Thursday, November 08, 2007

Harper Tries to Buy an Election Win

Politicians traditionally use taxpayers' money to buy themselves elections. It's a long standing in practice in politics. But the recent mini-budget announcements by the federal Conservatives is an exercise in cynicism.

The Conservatives sat on an obscenely large surplus and ignored requests for assistance from provincial and municipal governments to announce massive tax cuts. The $60 billion in tax reductions also effectively ties the hands of the opposition parties going into the next election. It will be impossible to commit to any significant new program spending during the campaign with out reversing some of these tax cuts. That is why Liberal leader Stephane Dion has sent out signals that a Liberal government might repeal the GST cut.

Stephen Harper shows little interest in addressing our country's problems. He has been in constant election mode since becoming Prime Minister and focused on winning a majority to carve out a legacy for himself. Meanwhile large cities are drowning in red ink and unable to address our aging infrastructure. Road cave-ins, closed landfill sites, tainted water incidents and the bridge collapse in Minnesota are warning signs that big money is needed to address looming crises. Toronto and Mississauga have been forced to create new taxes to address some of these problems. But with Ottawa controlling 2/3 of every tax dollar, they can't go it alone.

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