It seems the CONs are going for broke now, blowing their wad on breaking the shackles from those restrained polling numbers that seem to keep them at some glass ceiling.
Here they go, producing one hulk-sized economic update, scribbled on the back of a Fatburger napkin in the span of about 14 minutes, and all to bury Sheila Fraser's latest report?
Okay, I'll admit that all these tax cuts would be an impossible target to campaign against -- if that's all there is.
But that is first, if you buy Jimmy O'Flattery's number-crunching; he does have a reputation for being a tad excitable when it comes to getting figures right. Secondly, the CONs have a spotty record of keeping their promises, and for what was revealed today, there's a lot of promises here. Remember Income Trust (Happy Anniversary!), creating daycare spaces, honouring signed agreements with other governments, making government more accessible and accountable, and those health care wait lists...
Thirdly, these tax cuts are predicated on the current maui-like surf of great economical waves we've been riding for nearly eight years now (Tory trolls can begin moaning about how all good things and manna came to exist only one year, nine months and a day ago; prior to that, Canada was just a steaming pile of half-baked lava, waiting for an uptight white savior-guy with a vengeance issue and a seriously bad fashion taste). Hmm, what are those storm clouds off in the distance doing? Must be heading AROUND our little island of bliss because we're completely not prepared for any kind of thing that starts with an 'R', and weren't those eradicated with some kind of polio vaccine?
And finally, my final point being, that the Harperites have essentially tied their vessel to this great tax giveaway. Their load is shot. Kaput, except for a big box of kleenex to mop it up with, but promises to call while scrambling feverishly for their socks and cel phone.
That droning on by nearly every economist, that the GST cut is dissuasive for economic growth, rather than persuasive, may not ring many bells with Joe and Jill Canada. Hey, who ever turned their back on a quarter found under the couch cushion? However, to rely wholly upon tax cuts to pleasure the voters is another divisive tool by this group of, well, Tory tools. As a minority gov't, survival is predicated on planning and gift-giving. The gov't at the same time has legislated that a certain percentage of surplus must address the national debt (no argument from me), but now, will be taking less in. Okay, all Canadians virtually love this idea (except Jack) however they also have other priorities like daycare, the environment, better and newer infrastructure, poverty and health care, and some aren't going to be placated too quickly by this promise of instant lucre. Remember, Paul Martin -- a guy who really knows numbers and who's comments on these events are sorely missed -- provided a similar budget at one time and what did it get him?
Mr Harper, you have just tied your fortune to a tax break -- one that effectively restores the past Liberal tax cut. You have few, if any, arrows left in your quill. So we can expect more negative ads in the near future while you pretend to govern.
I'm certain that your troops expect a good 4-5% bump in the opinion polls after this, and I'd say I wouldn't be surprised either. You'll even re-convert many of the conservative minded people who have been swearing at you the past 12 months, with your cosying up to Quebec, your lame tax credit piecemeals and hamhandling the economy while bullying both former friends and foe alike.
You will then be aiming to trip-up the opposition within the next 4 months (my guess in late February) to cash in these votes before the economy really turns sour. Hear that ticking? It isn't just that reminder note on buying Georgie a farewell gift.
And if those poll numbers don't materialize, or they only last as long as so many of your promises? Me thinks your Tory natives in the backroom will be getting mighty restless...