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More of this, please

Despite the predictable whining and pronouncements about how you can’t trust Liberals with promises from the Conservative and NDP crowd, the “30/50” goal announcement by Dion on reducing poverty rates yesterday (a target to reduce the number living below the poverty line by 30% over 5 years, and cutting child poverty by 50% over that time frame) is exactly what many of the Liberal netroots/grassroots have been asking the Liberal leadership to put out there, rather then keep talking about the vague “3 pillars” pronouncements we’ve had since last December, and you can see the approval across the Liberal blogosphere at the unveiling of this announcement.

We can now point to the Liberals “social pillar” and have something tangible to point to that Dion and the Liberals would do if elected to government, rather then vague ideas.

We’ve already got the “Carbon Budget” proposal that Dion unveiled a few months ago as something definitive to point to about what the liberals would do about the environment, and specifically to meet Kyoto targets. I believe the one way to get the public perception of Dion and the Liberals turned around is to keep unveiling Liberal priorities to show what the Liberals will offer as alternatives to the Cons. I encourage Dion and the Liberals to continue to do this on a regular basis over the next few months. You don’t have to give everything out if you’re afraid of the Cons. stealing the ideas – just give some substantive policy pronouncements.

14 comments to More of this, please

  • mushroom

    "accompanying cuts to federal government programs of no direct value to Canadian taxpayers."

    Government spending has gone up under Harper than in the previous two Liberal administrations.
    Even departments such as International Development and Heritage have witness budget increases.

    Taxes are now restored to the levels of the Martin government.  Yes, there are tax credits that many Canadians will not use such as kids playing sports, public transit etc.

    How about giving an annual income to stay at home moms?  That should help the Cons win the next election or do we have to wait for a Harper majority as it is part of their hidden agenda?
      

  • Observant

    Stop blubbering about the "poor" and the "children", because the poor and the children don’t vote.  Only the threatened middle class and their families vote, along with seniors.  If you think they feel altruistic towards the poor and the children of the poor, you are deluding yourself.

    I for one reject this guilt trip scam many of you are trying to impose on us, because nowadays it’s everybody looking out for themselves .. as Labour does in Canada.  

    Organized Labour is now being challenged by cheap offshore labour, and there is no stopping the downward pressure on high wage factory jobs as revealed in the latest UAW contract with Chrysler with a two-tier wage scheme.

     What the university educated intelligensia in Canada fears is the loss of cushy federal government jobs after the Conservative government rationalizes out the fat civil service and all those Liberal-financed advocacy groups who’s purpose is to keep Canadians on a perpetual guilt trip over some perceived inequity in our society.

    Enough is enough .. because Canadians feel overtaxed and not receiving value for their tax money in the hands of the grossly obese federal civil service.  Harper intends to change that with tax cuts and accompanying cuts to federal government programs of no direct value to Canadian taxpayers.

  • "Harper is giving each family $100 per child regardless of how rich that family may be. This means millionaires are receiving our tax money for child care, while we still have children living in poverty in this country. Someone please tell me how that is acceptable."

    It isn’t.  Neither is promising a childcare plan for more than decade while claiming the cupboard was too bare to provide it, while simultaneously shoveling out huge tax breaks to big business and those same millionaires you mention.

  • Gayle

    "The ‘you can’t trust Liberals with promises’ accusation wouldn’t have legs if it wasn’t so demonstrably true. "

    Here is your problem – no one thinks the conservatives are going to do anything to help the poor. They keep trying to sell people on the GST cut as being one that helps the poor, and no one is buying it. If that is the best they can do, and it appears that it is, then it is no wonder all they have left is to argue the liberals cannot be trusted to do anything.

    It is these types of policies that will serve to distinguish the liberals from the conservatives in a real way – and in a way the liberals want to be seen rather than in the way the conservatives are trying to paint them.

    One example of a big contrast is the child care issue, which also touches on the child poverty issue. Harper is giving each family $100 per child regardless of how rich that family may be. This means millionaires are receiving our tax money for child care, while we still have children living in poverty in this country. Someone please tell me how that is acceptable.

  • rabbit

    I gotta quit using <em>’s in my postings on this site. Just don’t learn.

