Tuesday, April 01, 2008

In motion

With the NDP announcing its House of Commons motion for later this week, let's highlight two factors which seem to have largely been missed in coverage so far.

First, and most importantly, the motion looks to be the strongest statement from any opposition party that the Cons' tax slashing (and the concurrent damage to federal finances) doesn't have to be a permanent development. For all the justified complaints about the Cons prioritizing tax cuts over all else, this looks to be the first time the parties will be directly debating the need to reverse any of the cuts in the future.

Second, despite the narrative attached to the story by the Canadian Press, the motion doesn't put any particular pressure on the Libs to vote against their policy principles (as they had to do to avoid an election on the NDP's previous environmental confidence motion). Instead, the wording not only takes aim at the Cons' policies directly, but also allows the Libs to speak (and vote) for their own position on corporate tax cuts without triggering an election by doing so.

Of course, that doesn't figure to stop some Libs from criticizing the NDP for not putting forward a motion designed specifically to assist Dion. But the motion is nonetheless an important step both in leading the way as to what needs to be done to reverse Harper's regressive policies, and in differentiating the NDP's position from those of the other federal parties.

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