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Two-part harmony


 

Jack Layton, in QP yesterday, wondering if Stephen Harper agrees with his previous self.

Mr. Speaker, the NDP was opposed to the GST when it was first brought in, and we have opposed the HST for a long time. Other members of the House used to oppose the HST as well. Let me quote from a member who is an economist: ‘This harmonization of the GST, this tax collusion between provincial and federal governments, is not the way to reverse the economic decline of this country.’ Who said that? That is a quote from the Prime Minister during the inaugural debate on the HST. Why does he now think that this collusion to impose a new tax is a good idea?

Mr. Harper’s full remarks of Dec. 10, 1996 are here.


 

Two-part harmony

  1. "Say Anything" Steve, strikes again!!

  2. Not to excuse Harper's various reversals, but if Layton really has a problem all he has to do is vote down the government on a matter of confidence…like the Layton this past January who had "lost confidence in Mr. Harper's administration" and hence voted against the budget, but not like the Layton in September who decided that "If Parliament is working, and we are getting things done … I'm sure Canadians would prefer there would not be an election and we got results for them."

  3. "That is a quote from the Prime Minister during the inaugural debate on the HST. Why does he now think that this collusion to impose a new tax is a good idea?"__Why? Because the man's moral compass only points in one direction. That is whatever particularly direction suits him on any given day.

    • Ah, says the person of moral rectitude who labels opponents as "having no moral compass" at the drop of a hat.

      • Ah says the man who regards all other opinions, other than his own, as idiotic.

    • It was a quote from thirteen years ago, kc. I think we can cut him some slack.

      • I know, i know. But somehow cutting someone some slack who just about never returns the favour sticks in my craw. Beside, why shouldn't he explain how or why his position has evolved? Perhaps he did?

        • I'm just saying that these are fairly mild comments. It doesn't seem like he was strongly anti-HST, just skeptical of claims made by others. Anyway, his 2009 position on HST has certainly changed from his 1996 position, and I think he probably made the right choice by changing his mind on this issue. He's evolving!

      • This about the guy who spends millions and millions of dollars telling us, out of context, what Ignatieff said even longer ago than that???

      • This about the guy who spends millions and millions of dollars telling us, out of context, what Ignatieff said over a decade ago???

      • Why, exactly, should harper be cut some slack? Has he shown any inclination to cut anyone else some slack in a similar way?

      • April 2009 – Ignatieff has no "moral compass" for wishing Mulroney a happy birthday. Reported by CTV. Tried to post the link but it seems to have disappeared.

  4. Not to excuse Harper's various reversals, but if Layton really has a problem all he has to do is vote down the government on a matter of confidence…

    …like the Layton this past January who had "lost confidence in Mr. Harper's administration" and hence voted against the budget, but not like the Layton in September who decided that "If Parliament is working, and we are getting things done … I'm sure Canadians would prefer there would not be an election and we got results for them."

    • I agree. Jack should save some ink and simply issue a press release declaring the kettle black.

      • It's a valid point that all politicians are variously hypocritical. But froma political standpoint, one that the public pays attention to, it's a pretty effective charge from Jack. It's a timely issue. I wish Aaron had posted Harper's rebuttal. No doubt it ran along the lines your objection, which while valid is no kind of answer at all.

        • Can't argue with that!

  5. Not to excuse Harper's various reversals, but if Layton really has a problem all he has to do is vote down the government on a matter of confidence…
    …like the Layton this past January who had "lost confidence in Mr. Harper's administration" and hence voted against the budget, but not like the Layton in September who decided that "If Parliament is working, and we are getting things done … I'm sure Canadians would prefer there would not be an election and we got results for them."

  6. Not to excuse Harper's various reversals, but if Layton really has a problem all he has to do is vote down the government on a matter of confidence…

    …like the Layton this past January who had "lost confidence in Mr. Harper's administration" and hence voted against the budget, but not like the Layton in September who decided that "If Parliament is working, and we are getting things done … I'm sure Canadians would prefer there would not be an election and we got results for them."

  7. Mr. Wherry seems to be of the belief that no one is ever allowed to change their opinion on anything in politics. And the funny thing is that, before becoming prime minister, critics were afraid that Harper wouldn't change his mind on anything – that he was an ideologue unwilling to compromise in a pragmatic fashion. So, no matter what he does, the Aaron Wherry's of the world are going to throw eggs at it anyhow.

    • Is there anthing he hasn't changed his mind on though? Is there anything he said before becoming Prime Minister that he continues to believe after becoming Prime Minister.

