Saturday, August 20, 2005

CTF wagging the Tory dog

This from the Brandon Sun...

The taxpayer advocate tail appears to be wagging the Conservative dog yet again.

Within a day of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation lambasting Tory leader Stephen Harper for not pressing Ottawa to reduce gasoline taxes, Harper came out and advocated for the feds to stop double taxing gas with GST and to reduce the 1.5 cent-per-litre surtax introduced as a deficit-fighting measure in the mid-1990s.

As soon as the Tories did that, the rest of the caucus hopped on the “me-too” bandwagon, including Brandon-Souris MP Merv Tweed. On Thursday, Tweed issued a news release calling for gas tax to be reduced, hours after Kildonan-St. Paul MP Joy Smith crafted one about exactly the same thing. Keep in mind as well that Tweed told the Brandon Sun two days earlier the gas tax was too great of a windfall for the government.“This time of year, particularly with the harvest just starting, I can’t believe the government hasn’t made some moves on it,” Tweed says.

Perhaps the government hasn’t made some moves because until now it hasn’t been pressured to do so by its main political opponents. The CTF has been after the government to reduce gas tax for some time, but its criticisms are predictable and easily ignored. Why is it the Tories and their leader, who have been out all summer supposedly connecting with average Canadians over the barbeque, can’t make any noise about the biggest bread-and-butter issue on people’s minds until they are shamed into doing it by the CTF?

Canadians need their government-in-waiting to be at least a little more proactive if they’re prepared to hand it the reins of government anytime soon.

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