Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tim Hudak and Jack Layton Make Very Strange Bedfellows. The Emphasis on STRANGE!

This whole HST fiasco is getting stranger by the minute.

Federal NDP leader Jack Layton and Provincial "I have no idea what this party is but definitely not Progressive' leader Tim Hudak, have teamed up in theory to make attacking the HST the basis for their next election campaign.

In the case of Hudak, he's already started, and in fact has lost complete control of his party, who are now acting like nuts.

But this gets weirder.

The HST for Ontario and BC was the brainchild (I use the term loosely) of the federal finance minister Jim Flaherty. Jim's wife is a member of Hudak's caucus, that is now attacking Jim's plan.

And yet Stephen Harper, who is seen in this video lauding the HST, has put the onus on Michael Ignatieff who now must wear the tax. Boy, who ever said politics wasn't for the faint of heart, sure got that right.

HST is good policy

The debate over the switch to a harmonized sales tax has given both the federal NDP and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives a chance to show off their
considerable skills at populist spin. But that isn't serving the public.

The arguments in favour of the HST are several and strong, but they're also dry and technical. The arguments against, however, can be summed up in cheap slogans and fearmongering. ...


  1. Emily, you seem confused.

    Either the HST -- which Provinces can either decide to go along with or decide not to -- is a bad thing, and Tim Hudak is right to oppose it, or the HST is a good thing and he's wrong to oppose it.

    The HST cannot be a bad thing and Hudak wrong to oppose it. Unless, that is, you're simply ideologically invested in insisting that Hudak is wrong no matter what.

  2. What I mean is that Hudak is only opposing it for political reasons. However, a member of Hudak's caucus is Christine Elliot, who is married to Jim Flaherty, the man quoted everywhere as enouraging the provinces to adopt the HST. (even bribing them with our tax money)

    Harper also promoted the HST but cleverly put forward a motion to bait Michael Ignatieff. (Members of the Federal Cons also stayed away the day of the vote)

    The only one who can legitimately use it politically, is Jack Layton or other provincial NDP.

    It is the strangest set of circumstances that I've ever run into.

  3. Hmmmm.

    See, Emily, once upon a time feminists would have argued that women can have political opinions that don't strictly match those of their husband.

    Do you remember those days?

  4. Got me.

    However, it will still be difficult to use in attack ads because there are far too many quotes from several members of Hudak's caucus supporting the HST.

    And in the same way that Harper has aligned Ignatieff with Campbell and McGuinty as Liberals, Harper and Flaherty will be seen as aligned with Hudak.

    Only Jack Layton can claim to actually oppose it.

    I find the whole thing rather silly.

  5. Well, as I understand it, there are combinations of good and bad things about the HST.

    Good thing -- simplifying the tax structure for business, reducing administrative costs.

    Bad thing -- the HST will apply to things to which the GST never did, such as rent and groceries.

    I'm indifferent to it. If provinces decide to opt into the HST, that's entirely their decision. One of the roles of a healthy government is to offer people options, and the HST is just one structural option for provincial governments.

  6. You're right. The HST, as explained by Stephen Harper is not a tax grab and in fact reduces the income of the province.

    And yes it will be added to things not normally taxed, just as the GST did back in it's day. People with lower income will be credited, so it will sort itself out.