      Confidence votes only on budgets and main estimates. Fixed election dates. Independent Budget Officer. Appointing unelected senators (broken on his first day in office). No tax increases. No taxing of income trusts. No spending increases. Wait times guarantee. Commissioner of Public Appointments. HST. Independence and strengthening of committees and MPs. Sole source contracting. Staffers not allowed to become lobbyists. Parliamentary vetting of Supreme Court nominees. Capital gains tax exemption. Scrapping CAIS. Eliminating GST altogether on gas if price went above 85 cents. Extending VIP services to the widows of all Second World War and Korean War veterans. Accountability/transparency (how many complaints has the Information Commissioner made now?). Publishing all public opinion polls. Releasing Wajid Khan's report on the Middle East. A "made in Canada" environmental solution. Keep provincial agreements on equalization payments, especially the Atlantic Accord. etc etc etc etc etc etc.

  8. KCM is not, as far as I am aware, the Prime Minister of Canada in charge of our finances and living off taxpayer funded salary and supposed to be representing us all.

    Correct me if I'm wrong on that , KCM.

    • I believe you are. I don't think DF likes to see Harper's phrase thrown around, that is unless it's directed at liberals.

  9. I hope Jack and Gilles continue to attack Cons from the right on tax issues. I can't wait to see Harper/Flaherty try to defend their laughable spending policies and talk about how this is no time to reduce bureaucracy or meddle with taxes to let people keep more of their money. I am sure economic cons will be interested to hear what Cons are saying, at the very least.

    • Change can be a two edged sword. Looks like smart politics to remind voters of all political stripes that SH used to stand for something completly different than he now says he does.

      • That implies he actually stands for something now, other than keeping himself in power longer.

  10. Being against the HST may have been the one thing the Reform Party and Stephen Harper had right back in the 1990s.

    By favouring the HST now, Harper has officially become everything he used to hate — you know, the Liberal Party when it had its act together, that is.

    • I didn't expect to see an Oppo Guy claiming that the Conservatives were a Liberals-At-Their-Best party.

  11. This is why we can't trust Harper!!! he says he won't cut spending or raise taxes, but give him a majority and he will do ANYTHING HE WANTS!!!

    • Say Anything Steve.

    • And your point is……..

      • He'll say anything if he thinks it will serve him and his pursuit of power.

        I'm not sure there is a single promise left that he has not smashed. What the hell does he stand for anymore, other than keeping power for himself?

    • Geeze Karen, I think that can be said about any majority government.
      2 problems with your ''he will do ANYTHING HE WANTS'' scary theory is,
      -how do you get RE-elected if you impose changes on Canadians they don't want?
      -there is NOTHING any government can do, that the next government can't undo.

      Liberals call them markers, policy they intend on changing once elected…..

  12. Whoa! In 1996 he said what?!

    We had better dig up some of Ignatieff's 13 year old quotes.

    • You already have. In fact, you have been spending million and millions and millions of dollars quoting him out of context from almost two decades ago in your national smear campaign.

      But whoa! quote Say Anything Steve in context from an issue that is the same today as it was then, and you are showing your media bias and hatred for Conservatives 'cause it's so unfair, cut him some slack, etc.

      Harpocrits indeed.

      • WOW! I've spent millions and millions!

        I did't know I had millions and millions!

        Wing nut lefties….

        • You as in reference to the "we" in your post, moron.

  13. Well, *I* excuse the reversal, because switching away from a stupid position is better than sticking to it.

    Now if only he'd reverse the GST cut.

    • A thousand times ditto, Mr. Gordon.

  14. Of all the crazy things Stephen Harper said in the mid-90s, this one strikes me as rather mild…

  15. Would someone please tell Jack that the NDP also opposed the gun registry when it was first brought in. If he's looking for "historical revisionism" he can start closer to home.

  16. the full quote
    ''We see a deal that buys off the Liberal Party in the Atlantic provinces, that uses the term harmonization for essentially arranging a collusion scheme between governments to make it easier for them in the future to raise taxes.
    They can do it with a majority vote. But it makes it virtually impossible for them to ever lower the rates of taxation. It takes another step toward hiding and burying taxes in prices and it broadens the base of existing provincial sales taxes on Atlantic consumers.

    The real agenda of the Liberal Party is to make sure the fiscal actions it takes,
    both on the spending and taxation sides, ultimately secure big government and high taxes in this country.
    I believe that in the end this is what has caused the slow economic growth in the past generation. This will ensure the country continues to slip. '

    • So he's even wrong on that front and was lying back then.

      Clearly it is not "virtually impossible" for the government to lower the rates of taxation.

      • Harper was against using the harmonization as a vehicle to RAISE TAXES.

        'a collusion scheme between governments to make it easier for them in the future to raise taxes'

        Theory is now that this government has lowered the GST, giving the Provinces taxation room.

  17. Hold on a second.

    I thought the Tories were back to thinking the HST was a bad idea. When did they flip back again?

    I could have sworn I heard a cabinet minister just the other day explaining how the HST wasn't their idea, and you'd have to go ask the Premiers why they'd ever do such a silly thing.

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