Monday, September 08, 2008

A new way?

Canada rarely escapes from the long shadow of its southern neighbour. Perhaps to capitalize on the election furor in the States or perhaps to pre-empt it, Harper has called an election. While Jack Layton plans to ride the "winds of change," the rest seem somewhat unprepared: the long series of critiques and jabs seems much more like parliament than a campaign. Dion himself actually seemed confident and composed in his Ottawa rally. There he showed he can be eloquent, despite the harsh accent, and even funny; however, he is an ideas man and needs to rest on his policy. He needs to define himself less by contrasting Harper; yes we know, Harper likes to bend the rules and kowtow to Bush. Yes taxing carbon is good, but there are some problems with tax shifting; regulation banning toxic effluent and requiring storm water filters can go far as well. Lay out with some clarity why the Green Shift will be good for the economy. (I know Harper's shrewd moves: his statement, "It will kill the economy" and the anti-Grit ads hurt, but you were outplayed. It is time to move on.)

Besides your impact on the economy, I worry about your foreign policy; therefore, lay it out clearly. You also have to overcome the fact that another Quebec PM is a scary idea and that half of North America appears to be in a denial cocoon, e.g., Bush wasn't that bad, humans can pollute without restraint, the economy can't fail if we spend more. Also spend more time with the voters. I would like to see a picture of you like this:

What you don't lack is good candidates and having one-third of them female is a worthy accomplishment. In my district Briony Penn is running against Gary Lunn. Hopefully the arrogance of his overconfident breeze into town will be the final step in dethroning him.

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