Thursday, October 09, 2008

NOW: Coalition government

This is from Alice Klein in NOW Magazine. She points out that fortunately strategic voting isn't an issue in Toronto, but she does say that though she is an NDPer, there is much to choose among the opposition parties:

I live in Toronto-Danforth and proudly sport a Layton sign on my front lawn. I will be heartsick if his wonderful Toronto team doesn’t include my favourite women in politics, Olivia Chow, Peggy Nash and my own former MPP, Marilyn Churley. I urge you to please vote for these incredible contributors to our federal dialogue, who have earned our support with their talent, energy, commitment and integrity.
But that doesn’t mean the NDP is the best and only hope we have on all and everything. Dion has definitely outdone Layton on climate change.
Layton claims cap and trade is about making the polluters pay. But every credible expert agrees that any price on carbon will ultimately be paid for mostly by consumers. Cap and trade would be just like a tax, but, like the gas price surges we have all been experiencing, imposed in fits and starts, without warning. The two policies are actually complementary and should never have been counterposed. One is immediate and the other long-term.
Dion’s carbon tax plan starts out with a relatively small added cost that increases over time. The tax increase on energy use will be steady and foreseeable, allowing for innovation, planning and incremental investment over time. This is the new foundation for a sustainable economy that we need.
Cap and trade, on the other hand, involves the creation of a complex new regulatory and market system that targets the country’s largest emitters only. It takes a long time to get going (five to 10 years), its effectiveness depends on very technical aspects of implementation, and it’s highly subject to manipulation. While the cost is initially incurred by large emitters, most if not all of these costs are passed on to consumers.
“The argument that a policy capable of reducing carbon emissions will only affect producers is without economic merit,” reads an open letter released Tuesday to Canada’s federal leaders, signed by 200 economists teaching in Canadian colleges and universities
At the same time, although I think Dion’s carbon tax initiative is the best environmental policy ever put forward by a major party, that doesn’t mean I think everyone should vote Liberal.
Read the whole article here.