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NDP - thread #14

NorthReport
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NorthReport
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Alberta budget backs Mulcair: NDP  Laughing

  Spring report supports notions about so-called Dutch disease

 

The federal New Democratic Party is citing information in Alberta's 2012 budget to support leader Thomas Mulcair's argument that a high dollar caused by booming natural resource exports is hurting Canadian manufacturers.

A section of the provincial government's spring budget, titled Risks to Alberta's Economic Outlook, refers positively to the importance of the oilsands to Alberta's economy. But the report notes the province's manufacturing sector is challenged by the high dollar, which in turn is linked to natural resource exports.

"The Canadian dollar remains elevated, buoyed by high commodity prices. An appreciation of the Canadian dollar could hurt exporters," it states.

In another section the authors noted that "manufacturing companies will continue to be challenged by a strong Canadian dollar and moderate external demand," though it added that "they should benefit from growth in energy and agricultural sectors."

B.C. New Democrat MP Peter Julian, who accompanied Mulcair to Alberta this week, said the statements support Mulcair's notions about the so-called Dutch disease.

The term first was coined by the Economist magazine in the 1970s to describe the problems then experienced by the Netherlands, where offshore gas sales pumped up the currency and hurt manufacturers.

Mulcair has maintained that the Canadian dollar, artificially inflated by oilsands exports by companies that don't pay the full cost of their pollution, have caused the loss of 250,000 manufacturing jobs in recent years.

Many critics have ridiculed Mulcair's argument and suggested he's deliberately dividing Western Canada from the rest of the country to win votes in Ontario and Quebec.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford didn't meet with Mulcair during the NDP leader's visit, suggesting before his arrival that a meeting would be premature.

"Once he's actually seen the oilsands, once he's actually been briefed, then I'm prepared to try to have a constructive conversation with him," she said.

"So we'll see how it goes, but I think he's got some work to do first."

While academic studies on the Dutch disease have resulted in conflicting results, Julian said Mulcair is supported by studies such as those by the Pembina Institute and the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

- from today's Calgary Herald - Google's link does not appear to be working at the present time.

 




Boom Boom
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Alberta Premier Allison Redford wrote:
"So we'll see how it goes, but I think he's got some work to do first." 

Pot, meet kettle.


NorthReport
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Harper's extremely generous benefits for the unemployed

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/harpers-extr...


theleftyinvestor
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So Harper has no qualms about depriving Canadians of EI benefits they paid for already, nor about depriving workers of their bargaining rights, but is happy to hand out well-paid jobs to unemployed Conservatives.

I see the making of a "You had an option, sir" moment in the 2015 election debate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_had_an_option,_sir

Ironically, Turner had planned to attack Mulroney over the patronage machine that the latter had allegedly set up in anticipation of victory. He launched what appeared to be the start of a blistering attack on Mulroney by comparing his patronage machine to that of the old Union Nationale in Quebec. However, Mulroney successfully turned the tables by pointing to the recent raft of Liberal patronage appointments. He apologized for originally making light of them, and demanded that Turner apologize to the country for making "these horrible appointments." Turner replied that he "had no option" except to let the appointments stand. Mulroney famously responded:

You had an option, sir. You could have said, 'I am not going to do it. This is wrong for Canada, and I am not going to ask Canadians to pay the price.' You had an option, sir — to say 'no' — and you chose to say 'yes' to the old attitudes and the old stories of the Liberal Party. That sir, if I may say respectfully, that is not good enough for Canadians.

Turner was visibly shaken by this riposte from Mulroney, and could only repeat, "I had no option." Mulroney called Turner's admission "an avowal of failure" and "a confession of non-leadership." He angrily told Turner, "You had an option, sir. You could have done better."

The exchange led most of the papers the next day, with most of them paraphrasing Mulroney's counterattack as "You had an option, sir — you could have said 'no.'"


NorthReport
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NorthReport
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NorthReport
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Quite sad really, to have a prime minister ignore such scientific evidence. 

Harper, Tory MPs challenge Kent on climate science, letters reveal
http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Harper+Tory+challenge+Kent+climate+science+letters+reveal/6720520/story.html


NorthReport
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Mulcair blames Harper for East-West divisions

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/06/02/pol-mulcair-speech-rall...


NorthReport
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Well that didn't take long - don't mess with rich people's wealth is what Flanagan is really saying, as the rich have no intention of sharing it. Mulcair, Trudeau, another NEP: the threat to Canadian unity

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/mulcair-trudeau-another-nep-th...


