Jack Layton Keeps Driving Voters to the Greens and Liberals

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I always used to vote for the left-leaning New Democratic Party and its leader Jack Layton, shown here on the famous Couch Bike with bike safety expert, Member of Parliament and spouse Olivia Chow. In the last election I voted for the Green Party for the first time and felt terrible after when the Green vote was greater than the margin the NDP candidate lost by to the Liberal.

I no longer feel so terrible; Layton has come out firmly against a carbon tax proposed by the Liberals. They planned a "revenue neutral" tax system where personal and corporate income taxes would be reduced as taxes on the production of CO2 are implemented. Layton says "Those advocating a carbon tax suggest that by making the cost of certain things more expensive people will make different choices, but Canada is a cold place and heating your home really isn't a choice," Mr. Layton said. "We shouldn't punish people, and that's what a carbon tax does."

Stephen Hazell, executive director of Sierra Club Canada, disagrees. He is quoted in the Globe and Mail:

"The carbon tax has a huge advantage over cap-and-trade in that it can be put in place very quickly and deliver results very quickly, whereas cap-and-trade, it's taken Europe decades to get that one figured out," he said. "It's just regrettable that he's focusing on the negative."

Mr. Hazell said there are ways to ensure low-income people receive assistance so they are not hurt by carbon taxes.

"It just seems a little bit like pandering to us," he said. "They're pandering to people who are afraid about rising gas prices, the folks who would typically support the NDP. But we think it's alarmist and it's not helpful."

David Suzuki agreed:

"I thought that they had a very progressive environmental outlook," Mr. Suzuki said. "To oppose [the carbon tax plan], it's just nonsense. It's certainly the way we've got to go."

My vote is staying green or maybe, dare I say it, going Liberal. The New Democratic Party has lost me. ::Globe and Mail

Tags: Canada

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