Harper Unites French and English Canada - Against Harper

What do separatist leader Gilles Duceppe and Newfoundland Conservative Premier Danny Williams have in common? They both think Harper is unqualified to be Prime Minster due to his pitiful record on climate change.

It’s not often that a prominent Newfoundlander and a Quebec separatist have much to agree on, but it’s part of a growing movement within Canada to vote for the environment by voting against Harper.

In Toronto last week, Danny was delivering his “Anything But Conservative” (ABC) message to the heart of the business community at the Economic Club of Toronto.

“Over the last month, I have cautioned the Canadian people about the trustworthiness of this government, and their propensity to provide misleading and inaccurate information to further their own interests,” Williams said…[climate change activist] Gore last week described the federal Conservatives' environment plan as a “complete and total fraud … designed to mislead the Canadian people.”

The same day, Gilles Duceppe was trashing the Tories non-record on combating climate change:

“In refusing to take measures to combat climate change, the Harper government carries a heavy responsibility and will carry a heavy responsibility toward future generations.”

Duceppe was speaking at from the scenic north shore of the St Lawrence where climate-related erosion is already severely impacting the scenic coastline.

“Stephen Harper has already qualified the Kyoto protocol as a socialist plot and he has long chosen to protect the oil industry rather than the environment,” he said.

It is not often that an anglophone premier and a separatist leader are found pulling in the same direction. In fact, Harper is accomplishing what few federal leaders ever done – uniting French and English Canada towards a common purpose: defeating Stephen Harper.

This is part of a remarkable asymmetry developing around the politics of climate change. On one side, every national opposition political party has credible plans to combat climate change.

On the other side are Harper’s Conservatives - remarkable in that their name implies it is somehow “conservative” to proceed with an uncontrolled experiment with the planet’s atmosphere against the advice of the entire scientific community.

Harper is so isolated on this issue that he is now less progressive than even the US Republicans. Even John McCain is pledging a mandatory cap and trade system that will limit carbon to 60% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Harper’s woefully inadequate plan relies instead on “intensity” targets and involves neither cap and trade or a carbon tax. It is like trying to enforce the speed limit with neither fines or traffic cops.

If Harper is the next Prime Minister - regardless of who wins the US presidential election - Canada truly will have the worst record in the developed world on the most important issue of our times.

Likewise, any other political party in Canada is far more qualified to tackle climate change than Harper’s Conservatives.

No wonder such strange bedfellows as Gilles Duceppe and Danny Williams find themselves shacking up.


Both were against the previous Liberal government too. So one wonders what they ARE for. Has Dion made a deal with Williams to exempt Newfoundland from the Carbon Tax? Besides, don’t give credit to a party that wants to separate Canada.

If they believe climate change is the central issue, Why don’t the 3 opposition party unite into 1 focused on what they believe is the greatest issue of our times?

They would have a real chance in beating Harper that way and thus put in a carbon scheme and save then planet.

No - climate change is down the list for those 3. They choose to put their own parties into a 3 part divided we fail plan.

Their choice. They don’t believe in global warming. They believe in themselves.

I agree with this comment.

None of these parties seems to be showing that they put the welfare of the people before the welfare of their own party:

…if they did they wouldn’t be leaving it to Internet mavericks to push for strategic voting – they would all be pushing for it too!

I know a coalition would be hard for them to swallow, but come on, surely TWO of the four other non-right-wing parties could form a coalition!

Elizabeth May originally called for strategic voting in fact, so take her at her word and do it Canada!

Layton, unbelievably, has announced he is targeting “anyone but the Conservatives” in a bid to take votes off other opposition parties… so only vote NDP if it is strategic in your riding please…

Finally, if the Tories themselves put the will of the people ahead of the glory of the party, they would step down: a 40% mandate, with 60% of the population not voting for you, means staying in power is slapping Canada’s MAJORITY in the face!

Duceppe and Williams? No wonder Harper has little to worry about this election.

“In fact, Harper is accomplishing what few federal leaders ever done – uniting French and English Canada towards a common purpose: defeating Stephen Harper.” - Mitchell Anderson

Oh come on Mitchell. That’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard this election campaign.

The Canadian electorate is tired of William’s shenanigans and Duceppe is increasingly irrelevant in his home province. Neither pose any threat to the Conservatives and their return to power.

What do separatist leader Gilles Duceppe and Newfoundland Conservative Premier Danny Williams have in common?

They both want to separate from Canada.

I like how you throw in the picture of Bush up there.

