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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
My true love drowned in a dirty old pan / Of oil that did run from the block / Of a falcon sedan 1969 / The paper said '75
— Neko Case, Star Witness
October 15, 2005
Tax Cuts do not equal an election win

According to today’s Globe and Mail the

Tories think they’ve got it

Let’s look at this for a minute.

What’s almost laughable about this is that this has been, more or less, their proposal since the days of Brian Mulroney.

Of course, Brian Mulroney actually added that most heinous (but functional) of taxes - the GST - to the Canadian government’s portfolio. Somehow, he managed to get elected not once, but twice. Here we are with Stephen Harper floundering and the best he can do is pull tax cuts out.

Problem One: The Media Spin

Try as they might, the first problem the Tories are going to have with this is the media spin.

Rightly or wrongly, the media has a tendency to put its own unique slant on things. Smart politicians are always on the lookout for this - it can usually be anticipated. Paul Martin, for example, seemed completely shocked by the spin put on the last election that he was a falling king. Perhaps most surprising was the fact that exact same script had played out in the US earlier in the year, when Howard Dean (heir apparent) tumbled from grace. Paul should have seen it coming.

No matter how the Tories try to spin this thing, “tax cuts” will be reported as “American style tax cuts” as long as Mr. Harper is leader. Candidates will protest that this is not the case, perhaps quite rightly so, but the Canadian public will fear that this will lead to an American Republican style government.

Problem Two: Where’s the Passion

Trudeau won elections because he fueled Canadian’s passions - this was a major turning point in our history - essentially setting up the long term Chretien government as well.

Paul Martin certainly didn’t win the last election because of passion, but he did a better job of it than the previous one. That TV ads fueling the passion of hate were aired is a travesty, but it did appeal to Canadians’ feelings for their home and native land.

Tax cuts, as an election platform, appeal to the head not the heart.

Elections are won with the heart.

Stephen Harper is this country’s Tin Man - that he hasn’t found his heart yet, is part of his problem. The Tories, in order to win, need a leader who can appeal to the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Our economy is strong, joblessness is not as prevalent as it once was, and appealing to wallets does not make a winning platform.

Once more unto the breach, Conservatives - though certain defeat awaits you.

Posted by skooter at 10:49 AM This entry is filed under Politics.

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