Brian Tapp, a man I greatly admire by the way, has a column this week on the positive effects the NDP could have on the world stage. He applauds re-appointing Paul Dewar as Foreign Affairs critic, and I agree.
However, from there he drops the ball.
And then, where to start? An excellent place to start would be on environmental policy. Foreign governments, notably in the European Union, have long been dismayed by Canada's record on this issue. Our now long-ago Liberal government paid lip service to international environmental agreements, while compiling the worst environmental record in the G8. Stephen Harper's Conservatives have embraced that record and made it worse, while repudiating the agreements,Jack Layton has worked in tandem with the Harperites, using the same nonsense that the Green Shift (Dion's revenue neutral carbon tax plan)would hurt families.
We are paying a heavy economic price for this. European and Asian energy and technology firms are adapting quickly to a lower-carbon, higher-efficiency economy -- and are becoming more globally competitive in the result. Canadian energy companies understand that they are being left behind, and have been quietly talking about what a sensible climate change policy should look like, in their own best interests as well as those of good environmental policy.
But the Harper government, with an eye on its vulnerable populist right flank in Alberta, is going to stay on its simple-minded populist dime on this issue. As far as this Conservative government is concerned, dealing with climate change is about slapping big taxes on your family, and that is bad bad bad. Fill 'er up for ya?
Tapping into the fear of a tax. This despite the fact that the plan was praised by economists and environmentalists, including a group of Nobel Prize winners.
But Layton too was tapping into the simple-minded populists for votes.
He also tried to sabatoge Kyoto, when he teamed up with Harper to bring down the government on the very day that it was being ratified. He refused to return Elizabeth May's phone calls. Too ashamed I would imagine, and too keen on destroying the Liberals to bother with what Canadians wanted or needed.
But he didn't count on Dion's leadership skills and Kyoto was passed.
Fat lot of good though, because with the help of Layton's machinations, we will have gone a decade with NO ENVIRONMENTAL plan. Zip, zilch, nada.
We have officially pulled out of Kyoto.
We are the only developed nation refusing to submit our greenhouse gas emissions, and deliberately left oilsands data out of a UN report
And the posturing with the Tar Sands is only that they are not doing enough PR.
The Opposition helped to get the NDP environmental plan passed, but it was killed in the Harper controlled Senate.
So pardon me if I'm not doing cartwheels over Layton the environmental crusader. I've seen the movie and I know how it ends.
And in a bit more hypocrisy. The NDP election platform called for a Cap and Trade (a carbon tax in sheep's clothing) that Layton admitted could result in higher prices at the pumps or in heating our homes.
It made me so damn mad. I wish he'd pick a story and stick with it. He has as much credibility as Stephen Harper on this.