Harper=Bush and Bush=Evil therefore Harper=Evil.
It’s the Desmog math

Yeah, and what are these people going to do after January? No more Bush to Bash, but the situtation in the US will be unchanged, if not getting worse. I can see it now. Harper=Obama and Obama=Evil therefore Harper=Evil. Same twisted math.

Does anyone else find it interesting that AGW splits so decisively down political lines?

IE: the left is religiously devoted to it and the right is uniformly skeptical.

Does that not state emphatically that this is a political issue and not a scientific one?
All very amusing, but Harper will win anyway.

ABL – AnyWhichWay but Left

The science is solid. It’s the interpretation that is split. People who are inclined to believe that everything is a plot to deprive them of their freedoms interpret it as a UN socialist conspiracy for global domination and an opportunity to part them from their wealth. People who are concerned about our future on the planet see it as something we must address as a planet, regardless of political ideology. For myself, Gary, I don’t care if you want to hoarde every penny you ever made and spend it all on yourself instead of responding to need among your neighbours & fellow travellers. But this is about what you might be doing that will threaten the lives of people around the world. Yeah, I know - this is hopelessly earnest and boring. But I am willing to bet that sea level rise is not going to displace you and deprive you of your livelihood. What will you say when someone knocks on your door whose house has been swept away and has nowhere to go?

Fern Mackenzie

Provide peer reviewed papers that supports all these faith based predictions. Otherwise, it’s just dogmatic belief in an orthodoxy.

Yes, AGW is nothing more than an attemp by socialist/left wing radicals to steal money from the rich and pass it on to the poor. The evidence is there to be seen.

1) Kyoto exempts all developing countries, only the developed (rich) countries pay to the developing (poor) countries for the CO2 emissions, regardless of the CO2 emissions of the poor countries. If it was a planet killing crisis as you claim then no one anywhere should be exempt.

2) Countries in the EU who have imposed such taxes on carbon are seeing their economies tank. Germany has 12% unemployment. The UK is in crisis mode over high taxes and companies leaving. Denmark reduced their CO2 emssions, not because of a will to do so, but the fact that 25% of their manufacturing companies left the country to go where there is no taxation. The EU public is paying up to 40% more for energy. They are all calling the EU to scrap these high taxes.

3) Dion’s green shift plan will only funnel money from wealthy people to the poor and do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions.

If it smells like a socialist plot, looks like a socialist plot, it is a socialist plot.

Oh, and to add. I find it highly hypocritical that the left complains about globalization killing our jobs which move to China, India and Mexico. Isn’t this exactly what you wanted? Move wealth generation from the rich countries to the poor countries? Called “redistributing the wealth”. Well, you got it, along with the job losses here. Complaining about that and asking for protectionism is a right wing ideology. So when it does affect you personally you abandon socialism.

It appears you are wildly incorrect, purposely so I should suspect..

“Between 1990 and 2006 Sweden cut its carbon emissions by 9%, largely exceeding the target set by the Kyoto Protocol, while enjoying economic growth of 44% in fixed prices.”


Also see:

(PS. Note how much nicer it looks when you provide references instead of just picking numbers from the air :-)

Take a close look at what is going in in Europe. They are all trying to get out of emissions standards because it is killing their ecomomies.

BTW, no country has 44% growth, That’s pure BS.

Still no links or references to back up anything you say though of course…

I’m from Sweden. We’re doing great thank you very much.

Swedish Economic Growth Decelerates Dramatically


“Preliminary numbers indicate that Swedish economic growth fell to just 0.7% in the second quarter. Using my terms of trade adjusted approach, growth was even slower at just 0.2%.”

Swedish government warns of weaker economic growth


“Gross domestic product is expected to grow 1.5 percent in 2008 and 1.3 percent in 2009, as earlier projected, Borg said. But he said the estimates for economic expansion could later be revised downward.”

“Borg plans to cut income taxes in 2009 by 15 billion kronor (US$2.2 billion) and to invest 16 billion kronor (US$2.4 billion) to ease red-tape, corporate taxes and social security fees for businesses.

It would be the third in a series of income tax cuts introduced since the four-party alliance came to power. Income taxes were reduced by 40 billion kronor in 2007 and 10 billion kronor in 2008.”

What is your total personal tax load?

Well, 1.5 percent GDP growth is still a lot better than a recession/negative growth which seems to happen in a lot of countries lately, even though you claim they should be protected from all harm by their lack of carbon tax..

