came around and Kinsella is showing signs of doing so, too.

Fear of the unknown and fear of anything that smacks of a "new tax" is commonplace and understandable. Now that the idea is being explained and the public is being made aware of the fact that this tax shift will actually be a bottom line net gain for the lowest income groups and have virtually zero financial effect on middle income earners, the fear is dissipating.

I look forward to the Grumpy feller coming around. TGV's got tremendous energy end enthusiasm. When he starts to use that energy to support what he was so opposed to, it'll speak volumes.

When smart people study solutions and change their minds based on a deeper understanding, they are to be commended.

A few years ago, when proportional representation was starting to get some press, my initial reaction was that it wouldn't, couldn't work in Canada. I even blogged against it. Over a period of months, I was encouraged to study the variations of PR and to see the net benefits. I changed my mind. Call it a flip-flop or a change of position based on a deeper understanding.


Anonymous said...

Okay . . . spin this.

"1. A carbon tax is almost always implemented as a direct tax on fossil fuels. Given the current price of these fuels, however, it is difficult to argue that a further price signal will dampen consumption or shift demand.

2. A carbon tax is a flat tax -- it costs each polluter a fixed amount per tonne of emissions. Such a tax will not inflate with a bull market or recede in times of difficulty. In the energy market, in particular, soaring prices make anything but a prohibitively high tax a mere nuisance for large producers.

3. Finally, and most significantly, valuing reductions in emissions equally across all sectors and industries eliminates the potential benefits to be had by maximizing reductions where the cost is lowest."

Building a Sustainable Future for Canada: Stephane Dion's Energy and Climate Change Plan

Unknown said...

Hooey, JimBobby. Kinsella might be pulling his talons a ways out of Dion's professorial flesh, but where do see him "embracing" a carbon tax?

Rather: "Sifting through the entrails leaked out to the media, was I wrong to oppose a carbon tax right now? No way. I'm for punishing polluters, not consumers. Cap-and-trade; not this."

MERBOY said...

Kinsella said...

"Sifting through the entrails leaked out to the media, was I wrong to oppose a carbon tax right now? No way. I'm for punishing polluters, not consumers. Cap-and-trade; not this."

What part of Cap-and-trade prevents a company from shifting the cost onto consumers? That's what companies do... when ANY part of their product increases in price.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Consumers are polluters, too. It's not just big, bad industry that pollutes. It's everyday Canadians in their honkin' big SUV's, with their 3,500 sq.ft. homes being overheated, over-air conditioned and under insulated.

I think what Kinsella is more worried about is voters. If voters want to deny that they are also polluters, they can vote NDP. The NDP seems to think all the blame and all the responsibility should be borne by big industry and that big industry will not pass along those added costs to the consumer. Nobody buys that BS.

Fred wants to know how to spin Dion's previous anti-carbon tax stance with his current proposal of a carbon tax. That's easy. He's educated himself and come around to a way of thinking that has been proposed by a great many economists, CEO's, business leaders and environmentalists.

When someone abandons old, erroneous thinking for new, bold, innovative thinking, they prove they have an open mind and a pragmatic approach that puts real solutions over entrenched ideology.

Dion's previous rejection of a carbon tax only proves that he is capable of changing his mind when he sees a better solution and sees that his arguments were not entirely correct. That type of maturity and flexibility is what we need in a situation where minority governments will probably be the norm as long as there is a BQ presence.

No, WK hasn't exactly embraced a carbon tax. He's softened his position considerably. A couiple weeks ago, it was "political suicide", i.e a total disaster. Now, it doesn't look like that to Warren. Like Dion's done, he's starting look at it a bit more thoroughly and now that there are some details, it's not the suicidal move the ass-kicker thought it was.

I'll still be voting Green. I'd rather see a $40 billion tax cut paid for by $40 billion in carbon taxes. Tailpipe emissions make up a significant portion of both conventional pollution and GHG's. Exempting gasoline is simply a pandering move that fails to place responsibility on the consumer/polluter/voter. That said, the Green Party plan calls for 75% of the new tax revenue to come from big business and industry.