  • rabbit

    Mushroom:

        <em>To do this will require the Grits to be in power. </em>

    The grits were in power for 13 years and did NOT do this. Why should I believe they will now? Why is the development of sound metrics for poverty not in Dion’s platform right now?

  • The ‘you can’t trust Liberals with promises’ accusation wouldn’t have legs if it wasn’t so demonstrably true.  This is the same Dion competing with Harper for the title of who would give away more of the store to the wealthy and the big corporations.  After years of claiming the cupboard was too bare to keep any progressive promises while consistently hiding record surpluses and handing out huge tax cut goodies to big business, vague promises now to finally address poverty are worse than worthless.

    Sandbagging Labour’s ability to fight for itself while promising to drop more scraps from the big table is just an insult.

  • Observant

    Dion still represents the failed Chretien-Martin era, and thus has zero credibility as he tries to resurrect old Liberal promises.  Now if Ignatieff was the new Liberal leader and had begun his renewal (read ‘purge’) of the Liberal party, Canadians might listen to his social proposals … but Dion?? Forget it.

  • is exactly what many of the Liberal netroots/grassroots have been asking the Liberal leadership to put out there

    That’s why it’s out there all right.  After all,  what would the Liberals Party be without big progressive promises before an election (take a look at the red book from 1993 some time)? Just another center-right, corporation-loving, tax-cutting, small-c conservative party.  But they love people like you Scott. They really, really do.  And they really mean it this time. They really, really do.  Just give them your vote. You’ll see.

  • mushroom

    "Why can’t we come up with a true measure of poverty? What is the problem here?"

    Rabbit,

    To do this will require the Grits to be in power.  I don’t think Harper will put effort into creating an Office for Social Inclusion within the Department of Social Development.   If you are not partisan, you are welcome to write a letter to Monte Solberg. 

    Raphael,

    If you read my blog posting, Dion will promise to reform the child benefits, EI, and pension programs first.  The rest will depend on promoting "community development" and "social enterprise".  These are generic terms which goes far beyond partisan lines.   

  • Something tangible ‘eh?  Like the specific promises in the 1993 "Red Book" perhaps?

  • Observant

    Wanna bet that the Dion Liberals will ignore their mundane policy proposals and concentrate their attacks on Harper through the Mulroney-Schreiber debacle?

    Dion and his Liberal supporters  will be howling and hopping in the HoC as they try to drag Parliament into their political cesspool.

  • We can now point to the Liberals “social pillar” and have something tangible to point to that Dion and the Liberals would do if elected to government, rather then vague ideas.

    Scott, sometimes you really seem like you’re not even trying. I know you’re unabashedly partisan, but sometimes you need to open those peepers to evaluate a policy at more than just face value. Otherwise the Liberals could tell you they’re going to give Chocolate ice cream to 50% of Canadians, and Vanilla to the other half, and you’d stand there cheering without wondering all this ice cream is coming from.

    First of all, your word "tangible" could not be more inappropriate. In fact, the very definition implies something concrete has been offered, when in reality all Dion has done is said he’s going to introduce a 30/50 goal with absolutely no details whatsoever as to how this will be achieved. None.

    Second, and equally important, this is a non-partisan issue. All parties should be on board with reducing child poverty, so turning it into a championing of the Liberal agenda is really ludicrous. If you ever peeked beyond your own aggregate, you’d find I welcomed the idea strongly from Dion. Of course, I’d welcome Dion’s suggestion that we eliminate all federal income tax as well, but I’d like to see how he’d pull it off.

    At face value, this is a great idea. In practice? Well, much like Kyoto, Dion has a lot of explaining to do. As <a href="http://redtory.blogspot.com/2007/11/shoot-high-aim-low.html">Red Tory</a> points out:

    As worthy as the Liberals’ new “30/50 plan” that aims to reduce poverty levels in Canada by 30 per cent over the next five years may be, it isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit without details.

  • rabbit

    As I mentioned on another blog, the first thing Canada should do is start measuring poverty properly. Statistics Canada has said time and again that LICO (low-income cut-off) is not a measure of poverty, but of wealth distribution. Anybody that uses LICO as a measure of poverty is being  careless about something very important.

    Why can’t we come up with a true measure of poverty? What is the problem here?

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