Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Base rhetoric

So much for Ms. Finley's remarks yesterday that “It’s important we focus not on partisan politics right now.” Today, there's a whole new Diane Finley in Le Devoir with an op-ed characterizing the Liberal EI proposals as the "year of 45 days" and requiring payroll tax increases. It's not true, of course, as a Star editorial points out today. But is anyone under the illusion anymore that we're dealing with an honourable government? Harper engaged in similar rhetoric last week:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last week that the Liberals “are suggesting that what we should do is bring in an EI system where any Canadian, anywhere in the country, in perpetuity, could work 45 days and collect EI benefits for a period up to a year.”

In fact, under the Liberal plan, someone with the minimum number of hours would qualify for just 19 weeks of EI, not a full year. And the enhanced benefits would end with the recession.

And the payroll tax increase has been specifically denied by Ignatieff:
"Mr. Harper continues to deliberately misrepresent the Liberal position. He knows our plan is tied to the recession - not in perpetuity - and would not require increasing payroll premiums," he said in the statement.
So that's what we're dealing with in trying to argue with the Conservatives. We know this about them but it's become incredibly blatant on this EI matter. It's really an unprecedented display of audacity they're engaging in.

Whether all of this rattling will result in an election or not, no one really has any idea at the moment. But the Conservatives continue to show us the lengths they're willing to go to in order to maintain their grip on governance. It's incredibly ugly.