Sean in Ottawa
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I am so annoyed with the media having dropped the practice they had many years ago of identifying insiders, party hacks and spokespeople on their articles. So those who are very political remember who all these people are and recognize that most of those attacking the NDP in the media are in fact Conservative party spokespeople being given free advertising. Many others don't know this and think the NDP must being doing something so bad to be condemned all around.

I think all people who have been associated directly with a political party by having been an MP or employee of an MP or the party should be identified in the press. The media used to do this when they had at least some integrity.


mark_alfred
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NorthReport wrote:

Well that didn't take long - don't mess with rich people's wealth is what Flanagan is really saying, as the rich have no intention of sharing it. Mulcair, Trudeau, another NEP: the threat to Canadian unity

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/mulcair-trudeau-another-nep-th...

The article states that the NDP are proposing that "there should be a carbon tax to raise federal revenue".  This is one area where I do feel the NDP have steered in the wrong direction.  Any carbon pricing scheme should be exclusively for green initiatives, which was the NDP's former position, and not for general revenue, which seems to be its current position.  I predict this will become a problem in the future campaign.


janfromthebruce
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I agree with Mark. A carbon tax to raise federal revenue reminds me of the Dion Libs election campaign from the past - I didn't like it at that time and nor did the public. I prefer the money going to green initiatives.


theleftyinvestor
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janfromthebruce wrote:

I agree with Mark. A carbon tax to raise federal revenue reminds me of the Dion Libs election campaign from the past - I didn't like it at that time and nor did the public. I prefer the money going to green initiatives.

Dion's idea was not to raise revenues but to use the money to give tax breaks.

Mulcair could easily use it for federal revenues while still satisfying the green criterion, as long as he channels the money towards everything environmental that was previously cut by Harper. Transit funding, government scientists, environmental enforcement, you name it.


madmax
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The NDP does not support a carbon tax. That is another regressive tax that is normally fronted by Green Party and Liberal Party platforms. They have nothing to do with environment and everything to do with taxation. Carbon Tax is failed policy and failed politics.

Policywonk
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madmax wrote:
The NDP does not support a carbon tax. That is another regressive tax that is normally fronted by Green Party and Liberal Party platforms. They have nothing to do with environment and everything to do with taxation. Carbon Tax is failed policy and failed politics.

The Federal NDP. The BC NDP supports a carbon tax, but directed towards environmental initiatives and addressing inequality. Opposing it in BC was a political failure, particularly because it was BC NDP policy before and after the 2009 election campaign. The Federal NDP might support putting a price on carbon, but through cap-and-trade.


madmax
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The Federal NDP does not support a Carbon Tax.

Perkins
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I think it's a very bad idea for the NDP to support cap and trade instead of a carbon tax. Cap and trade systems are VERY convoluted, give large amounts of money to the banks (due to transaction fees, etc.), and have been an easy target for massive fraud and corruption. CBC's Ideas radio program addressed its terrible pitfalls in its "Demon Coal" documentary series (episode 2 of the series, to be precise).

We should get behind James Hansen's "fee and dividend" proposal which is very simple, effective, and progressive - the carbon fees collected are divided up equally and returned to all citizens equally. Most Canadians, especially poorer Canadians, would be better off under this proposal.

 


Perkins
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The simplicity of Hansen's plan is what makes it work. It can be explained in one sentence, and many more people will benefit than will lose from the initiative. Dion's politically fatal mistake with his green shift was to make it convoluted, distributing the money to a whole bunch of initiatives. His mistake was not to realize that green initiatives should be funded out of general revenues, not a carbon tax. Unfortunately, the NDP's current cap and trade policy is awful because: (1) it is very regressive since prices will rise and there is no proposal (yet) on how to alleviate the effect of the price increases on the poor and lower middle class; (2) Cap and trade doesn't work very well due to the ease of defrauding the system (see previous post); (3) Mulcair seems to be treating the proposed system as a cash cow. Also, the main beneficiaries of the cap and trade system are the banks, certain corporations, and whoever receives the additional revenue collected. Politically and environmentally, the convoluted cap and trade proposal is not very smart.


quizzical
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Perkins wrote:
We should get behind James Hansen's "fee and dividend" proposal which is very simple, effective, and progressive - the carbon fees collected are divided up equally and returned to all citizens equally. Most Canadians, especially poorer Canadians, would be better off under this proposal.

maybe it's too early in the morning for fine comprehension but why bother collecting at all if e1 is going to get it back?


