Every so often the Smug Canadian hits the nail right on the head. This is the third or fourth time in recent weeks I’ve heard about a failure of the health care system leading to someone dying. It’s criminal.
His Smugness calls on the Conservative Party to stop debating the Liberals on their terms. Hear hear! I wrote to my local MP, Stephen Harper, and Peter McKay last week and said the same thing. The party needs a strategy to win the next election, and fighting the Liberals to a draw on Gay Marriage in the House of Commons is not the answer. I suggested the following areas might be fruitful places to focus effort:
- Budget. Ralph Goodale has a $9 billion surplus. A strategy to return that surplus to the people could be a winner. Why arent the Conservatives going after him on this? Instead, the party has chosen to focus on flexing its new-found muscle by trimming $400K from the governor-generals budget – a petty gesture focused on a well-loved public figure, and ultimately a meaningless gesture, since it could be argued that with a $9 billion surplus, $400K is an affordable expense.
- Defense. Men are dying in Afghanistan and aboard our new submarines. Faulty equipment and understaffing are the route causes. Someone needs to stand up for these men, and the Conservative Party should do it! Please bring this up, and bring it up forcefully.
- The Brain Drain. In response to pressure from executives at Nortel and other prominent Canadian tech firms, the Liberals reduced income tax on stock option capital gains to 50% of ordinary income tax rates. Ostensibly this was to make Canada more competitive with the US. However, all this did was make it possible for John Roth and other highly paid executives to keep more of their gains. It did nothing to solve the real problem, which is that the cream of the crop of new university grads move to the US lured by higher salaries, and lower taxes – I know this issue well, living as I did in Washington State, and working for Microsoft there for 7 years. The Liberals did nothing to create opportunities in Canada, or provide incentives for our brightest young people to stay here. The tax system needs to be reformed, and brackets adjusted. The research tax credit system needs to be abolished in favour of systems to encourage direct investment in commercializable technologies.
- Marijuana decriminalization. It’s simply unfathomable to me how anyone could see decriminalization in a favourable light. High school economics courses teach supply and demand. It should be obvious that reducing the sanctions on marijuana use will lead to greater demand, higher consumption, and by extension increased profits to organized crime. Only two possible courses make any sense – full legalization, or vigorous enforcement of existing laws. Given the impact legalization would have on relations with the US, the only course that makes any sense is continued and vigorous enforcement of current laws.