Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ignatieff on the difference between Liberals and Conservatives

So the Conservatives can now attack Ignatieff as one of those tax and spend Liberals. However when it comes to the crunch Ignatieff will abandon the collection of taxes for all those marvelous programs that will make Canada a better place and like his Tweedle Dee partner the Conservatives will opt for no tax hikes in the name of fostering the recovery". This is from the Star.

""He's also expected to talk about what's not in the platform – specifically tax increases, which Ignatieff says run counter to the Liberals' plan for growth as an economic-recovery strategy. ""

Ignatieff's spin on the Liberal/Conservative divide
By Michael Ignatieff
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff outlined his economic strategy yesterday in a speech to the Toronto Board of Trade. This is an edited version of the conclusion of that speech.
This brings me to the fundamental distinction between Stephen Harper and the Liberal Party.
Back in July, after the G8 Summit in Italy, Mr. Harper gave an interview in which he said, and I quote:
"I don't believe that any taxes are good taxes."
Think about that for a moment.
It's an astonishing statement for a prime minister to make.
We pay taxes, Mr. Harper, so premature infants get nursing care when they're born; so policemen will be there to keep our streets safe; so we have teachers to give our kids a good education.
We pay taxes, Mr. Harper, because we're all in this together.
It costs us something, but it makes Canada the place it is: A place where we look out for each other.
But Stephen Harper doesn't think that way.
Stephen Harper thinks no taxes are good taxes because he believes that the only good government is no government at all.
Liberals say no.
We don't believe in big government, but we do believe in good government. If we give up on good government the way Mr. Harper has, then we will cease to exist as one great people sharing one great country -- and Liberals will never let that happen.
That's the difference between us and them.
That's the difference between Stephen Harper and me.
His is an ideology of the past. An ideology that's contemptuous of anyone who sees government as a means to do good.
It's an ideology that vaporized the day Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy a year ago.
When Wall Street crashed, even the most ardent free marketeers turned to government to save the free market.
The last year has proved government's value, as the guarantor of risk of last resort in the capitalist system.
The last year blew Stephen Harper's ideology out of the water.
You can't get growth without good government. But growth alone is not enough.
Canadians want their economy to grow again so that we can be the just and compassionate society we want to be.
And let's be honest, we're not as just or as compassionate as we could be. We still have promises to keep.
Last week in Ottawa, I met a man who is suffering from ALS -- Lou Gehrig's Disease. It's debilitating, tragic and terminal.
His wife came with him and they told me that under the EI system, she can only access six weeks of benefits for compassionate leave to look after the man she loves.
Six weeks of compassionate leave.
Is that the best that Canada can do?
We've just got to find the resources, the growth in our economy, so we can keep our promises to the people -- like that loving wife -- who represent the best of us.
Recession must not make us mean. It must not divide Canada into two -- into haves and have-nots.
Of the 30 wealthiest countries in the world we've got the seventh-largest GDP per capita.
But where do you think we rank in terms of poverty? Nineteenth.
Or infant mortality? Twenty-fourth.
That's what I mean when I say, "we can do better." A Liberal government will grow our economy so we can invest in national early learning and childcare, for every Canadian child.
A Liberal government will grow our economy so we can improve our health care system, with a national strategy for health promotion.
And so we can help our seniors age with dignity, by securing pensions and strengthening the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
That's why we need growth.
We can restore our faith in our government and in ourselves.
And as we near our country's 150th birthday, in 2017, we can build a prosperous, compassionate Canada, proud of our achievements, and ready to take on the world and win.
We can do better -- and we will.

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