Decision Canada 2006

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Vancouver Debate: Part III

Here is part III of the Vancovuer Debate, 3 parts down, 1 to go after this.

Issue 9: “National Day care program – should money flow to families”

Layton: Liberals have only had promises on child care, not deliveries. NDP will invest in new spaces. ANSWER THE QUESTION! The question asked should money flow to families, he didn’t answer it.

Harper: The Conservative government will bring in a federal tax credit for parents. Harper will bring in the child care allowance which goes to money. Attack on public centers having too much red tape.

Duceppe: Quebec program is the best in the world, CAN YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION please!

Martin: More spaces in the public sector and a focus on early learning. Attack on the child care money being a tax cut and doesn’t cut access to high quality child care.

The question asked should money flow to families, almost nobody answered that question!

Issue 10: Atlantic Canada isolation

Harper: Policies that are fair and balanced that don’t reward friends of the government. Regional strategies are needed, did not get specific.

Layton: EI doesn’t work, attack on Martin regarding tax cuts. No investment in post secondary funding, needs strategies not tax cuts. Another “vote NDP message”

Martin: This is a rural issue – needs a strategy for rural areas. Called for re-training and more not just taxes.

Duceppe: Attack on the Liberals – better access to EI is necessary, suggested many things but no solutions.

Issue 11: Softwood lumber – “Should we re-negotiate NAFTA”

What a good question, this one should be good

Duceppe: The problem is not NAFTA; it’s the US not respecting NAFTA. Must give loan guarantees to companies affected.

Layton: Independence of Canada challenged by NAFTA. Another attack on Martin. Proposed import duties regarding energy and water. Opposed to NAFTA’s provisions. Called for NAFTA to be re-worked.

Martin: Will not re-negotiate until US agrees to their provisions. Discussed additional markets, China etc that are opening. “Will stand behind Canadian workers” – no real platform.

Harper: NAFTA is critical for Canada, must improve access to the US market. Must not simply shout anti-American statements, must focus on envoys etc to improve relations.

Well, this is the hot issue; I think nobody really won it. Layton may be too aggressive and tick the US off further which won’t gain us anything, Duceppe and Martin call for domestic strategies to ease pain and Harper wants to get into bed further with the US. 4 positions, 0 winners!

The follow up questions basically brought in attacks on each other; I did not see any actual debating, just a bit of an insult fest!! On the issue with Iraq, it was only insults and no real debate!

Ok folks, the mics are turned off for a reason, it means your time is up, so shut up and move on!!!

Issue 12: “GST – How a reduction in income tax opposed to GST would help?”

Martin: Focus on income taxes because it will put more money in pockets. Suggested refundable tax credit for people who are unable to work.

Duceppe: Must reduce income tax but must focus on transfer to the provinces.

Harper: Cutting income tax would leave out people who do not file tax returns and low income earners. Called for additional tax refunds on income taxes for specific people. All tax cuts must be visible.

Layton: People need the help that they need, how tax cut won’t lift people out of poverty. Attack on Martin’s corporate tax cut. Would rather spend money and did not support tax cuts at all!

Well, I can see Harper winning public support on this one, Martin may come in a close second. Layton’s strategy of not cutting taxes won’t win with voters at all. Duceppe kept calling for more money to the provinces (read: Quebec)

To wrap off this component, we started to see the leaders drone on. We saw more mic cut offs (I think Layton was the worst for going over followed by Martin and Harper) than the previous segments. It’s not as bad as the shout fests of past, but it’s starting to get there…

On deck is the final issue of the debate, the Quebec seperation issue. I'm going to take a little break from the debate (the leaders are sounding too robotic now) and will post the final segment later today.


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