Red Star “In the Dark” About Green Shift

Promoting the Green Shift plan has been a “tough sell” according to Rob Ferguson writing in this morning’s Toronto Star about a Dion campaign swing through the riding of Don Valley West. Although he’s been selling the plan for weeks, most voters “were in the dark about it,” Ferguson reports.

”I haven’t really seen much about that,” men’s clothier Paul Carreira said after a quick chat with Dion, mainstreeting for the Sept. 22 by-election in Don Valley West.

Popping into stores and coffee shops to shake hands, Dion said his mission was to “just say hello” and not pitch the pollution-fighting plan to boost taxes on carbon-based fuels like gasoline while lowering income taxes.

Seems it’s not just voters who are in the dark, so is Ferguson. In fact, the tax will not apply to gasoline, since the existing excise tax on gasoline at the pump is already the equivalent of $42 per tonne of carbon.

12 Replies to “Red Star “In the Dark” About Green Shift”

  1. In the meantime, the Liberals are facing a lawsuit from a company called Green Shift Inc. that objects to Dion calling his environmental plan a “green shift” of taxes from income to carbon-based fuels.

    “It is causing confusion and damaging our company’s reputation,” company spokesperson Jennifer Wright said in a statement.

    Isn’t the 15 minutes up on that media whore yet?

  2. It’s just par the course that the media spends more time reporting that the electorate is in the dark about particular issues than it does explaining those issues. No wonder people don’t feel like paying for their products or services anymore.

  3. Considering that the tax on gas was one of the most egregiously misleading (i.e., outright falsehoods) in the Conservatives’ “tax on everything” ad campaign, you’d think this Ferguson fellow would have at least been aware of that much. Sheesh! Why should we listen to anything else he has to say if he can’t even get that simple fact straight. Our so-called “liberal” media in action.

  4. Good point Ty-guy.

    I cannot remember the last time I purchased print news and I generally ignore news broadcasts.

    I now get my news from their on-line sites, provided they do not charge me additional fees to get to the stories.

    I have never had any problems paying good money for a product or service, provided I believed I was getting value for my money. That belief disappeared a long time ago regarding the so called main stream media.

  5. The Green Shift is gonna be tricky. I like the bold gesture – shows guts and long-term thinking. Selling the bugger is a different story altogether.

    Do we think it’ll be a winner for the Grits?


  6. Personally, I doubt it, but there’s a school of thought that says doing something on the environment can be a winning proposition. I’m skeptical about that given the economic conditions at the moment. I suppose a lot of it rests on how confident people are in its purported “revenue neutrality” — something that doesn’t have a good track record of being the case when it comes to taxes. I would really like to see some detailed impact analysis from an objective source on this.

  7. I think you’re in the right ballpark. Economic conditions, depending on severity, could push environmentalism down the list pretty far.

    I don’t remember where I saw it, but somebody recently did a pretty good write up on the revenue neutrality of the GST. Might have been Coyne. The data this person provided indicated that the GST was indeed revenue neutral, though it’s always easy to rail against such a proposition. Tough politics, to be sure.

    I find myself pretty frustrated on the environment bit. I don’t buy the enviromania that’s turned itself into a religion amongst some on the left. But I also take issue with how many rightists are pretty cavalier about the whole thing.

    Environmental conservation should be a central value to any conservative, for reasons far deeper than opinion polling and political fads. For many true conservatives, a disposition to conserve and protect the vitality and diversity of the environment is drawn from the well of our religious values. Even in the absence of a religious conviction, it’s just good sense.

    I suppose the politicisation of the environment is better than its marginalisation as an issue of importance. But it’s still sucky and hardly scratches the surface of what the environment ought to mean to us and why it ought to be protected from abuse.


  8. The “Green Shift” was something. Dion had to define himself and the Liberal Party, otherwise they were simply the guys that said nasty things about the government, but then ran away and hid.

    At least Dion stopped the bleeding; and the rise up the sissy wimp index.

    The Green Shift, or some such similar tax, will get adopted 5 or 8 years from now and then we will all look back and go “Ahhhh! we had Robert Stanfield and didn’t vote for him”.

    But whatever. Dion salvaged the summer with “the Green Shift”. Harper should have destroyed it by now, but hasn’t. That says something.

  9. That’s a good point. I suppose the upside of people being “in the dark” as the reporter said is that it’s still a relatively unknown commodity. It just confirms that most people haven’t really been following things over the summer despite all of the negative ads (which are still running on the radio) slamming the “tax on everything.” The one I heard the other night said that “Stéphane Dion just doesn’t understand British Columbia.” Whatever.

  10. The oil splotch was the best. The Tories gotta give the oil splotch guy a raise.

    Dion has kept himself in the media spotlight throughout the summer since he has something concrete to discuss and the media has something to write about.

  11. Really. I thought their oily spokesblob was kind of juvenile and annoying. Kind of a perfect symbol for the Conservatives though. Dirty, slimy… highly combustible, fossil-based, etc.

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