Doing the right thing for all future generations doesn’t have to damage the temporary economic climate that you prefer to worry about. Here’s a new UN report to this effect:
UNEP: Landmark New Report Says Emerging Green Economy Could Create Tens of Millions of New “Green Jobs”
“In Germany for example, environmental technology is to grow fourfold to 16 per cent of industrial output by 2030, with employment in this sector surpassing that in the country’s big machine tool and automotive industries.”

Hi Fern:
First off: The science is solid. It just does not support the AGW alarmist position.
I know you all really really believe it does, but the facts say otherwise.
If there was solid support there would be no contraversy and no political split.

If I believed in AGW I would be out promoting sensable actions to deal with it.
However, I am thourghly convinced it is just another in a long long line of false crisies and I am very sure (90%+ Pun) that it will all be a bad memory in a few short years.

If someone was actually displaced by actual AGW caused sealevel rise and they showed up at my door, I would take them in and take care of them. Same as you would.

I can only imagine the “hoarde” is a Scot spelling. I believe spelling differences are going to cause WW3 so I’d be careful with that if I were you.

Get Ready for the Global Warming Propaganda


Now that government scientists recognize that the sun’s lack of sun spot activity is going to significantly cool the solar system, get ready for the storm of propaganda. You’ll hear something to this effect on every major news show and every major newspaper.
“Global warming is still real. These colder temperatures just mean it could be a lot colder without global warming. We still must fight global warming because these colder temperatures will not last. We must still significantly reduce our carbon footprint.”

yeah - there is a lot invested in this AGW thing. They can’t just stop the AGW bus and say it’s all going the other direction for a while. Not gonna happen. No matter what climate numbers come up in the next 10 years, we’re going to hear global warming, global warming, global warming. Carbon carbon carbon.

Wow, 6 of the 9 comments so far are Gary and Rick. Hurray for internet comments! Get a blog and your own traffic if you want to talk bull.

good topic based comment right there.

here’s an idea - ignore me - or have a members only comment section - or have no comment section at all.

you have all the options in the world - getting me to voluntarily go away is going to be a challenge though.

It’s probably going to have to be done by making some adjustment to procedures at desmog - thats not my department.

your irritation at different ways of thinking is troubling. I recommend against that. In fact the only thing I use comment sections for are for trying to see some other point of view from what is presented. Sort of a peer review.

Admit it, most large site comment sections are a wasteland. See YouTube, or theglobeandmail.com. Compare though the comments on newscientist:

Damn! Each and every idiotic denier gets dealt with in their turn. I guess Canadians just don’t have the patience. Count yourself lucky.

PS don’t think you’re not trolling when you post comment after comment not even waiting for replies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

I do converse but if there is no response and another point comes to mind. I jack it up.

I don’t believe I qualify as a troll but I’ll go check your definition.

Okay I checked - consider the “usage” section in wikipedia

Application of the term troll is highly subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. The term is often used to discredit an opposing position, or its proponent, by argument fallacy ad hominem.

Often, calling someone a troll makes assumptions about a writer’s motives. Regardless of the circumstances, controversial posts may attract a particularly strong response from those unfamiliar with the robust dialogue found in some online, rather than physical, communities. Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore him or her, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts — hence the often-seen warning: “Please do not feed the trolls”.[11]

Frequently, someone who has been labelled a troll by a group may seek to redeem their reputation by discrediting their opponents, for example by claiming that other members of the group are closed-minded, conspirators, or trolls themselves.

Recently, many websites have openly welcomed and encouraged trolling amongst their members.[12]

“or have no comment section at all.”

You mean like those right-wing think tanks where you guys like to get your “facts”?

there’s a plus/minus to comment sections. The interactive part of it probably gives you a bigger readership, but then you get guys like me who aren’t on board and try to poke holes in the orthodoxy.

you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

If we can have our planet and poison it too, then surely we can have our cake and eat it as well?

I don’t think so. You’d have to offer up some verifiable credentials to prove you’re qualified to critique the content. So show your hand, Rick. What qualifies you to dispute the science?

Fern Mackenzie

Hey Mike - just took another look - every single comment here in some way rebuts the main article - except yours and you just talk about me.

Where are all the supportive comments? the pro AGW discussion? You guys are letting down desmog. This comment section isn’t here for it’s own health you know.

You have 7 of 20 comments now. Proof by repeated assertion is not rebutting. You need a life if you spend so much time trolling.

it’s all about me Mike. Even you are talking about me. Lets just rename the comment section the “Rick Section” I’m good with that.

Just look at todays posts here on Desmog.
The propaganda is getting positivly shrill.

Very amusing.

Dion Supporters: http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/15394/

wow, a crappy article gets posted and Rick and Gary think they’ve solved the Global Warming Conspiracy. Keep posting boys, your families must be proud!

