An election is no time to talk about issues

Was it Kim Campbell who made this (or a variant) infamous comment? Everybody knows it to be true but you can’t say it out loud.

I think the Carbon Tax killed Stephane Dion -particularly in rural Canada and places like New Brunswick. It was too easy a target. Even my wife asked me how much more it would cost to heat my home after the Carbon Tax and I had no answer.

Imagine if Premier Graham had announced before the election that he was going to scrap early French Immersion? Would he be elected? Not a chance.

The Libs should have put the Green Shift in cold storage and rolled out the usual platitudes about economic management, tax cuts and support for industries. In fact, I would have dusted off Paul Martin’s everyone-will-be-happy-with-me-as-PM platform. Dion could have talked about how the environment would be a serious priority but I would not have rolled out the carbon tax until after becoming the government.

All the other stuff about language and articulation is just noise. Sure, some people voted against Dion because of it but likely more voted against Harper because they don’t like his personality and perceived arrogance. And his language skills in Quebec likely played against him. Likeability matters in an election but I don’t think that either one of these guys was extremely likeable (although I appreciated Harper’s sweaters and Preston Manning-like makeover).

The bottom line is that nothing will really change for New Brunswick after this election. Harper is a known quantity. He will continue to work on Ontario and Quebec – looking to mine new voters. The $400 million for aerospace and automobile manufacturing will buy him some goodwill in those two provinces.

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

I have said for a number of years now that if New Brunswick is to pull out of its long term economic funk it will need to take control of its own destiny. Relying on the Feds to throw more economic development money down here or jobs or play a strong role in attracting industry to the province was a long shot under the Libs and an even longer shot under the Tories. ACOA is likely safe in the minority government although don’t expect a lot of new money or support for the agency.

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0 Responses to An election is no time to talk about issues

  1. richard says:

    Now that a majority of NB seats are blue, Shawn's reps should be on the phone to the NB Con MPs. Let's make a united pitch for federal R&D dollars for NB.

  2. mikel says:

    Rural canadians always voted conservative long before the carbon tax was ever dreamt of. Keep in mind a good percentage of rural people heat with wood-the carbon tax does not affect them.

    But like I posted elsewhere, the conservatives took english New Brunswick, the french areas went liberal or NDP. That’s sort of a mirror image of canada-which makes me glad that Quebec didn’t separate, or I think I’d be moving to Montreal. The CBC blogs are just filled with loathing of Newfoundlanders who dared vote liberal, really vicious stuff. It’s interesting that they are called ‘lemmings’ when apparantly voting for Harper is just ‘the smart independant minded thing to do that everybody does’.

    But you are right about the carbon tax across the country, but two things should be kept in mind. First, not even ONE percent more canadians voted conservative than last election-don’t let the headlines fool you. It’s the scewered electoral system that gave Harper “an increased mandate”.

    Second, you are right about the carbon tax, because Kim Campbell was right about elections. I suspect that’s one of the reasons why Harper called the election, so the liberals would spend the whole time trying to explain their plan in bad english (you know you COULD have just gone to their website and found out how much more you’d pay for you electricity-is that TOO much to ask of voters?:)

    There was plenty of illegal actions, outright lies, and political pandering that Harper could have been tarred with to avoid actually coming up with a policy. The big mistake was thinking that an election is all about deciding policy-but thats what a referendum is for.

    It ‘looks’ as though the liberals may have also lost out on the immigrant vote, who may have been less likelly to vote becuase of the photo ID and increased ‘scrutiny’. Isn’t it odd that in several countries they’ve figured out how to have TELEPHONE voting, yet in Canada they can’t even get person to person voting down. So no surprise, the voting plummeted.

    But you never know, giving three more conservative MP’s from one small province may have an impact where the tories got, what, forty more seats? That MAY have Harper paying a little more attention. However, he’s got to know from the numbers that there is no way that number is going to get any higher.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bull,no one even knows what a carbon tax is and still won’t know 4 years from now.Also small chance that you will ever catch on to the obvious facts.
    NB is a constitutionally locked down blocked province.
    And not even worth arguing whose to blame,although we all know,its Game over from forced disastrous legislation.

  4. nbt says:

    I think the Carbon Tax killed Stephane Dion -particularly in rural Canada and places like New Brunswick.

    I agree. Plus, I think it didn’t help in places like BC, Ontario and New Brunswick where provincial Liberal government’s had already invoked tax hikes against the will of the voters.

    Let’s just say, they’re all tough acts to follow in tough economic time, especially when you need people to trust you on the fact it’s not a tax, it’s a shift.

    Not sure they were buying that part from a guy running under the Liberal banner.

  5. Anonymous says:

    lol,swearing my ass!!little mckenna dough head.And I bet you know nothing about the carbon tax

  6. richard says:

    "$400 million for aerospace and automobile manufacturing will buy him some goodwill in those two provinces."

    With 6 Conservative MPs, isn't this now the time for Graham to present his 'game-changing' self-sufficiency program to Ottawa. He should be preparing a several hundred million R&D plan for NBs natural resource industries, get the NB MPs on board, then ask Harper for the funds. If the MPs refuse, go public with their refusal – put the heat on them. Those seats could be crucial to Harper in a year.

    There's an opportunity there for Grahaml he shouldn't miss it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Very good comments by Anonypuss.
    I’d vote for him,er or her.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Did you see the Riverview announcement today for 900 contact center jobs from Bell Mobility?

    It is amazing that NB is still benefitting from a 20 year old ED initiative made possible by a progressive technology company and an agreesive government ED effort.

    Can you imagine the prosperity NB would be experiencing if each government came up with one of their own ED initiatives that was as successful as the contact center effort? That would be 4 since McKenna’s. Given the 20,000 employed in call centers, at the same rate of success we’d have 100,000 new jobs from ED initiatives over the past 20 years.

    Would there be any better strategy for acheiving self sufficiency, retaining our population and attracting immigrants? What will it take to get NB back into the ED game?

  9. mikel says:

    Thats a good point that Richard makes, but keep in mind that there are LOTS of places in english canada which went blue. I was surprised in my riding to see the conservative candidate win by just over a hundred votes-this is a university town and the liberal MP had been there for a long time and usually won by more than 10,000 votes.

    Now, this whole region has gone blue, and unlike NB there are LOTS of manufacturing, R&D and just plain research areas for the government to put money into. I think the same is true in a lot of areas of BC.

    So Graham will have competition for those dollars, there's always lots of people at the trough. But apparantly according to the headlines Harper is going to "tackle the economy head on"-don't know what it means, but its definitely a time to get active.