Monday, May 26, 2008

Elizabeth May to Jack Layton: "Leave Stephane Alone!!!"

"And how fucking dare anyone not jump on board with Dion after all he didn't do to curb climate change?"

Elizabeth May continued to fill the roll of unofficial deputy leader of the Liberal party yesterday on CTV's Question Period when she went after Jack Layton for his opposition to Stephane Dion's carbon tax.

"We need to act on the climate crisis, and a carbon tax is a litmus test of whether a party is serious about it or not," May -- allegedly the leader of the Green Party but looking increasingly more and more like a Dion lackey -- insisted.

She also insisted that Layton's opposition "is not part of the global social democratic approach."

Fair enough. Supporting politicians who do nothing at all about climate change when given the opportunity and charged with the responsibility is probably "not part of the global social democratic approach", either.

(Certainly, Al Gore didn't do anything to curb global warming. But unlike Stephane Dion, he never really had a mandate to.)

But there are countless other reasons why May's comments are a sad statement on the current state of the Green Party of Canada. Other than Elizabeth May going on national television and simply emulating Chris Crocker.

For example, how about a little consistency in cross-referencing the issue? Consider the following: the CTV story tells us that the Liberals have apparently decided to make the carbon tax "revenue neutral" by cutting income tax and applying the rest of that tax in the form of carbon tax.

Which actually doesn't seem like the worst idea at base level: taxpayers would have an incentive to reduce their carbon consumption, and many conservative-minded Canadians would get the tax cuts they perpetually yearn for.

Yet blogger Douglas Neil was among those who criticized the current government for its tax cuts, as did Stephane Dion who, as we recall, threatened to topple the government over a tax-cutting mini-budget, and has harped day and night about lost tax revenue and forecasted a federal budgetary deficit.

Yet if a carbon tax proved to be a successful incentive for Canadians to reduce their carbon consumption, the government would be out that amount of revenue. Certainly, Dion could devise some sort of a "gotcha, sucka" claw back to reclaim such revenue as income tax, but that would be rather disingenuous considering that tax savings are supposed to be a reward for reducing carbon consumption.

At the end of the day, what turns out to be the principle difference between Stephen Harper's tax cuts and Stephane Dion's carbon tax on federal coffers? Not a whole lot.

Jack Layton -- who also opposed the tax cuts -- seems wise enough to recognize that, and wise enough to not make a hypocrite out of himself by jumping behind an initiative that would reduce the revenue available to fund the social programs that the NDP has always unflappably supported, and the Liberals have long pretended to.

At least Layton's "cap and trade" system would actually produce revenue for the government to invest in carbon-reducing initiatives -- although May and her compatriots will almost certainly turn on "cap and trade" policies John McCain (a Republican) is proposing one.

Yet, in the face of the carbon tax's inconsistency with their own previous stances, Elizabeth May really has little to say other than criticizing Jack Layton for not jumping in line behind her as a Stephane Dion lacky.

All Dion wants to do is hurt the Liberal party, she insists. "He's a human!!!"

In fact, Elizabeth May probably considers us all rather unfortunate that Dion even continues to come up with ideas for us bastards.

Jack Layton had better leave Stephane Dion alone. Elizabeth May means it.

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