‘Make them pay now for what they’re doing’

by Aaron Wherry

Here, again, is the context for the direct quote of Thomas Mulcair’s that appears in the new Conservative attack ad.

What did he mean by it? Well, in the next sentence he refers to the “polluter pay” principle.

As noted here previously, “polluter pay” is a principle to which the Conservatives—or at least Stephen Harper and John Baird—have pledged allegiance in the past.




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‘Make them pay now for what they’re doing’

  1. Well then Wherry, if it’s something the conservatives support(ed), then it’s not much of an attack ad, is it? What exactly is your point?

    • Here, lemme spell it out for ya:

      H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y

      • That makes no sense. If it’s something they support, then it’s not much of an attack ad. So is it an attack ad or not? It’s great that you can spell so nicely, but that’s beside the point.

        • It’s an attack ad in the sense that most viewers won’t be aware of the context, and as such may allow this presentation to polarize them.

          • How do you polarize someone? And what does it mean for someone to be polarized? Can’t say I’ve ever experienced the phenomenon.

          • It means that, after the process of polarization, you filter out certain harmful rays from the sun.

          • Let me try to boil it down to a level that even a Tory can understand. It would be like the NDP running ads against the Tories which say “the Tories want to raise taxes on the rich”.

          • That’s a really poor analogy. Also, some decorum would go a long way.

    • I’d say he’s pointing out the quote of Mulcair is being taken out of context.

      • Actually no, Mulcair has been pretty clear that he thinks Canada has Dutch disease and he also indicated the remedy in that quote, which is that the costs of resource-based industries should be increased through taxation or some other means. I see nothing out of context.

        • Sure looks to me as though it’s been taken out of context.

          • of course it is.

          • If you intend to make that claim, then you should explain exactly what he actually did mean when he said ” Internalization of the environmental costs, make them pay now for what they’re doing”.

            In plain words, please explain to me what “make them pay now” actually means. Because to me it looks like the words mean “make them pay now”. To me, there’s not a whole lot of possible meanings to the words “make them pay now”. They suggest to me that you would force people to pay, and you would be doing that now.

          • The ad doesn’t mention “internatlization of environmental costs”, or “polluter pay”. “Make them pay now for what they’re doing” provides no context.

          • Oh, so if you call the oil industry the derogatory term “polluters”, then suddenly it’s different. Yeah, right. We know who they are. It’s absolutely clear who he’s talking about, so no, that’s not a different context at all.
            “Internalization of environmental costs” is gobbledygook for “making them pay”, there is no difference, they both mean the same thing. That does not change the context at all, either.
            You’ve failed to explain what exactly he means by “make them pay”, if there is some other hidden meaning as you are all supposedly claiming. If there’s another meaning, then what is it? Anybody? This is like pulling teeth. Anybody want to describe what he actually did mean?

          • No, it’s not clear. “Polluter pay” being the operative term because that is precisely what is being proposed industry pay for.
            But we both know why the ad doesn’t say, Mulcair wants to make polluters pay the costs of their own pollution just like we’ve promised…

          • Ok, so in that case you are agreeing with the ad, that it is correctly stating he wants the oil industry to pay. Interesting. However, that has nothing whatsoever to do with Dutch disease. Mulcair specifically mentioned Dutch disease, so you are wrong. Dutch disease has absolutely nothing to do with pollution, nothing whatsoever. The interview was an attempt to clarify his comments about Dutch disease and the loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector.

          • No, I agree with a Conservative ad that says, Mulcair wants to make polluters pay the costs of their own pollution just like we’ve promised.

          • You mean you want an NDP ad. How surprising (not). Anyway, you’ve tried to change the subject. Also not surprising.

          • Pardon me. Could you direct me to the Conservative attack-ad discussion thread?

          • If you want to start a new thread, then do so. Otherwise, don’t hit the reply button if you’re not replying. If all you want to do is spout the usual “Cons suck NDP rocks BS”, and you have absolutely no intention of engaging in a conversation, then start a new thread.

          • By “we” he means the CPC. i.e. The NDP are supporting a policy that the CPC has previously proposed (and, as with most of their policies, is now reneging on).

          • Of course people call the oil industry “polluters” in discussions of the environment — they produce pollution.

            If developing the oilsands produced ice cream as an unintended byproduct, rather than pollution, we wouldn’t even be having the conversation.

            What part of “you make a mess, you clean it up” continues to elude you?

          • Nothing is eluding me, you’re a thousand miles from the topic of conversation. You’re just one more person who refuses to answer the questions.

          • So you don’t think polluters should pay for cleaning up the pollution they create? That’s a simple enough question… Will we get a few paragraphs of squirming, or an answer?

          • Thats because “polluter pay”, and “internalization of environmental costs” don’t provide any context. They’re meaningless bromide’s meant to hide his true intentions. What does “polluter pay” mean? Does it mean you pay a (higher) tax on your gas at the pump? Does “internalization of environmental costs” mean that the government charges resource extraction companies some arbitrary “clean up cost” that the companies are forced to include as a cost of doing business, thus raising the price of their product, and the amount of tax the government takes from them?

            He thinks he can on Green Shift 2, but trying to play it off like it’s only going to effect Alberta. Dion said he took the high road and tried not to pit region against region. Mulcair obviously thinks that was a mistake. Time will tell, but I don’t like his odds.

          • You don’t like the idea?

            I should mention that I really have to go to the bathroom and your backyard is starting to look like an awfully nice toilet just about now.

          • I didn’t say I don’t like the idea. I said I’d like to hear some specifics before I make any decision. I know it’s fashionable in some circles to fully embrace anyone and anything that mentions “the environment”, but I like to be a bit more informed before making decisions.

            And my backyard looks like a lot of things to a lot of different people. Doesn’t mean you’re allowed to step foot on it, for any reason.

          • Who said anything about stepping foot in it? :D

    • Of course it’s an attack advertisement. But, as you continually demonstrate, truth is irrelevant if you can play semantic games for your point.

      Or in other words, you and I both know that by how they’re presenting the message, they’re painting it as a bad thing. What “it” is doesn’t matter a whit. It could be kissing puppy-dogs and making blue sweaters. They’re painting it as something bad, and you and I both know that they intend for people to interpret it as something bad, even though they were preaching it before.

      Will it be an effective attack advertisement? Well.. that depends on exactly how many people know the truth behind it.

      Which brings us to Wherry’s point.. the one that seems to elude you:

      Informing people of the truth.

  2. Of course one has to agree ithat CO2 is a pollutant. Ask Paul Martin how many votes that got him?

  3. I would love to use the backyard of anyone who doesn’t like the “polluters pay” concept as a personal toilet.

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