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Lie. Conceal. Fabricate.
Stephen Harper's $35 Billion Income Trust Scandal
Stephen Harper made a solemn election pledge to never tax Income Trusts. He lied, and in the process destroyed $35 billion in Canadians' and foreign investors' hard-earned savings. Harper's excuse was that income trusts cause tax leakage. His Finance Minister refuses to release proof of tax leakage because there is no proof. What is Harper's real hidden agenda and who is it that actually benefits? Answer: corporate Canada, Life Insurance companies, foreign private equity, big pension plans and US oil.



Okay Tim, so now you have identified a broken election promise. Just call a spade a spade.

Politicians make all sorts of promises during election campaigns, some of them wise and some unwise. Some realistic and some unrealistic. That's the nature of the beast.

What is troublesome for opposition parties in particular is that they often end up making promises which are based on incomplete information because they do not have the same access to briefings from the army of public servants that make provincial and federal governments function. Once elected, a new cabinet finally has access to reams of analysis and advice from the public service and the feasibility (and desirability) of their election promises becomes more apparent.

When an unwise election promise is made and subsequent briefings result in the conclusion that the proposal/promise would be bad for the province/Canada, what should a premier/PM do? Should he just soldier onward and pursue a program which is bad for citizens? Or should he reflect a little bit and change course?

In 1993, Chretien promised to scrap the GST and renegotiate NAFTA. Happily, when he was finally won the election he dropped those promises. I hope that he dropped those proposals as a result of briefings from the Finance Department and from External Affairs respectively. I'm pretty sure that officials from those branches would advise against that course of action and outline the adverse consequence that would ensue if the government actually implemented that plan.

Similarly, the current PM seems to be re-thinking the timing of his commitment to bring in Syrian refugees. If he has adjusted his thinking based on advice from External Affairs, then we should be happy that he has the courage to deviate from his promise.


This is a political board, if you want to start an issues board go ahead, it will probably be deader than this one.


It *is* a political board. But that doesn't mean that the discourse shouldn't be elevated above the lowest common denominator of name-calling and rabid partisanship. Interestingly enough, rabid partisanship and blind character assassination is exactly the type of behaviour that is often attributed to the previous government (perhaps correctly) and which you have professed to dislike.


SJ
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