First, anyone with any intelligence reads Cherniak not for substance but more in the way many watch a Nascar race; that is, secretly waiting for the inevitable car crash. And Cherniak always delivers. Whether its ridiculous gaffes, inane arguments, or malicious assaults on a person's character, Cherniak delivers. Still, it's especially fun watching him spin out during election campaigns. Sad part is, Cherniak probably believes he is "as influential as the mainstream media", when in fact, what he does share with mainstream media is that he too is purely a shill. In this case, a shill for the Liberal Party, just as are the Toronto Star and, regrettably, the CBC. Sadly, there is no critical, progressive, left mainstream media in this country and I believe Canadians suffer for it.
Anyways, as the only Ontarian that has somehow connected with Stephane Dion (oops I forgot Gerard Kennedy, but we all know Kennedy's support for Dion was purely based on opportunism and best positioning himself for a future run at the leadership following Dion's foreseeable failure), Cherniak must be especially vested in this campaign. Otherwise, why would he do something that's new, even for the shameless Liberal that he is, and simply start making stuff up? I mean we're used to disingenuous misreading, spin, but not complete invention. From this post we read:
This morning, Jack Layton changed his entire campaign and admitted that Stéphane Dion would be the next prime minister in a coalition government. His only argument is now that it should be a coalition with the NDP.Cherniak was asked in his comments section to provide proof for this unbelievable assertion. And, of course none was forthcoming because he wished it into existence. In fact, if anyone has conceded this race it has been the Liberal Party of Canada. Note how the fear mongering has changed from we must stop the Harper Conservatives to we must stop a Harper Conservative majority. Any why are Canadians now facing an inexorable return to government by Harper's Conservatives? Because the Liberals have been too busy pursuing selfish opportunistic politics, backstabbing one another, bungling decision after decision, unable to unite and take on the Conservatives.
The Liberals were dismal as the Official opposition. In fact, they were absent as an opposition. They allowed Harper to dictate the agenda in parliament and the timing of the election. And most critically they (i.e. Gerard Kennedy) chose the absolute worst leader to position themselves to challenge the Conservatives the next time around. A meek, mild, seemingly neurotic and anxious leader, unable to rein in his caucus, who seems detached and academic, who is resoundingly despised in Quebec, who can't connect and communicate with Ontarians. Might as well have handed the victory to Harper the moment the writ was dropped. Thanks for nothing LPC. And you have the gall to ask me to reward you with my vote. The best that can come out of this now is that the NDP gain as many seats as possible so that we don't end up with a strong and active Official opposition. And, perhaps Canadians will begin to see the desperate need for electoral reform. The NDP and the Greens already have!
One last thing. On the subject of the costing the Liberal Platform, I thought readers might want to read the reaction of The Progressive Economics Forum (The PEF brings together over 125 progressive economists, working in universities, the labour movement, and activist research organizations). According to Andrew Jackson of the PEF:
I stand by my earlier argument that they [the Liberals] can’t balance the Budget, deeply cut corporate taxes, oppose new taxes (outside the internally consistent green shift package) AND make major new spending promises outside the green shift - all in the context of a slumping economy.
The costing here is dubious at best.
We get four year spending and tax reduction totals with little or no detail on timing. No adjustment is really made for slowing growth and rising unemployment.
Clearly a lot of the good new stuff outside the green shift is shunted off to the future. As a key case in point, last week the Liberals promised to bring in a $1.25 Billion per year national child care program. Today, that program is costed at $1.5 Billion over 4 years. That’s a slow phase in, to say the least. Another case in point is municipal infrastructure spending, which barely increases over the status quo for the next four years.
We get a modest dose of Reaganomics and supply-side tax cut magic. Cutting the tax rate on income trusts will supposedly raise $1 Billion in new revenues.
The Liberals actually raise the ante on balanced budgets, promising Martin era determination to run surpluses to pay down debt. They promise to restore the $3 Billion Contingency Reserve - to my mind implying spending cuts “come hell or high water” even if we go into recession.
That’s bad enough, What is worse is that their fiscal plan depends on unspecificed cuts of $12 Billion over 4 years - a not inconsiderable sum after continuing rounds of “program review.”
Peggy Nash also responded:
“Mr. Dion wants to keep in place every penny of Stephen Harper’s corporate tax giveaway and even cut deeper. It’s not credible to cut corporate taxes deeper than Stephen Harper and still keep commitments to new spending.
Despite releasing his platform, Mr. Dion still doesn’t have targets to reduce greenhouse gases, still has no plan to train more doctors and still doesn’t have a plan to stop the gouging of average consumers.
If this platform was supposed to be the channel changer for Stéphane Dion, it looks like the batteries just fell out of his remote.”