Friday, November 05, 2010

Asked and answered

I'd tend to agree with Norman Spector to the extent that he sees plenty of opportunity for the NDP to generate outrage based on the events of recent days - even if I'd think at least one of the possible targets (Jim Prentice) is probably something less than the best possible example of the principle involved. But I'm at a loss as to how Spector thinks that view was missed in Brian Topp's recent advice.

With the Globe and Mail linking a Conservative MP to Swiss bank accounts this morning (albeit under an improbable headline), where’s the demand for a review of our loophole-filled tax system – the kind of thing you heard even from left-Liberals like Eric Kierans in his day? With a Conservative minister de-camping to Bay Street on the eve of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff arriving from the same square mile, where’s the voice of Main Street that you heard from even Conservatives like John Diefenbaker in his day?
They say it’s “time to stop the gravy train.” We should say good idea! Let's stop the gravy train – starting with the insiders, rich tax cheats, speculators, and all the other geniuses who wrecked the world economy and put millions out of work, while pocketing the bailout money.
And, with the National Post front-paging the latest in medical queue-jumping, where’s the rounding defense of public health care for everyone that you would have heard from Tommy Douglas?
They say it's time to sell off and privatize schools, hospitals and public services. We should say there are some important things best done together – like good public education for our kids and good health care no matter how big your wallet is.
In effect, all Spector has produced is a list of ideal examples of exactly the points Topp suggests making. Add "the insiders like Andrew Saxton and his clients", or "hospitals like the ones reported to be offering private MRIs and CT scans", and the two messages are entirely consistent.

Granted, there's room to question whether the NDP has in fact taken the opportunity to the extent that it can. But there's no reason at all to point to Topp or his suggested messages as somehow falling short of establishing exactly the type of frame that can turn concern over current events into NDP support.

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