Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

A New Hope

Posted by JJ in Strategic Planning (Friday March 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm)

The fourth month of Stephane Dion’s leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada may well prove to be a turning point in his tenure. It’s the day that he decided to appeal to the right end of the political spectrum:

Dion Says He’d Cut Income Taxes

Months of positioning themselves as born-again lefties, fighting over the table scraps of the NDP have only resulted in their losing ground to the Green Party. Meanwhile, years of solid economic management under the governments of the late 1990s were no longer enough to secure the support of a group asking: “What have you done for me, lately?”

Renewed talk of the same social spending enhancements promised during the 2006 election campaign had little to offer the middle class which gains little from welfare-style initiatives while its purchasing power is eroded by increased housing and fuel costs. A pledge to deal with their tax burden directly means a great deal to this constituency; and that’s a smart move for a party in danger of abandoning the right’s issues.

Most of all, it signals that Dion is ready to fight the Toreis on what they consider to be their turf for the swing votes in Ontario that propped up the Liberals for so long. That’s the winning fight, and it means a fighting chance for the party he leads.

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