That thing about boxing the Liberals in by making them decide federal tax policy? Never mind. Here, via the Inkless emailbox, are today’s Conservative talking points, which repeal yesterday’s Conservative talking points. So it’s flip-flop week for the government! I greatly fear Stephen Harper will cancel his Copenhagen trip, hike the GST, declare the Québécois an “un-nation” and introduce a carbon tax before sundown.
Subject: Provincial tax-choice and the Liberals / Le choix fiscal des provinces et les libéraux
Dear Caucus Members:
A front-page story in the Globe and Mail gives an unfortunate and inaccurate impression of our tax-harmonization framework policy.
The Government will introduce a tax-harmonization framework in order to respect provincial decision-making and to honour commitments made to Premiers McGuinty and Campbell.
Contrary to what the story implies, we are not proceeding in this manner to embarrass, box in or gain an advantage over the federal Liberals. Indeed, the Finance Minister and the House Leader have already reached out to the Liberal Caucus in an effort to address the legislation in a fair and reasonable way. Similarly, the PMO and the BC and Ontario premiers’ offices have been cooperating on how to move forward in a reasonable and constructive manner.
We have too much respect for provincial rights to treat this issue as a political football. Our goal is to secure Official Opposition support for the provincial-choice framework, not to score cheap points.
To this end, Caucus members are urged to say nothing — to national or local media — about the Liberal position on the framework or about the implications for the Liberal Party. Equally unhelpful would be to repeat the lines in today’s Globe and Mail article. Please give the House Leader and Finance Minister the space they need to work with MPs across the aisle.
A housekeeping note: This week Inkless Wells has been happy to bring you talking points from the NDP, Liberals and Conservatives in that order. We eagerly await something fun from the Bloc. So far it has been a 19-year wait.