Cam - I take offence in behalf of desmog. Calling an article crappy is uncalled for among polite company. Please be more considerate.

Look, I can post Dion material as well…

The Liberal proposal is a modest, cautious economic package, said Finn Poschmann, director of research at the C.D. Howe Institute. “You wouldn’t find big surprises here. In some respects, economically speaking, it’s a safe economic program.”

Wow, this doesn’t sound at all like the conservative allegations.

and yet they are minimizing carbon tax talk now and they’ve been totally ineffective in building any confidence with the electorate - Whats up with that?

Major flaws in the Green Shift.

1) a single mom with 2 kids living in an appartment who earns $30K and takes the bus will get $1600 back. Yet her CO2 footprint is small, she cannot adjust it at all (utilites are in the rent).

2) A truck driver with a house and stay at home mom with 2 kids will get $900 back, but he will lose all of that to the 7c/Ltr tax on his diesel. Plus heating and powering his home. He will be a net looser.

3) Single pensioner on social assistance gets $130 back. Yet will be a net looser due to the carbon tax.

Thus hardley “revenue” neutral. It’s a tax grab to funnel money from rich people to poor people. Socialism all the way.

But there is more.

1) Dion annouced that they will charge foreign companies who have industry here the tax, so those companies will not be able to pass the tax on to Canadians. That’s an admission that Canadian companies WILL pass the tax down on every single item we buy. That will increase inflation, causing the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates. People pay even more.

2) Municiple governments do not have income tax to get back. But they will pay the carbon tax on everything, especially concrete and diesel fuel. The only place they can recoup that is by increaeing land taxes. People pay even more.

3) the cost to run the program will be uncontrolable. The gun registry is a simple task that costs 2 billion to run. This greenshift is going to be far more complex. It will cost billions more to run. People pay even more.

4) The whole purpose of the carbon tax is to change people and companies to avoid the tax by shifting to “cleaner” sources of energy, which reduces CO2, the goal of the Green shift. But as people/companies do that revenue from the carbon tax will drop. Yet they still have to abide by the cuts in income taxes. Thus there will be an erosion of the tax base over time. They will have to raise taxes to compensate. People pay even more.

No, this plan is full of major holes. And, BTW, as soon as an economist endorses something like this I know for a fact it will not work. There are liars, damn liars and economists. No economist is politicially neutral.

What’s not to like about Ms. May?

She is genuine and sincere, but it’s hard to take her Green Party’s policies seriously

[email protected]

Saturday, September 20, 2008 – Page A27

NEW GLASGOW, N.S. – Elizabeth May can talk your ear off. She has facts and figures at her fingertips. She can talk for hours and hours about her carbon-tax plan and how it will transform our economy. It’s hard to get a word in edgewise, so finally I start interrupting. How the heck are you going to sell people on higher gas taxes? How can we tackle global warming when India and China have told us to get lost?

“Can I finish the answer!” she barks, and then, “I never said that! Haven’t you read our policy documents?” She tells me Germany has created 400,000 new jobs in green technologies. Finally, I interrupt to ask why she thinks it’s feasible to stabilize global greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 - by all accounts, an impossible target. “You are really a tough interviewer!” she says in exasperation. “I wanted you to like me. And I don’t think you do.”

That’s nonsense. Everybody likes Elizabeth May. She is the People’s Choice - the spunky underdog who muscled her way into the old boys’ club of the leadership debates. Even though the Green Party has never elected a single MP, she has persuaded the national media to take her seriously. They seek her out for quotes and deliver daily updates on her campaign tour - just as they do for the Old Boys. In English Canada, she has attained the status of a legitimate fourth party.

The reason for her popularity is no mystery. People see her as genuine and sincere - an anti-politician who’s in it for a good cause, not for herself. They like the way she takes potshots at the big guys. As an environmental activist, she’s been on the stage for 30 years - ever since she made her name battling forest companies that were using herbicides to wipe out the spruce budworm. She is a polished, and indefatigable, public speaker who relishes her image as a giant-killer.

We scoot a few blocks across town for an interview with the CBC. The studio consists of a camera set up on the sidewalk. Her rival Peter MacKay, the Conservative Defence Minister, is already there, doing a sound bite about Afghanistan. They hug affectionately, then Ms. May does a flawless two-minute monologue on the Green Party’s economic policy. Across the street, several heavily tattooed citizens lounging on a broken-down old sofa give her the thumbs-up.