Perkins
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Hi quizzical,

Thanks for the question - I should have explained it better.  Let's say Canada has two people - one person is responsible for a large quantity of carbon emissions and pays $9000 in carbon taxes, and the other person is responsible for fewer emissions and pays $1000 in taxes.  Annually, both would receive $5000 back (Hansen's proposal has a monthly cheque sent out or a monthly direct deposit).  Both people would likely spend the money on less carbon intensive products, as they cost relatively less than the others.


mark_alfred
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Poorer Canadians are less able to adapt via retrofitting their homes, etc., without government intervention.  And seems that rather than having the incentive to improve (provided via the opportunity to sell permits that would be possible to environmentally efficient companies in cap and trade, who thus could lower prices to consumers) businesses would simply pass expenses onto consumers with this Hansen thing.  So, I'll take cap and trade over any sort of carbon flat tax scheme any day. 

I heard the CBC program you referred to, and one of the main issues seemed to be companies who were defrauding cap and trade systems.  The need here is for better regulation of the system, rather than throwing away standards (caps).  For example, it's like restaurants:  the fact that some restaurants are dirty is not an argument to do away with standards of cleanliness, rather it's an argument for more inspectors.


Brachina
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Tom wants to target younger voters, were talking about teenagers who will be of voting age in 2015. I think this is a wonderful idea.

Perkins
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I think that Tom Mulcair is well aware of the potential pitfalls of cap and trade.  He is very knowledgable on the subject.  It's possible that he thinks that Harper and the MSM have "poisoned the well" in terms of the high political cost of proposing a carbon tax.  However, if anyone can sell the carbon fee and dividend proposal, it's Tom. 

@mark_alfred:  I disagree with your criticism of the Hansen proposal.  It would have a far greater wealth redistribution effect (mainly benefiting the poor and lower middle class) than the inherently regressive cap and trade system.  Don't confuse Hansen's proposal with the type of carbon tax supported by right wingers such as Andrew Coyne who aren't in complete denial about climate change.  They support a carbon tax only in its most regressive form in which it is accompanied by income tax cuts.  They would likely have a fit over the carbon fee and dividend plan.


Brachina
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http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/elections-canada-sides-with-t... Elections Canada disgusts me, making the NDP sound corrupt, when the NDP inquired as to what it was doing was okay with elections Canada before it did it. Its funny how EC has the money and time to nail the NDP, but massive Tory corruption, including electoral fraud, some how slides by. I'm sicken by EC, just sickened. I think EC needs to be imvestiagated.

Boom Boom
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Quebec has this amazing program called RénoVillage  which allowed me to renovate my home at low cost. The Municipality receives a list of low income people living in its jurisdiction who need help to retrofit their homes, and puts these folks on a list and goes down the list as quickly as money is made available. I'm still doing renovations to the house and other buildings on my property - it's taking a long time because you can only apply to RénoVillage the one time, and I instead got a low-cost loan from my co-op (Desjardins) to finish the rest of the work.


Ippurigakko
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Brachina, how about Mayrand resigns?


Vansterdam Kid
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There was an interesting article about why so many working class voters vote against their economic interests in the Guardian today. I think it applies to Canada too and I think Mulcair (and a party led by him) would be more effective in countering these problems, which is why I think some on the left are so skeptical of him, as he doesn't appeal to them in the way a traditional left-wing leader would (or in their opinion should).


Aristotleded24
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Vansterdam Kid wrote:
There was an interesting article about why so many working class voters vote against their economic interests in the Guardian today. I think it applies to Canada too and I think Mulcair (and a party led by him) would be more effective in countering these problems, which is why I think some on the left are so skeptical of him, as he doesn't appeal to them in the way a traditional left-wing leader would (or in their opinion should).

Only problem is that he doesn't offer any solutions.


Vansterdam Kid
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It's a medical anaylsis of the problem, not a solution in the traditional sense.

But, assuming you buy the problem I think the solutions are fairly obvious and when it's less of a pain in the ass for me to type this, I'll get to them

.

Stockholm
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It's an interesting article but very American. In the US you have this phenomenon of so many "white working class" people voting GOP. In Canada it's a very different situation. Here haing a low income is the biggest predictor of voting NDP and having a high income is correlated with voting Tory. Of course there are SOME working class people who vote Conservative, but most do not. Why else do you think the NDP sweeps Hamilton and Windsor while the Toies keep winning Oakville?


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