Ms. May has a gift for persuading powerful and important men to do what she wants. Astoundingly, she persuaded Stéphane Dion not to run a Liberal in this riding (a decision that still has local Liberals hopping mad). Even so, she stands zero chance of winning against the popular Mr. MacKay. This area has been sending MacKays to Ottawa since 1971. So why run here, instead of someplace where she might actually have a shot? “I’ve won most of the campaigns I’ve ever fought, against impossible odds,” she says firmly. “I’m not particularly impressed when people tell me what the odds are.”

New Glasgow is not exactly a hotbed of environmentalism. The town is a two-hour drive from Halifax, in the middle of picturesque Pictou County. It’s a land of rolling hills, small towns, white church spires, and deep roots. Unemployment is high and incomes are low, and big old charming houses come cheap. For people with good jobs, the quality of life is fabulous. For others, there are the Alberta oil fields.

“The boys used to come back every three months,” says a single mother named Colleen, whose brother has gone west. “But a lot of them don’t do that any more. It’s too depressing.” Colleen holds down two jobs to make ends meet. She likes Elizabeth May, even though she doesn’t know a thing about the party’s policies. “She’s a strong woman.”

The next day in Halifax, Ms. May unveils her election platform under glorious sunny skies. All the major media show up. Unlike other environmental crusaders (see: David Suzuki), she does not preach doom and gloom. She does not warn that the world will end unless we mend our wicked, wicked ways. Instead, she is cheery and full of uplift. Her carbon plan will cure just about everything that ails us. It will even pay for universal day care.

She has freely admitted that her key idea of shifting taxes from incomes to carbon is the same as Mr. Dion’s. The difference, she insists, is that “I can explain it better than he can.” She tells the cameras that her economic plans are realistic, business-friendly and fiscally responsible, and waves some Excel spreadsheets to prove it. “All the countries that have implemented tax-shifting plans have found that they work.” But her message goes far beyond mere economics. She also promises a slower, kinder, closer-knit and more community-minded world - something that resembles New Glasgow back in the fifties, only better.

Not all the onlookers are buying. “There’s something noble about it,” says Jim O’Dowd, a tourist from Surrey, B.C., who has stumbled on the scene by accident. “But it’s economic idiocy. It will never work.”

Ms. May insists it’s time to take the Greens seriously as a political party, not just a moral cause. So I asked some experts to evaluate their green plan.

“Their economic platform is incredibly detailed, with all sorts of micro-managing issues on many, many fronts,” says Sherry Cooper, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. “They are calling for nothing less than a full-scale remodelling of the Canadian economy. They are anti-trade. They want food sufficiency on a regional basis, so I guess we will all have backyard vegetable gardens and never again eat pineapple or bananas. … Instead of harnessing modernity and using our scientific know-how to find alternative fuel sources, the Greens want to take us back to life before electricity and the combustion engine.”

“Her budget doesn’t balance unless we massively increase our carbon emissions,” points out Aldyen Donnelly, who’s president of the Greenhouse Emissions Management Consortium. She also faults Ms. May on the facts. Every European country that introduced carbon taxes - including Germany, Sweden and Denmark - has suffered heavy losses of manufacturing jobs. As for Germany’s green jobs, they’re all subsidized by the government. “Carbon taxes have proven to be an economic death spiral,” Ms. Donnelly says.

In Europe, the Green wave is in full retreat. Faced with souring economies, Britain and other countries are pressing the European Union to roll back its carbon-cutting legislation. In the U.S., talk of international climate treaties has all but vanished. The new slogan is: Drill, baby, drill.

In Canada, the Green Party is polling at an impressive 10 per cent. But a fair chunk of that support, pollsters say, comes from people who are simply in a snit about everybody else. It’s not unlikely that the peak of Ms. May’s popularity is right now - and that after the debates and the election, air time will be hard to come by.

But don’t feel sorry for Ms. May. She loves long odds. And she has a rich life plan. Her faith (Anglican) is quite important to her, and one day she’d like to be a parish priest. “I like parish life,” she says. “Church is one way we still knit together as a community.” In her spare time, she’s studying theology, which, she says, “is a lot more interesting than politics.”

In her sensible black suit and shoes, I realize, that’s exactly what she is. An energetic parish priest, delivering hope and a message of uplift to whoever wants to listen. Someone who wants to knit together a community, and find a better way to live. What’s not to like about Elizabeth May? Even if you don’t believe.

after the election. Not in terms of members elected, but popular vote cast. I’ll bet a mortgage payment that the Green Party earns a percentage that would have entitled them to several seats if we had proportional representation.

Fern Mackenzie