Sunday, February 28, 2010

How the Liberals (under Dion) used to define democracy


It is over a year now that Michael Ignatieff has been the leader of the Liberal Party. As the former Liberal Candidate for Whitby-Oshawa in the 2008 election I was afforded the unusual opportunity, along with less than 1,000 other Canadians to select the new interim leader of the Liberal Party in early 2009. I readily cast my vote for Michael Ignatieff who then went on to be acclaimed the Leader of the Liberal Party as the only candidate at a convention in May 2009.

I cast my vote in favour of Michael Ignatieff, based on the conversations he and I had when he came to campaign with me for a day during the 2008 election. It was my understanding that Michael Ignatieff believed in the following definition of democracy, as contained in the Finance Committee report of February 2007, as the Finance Committee’s Number One recommendation arising from the Public Hearings on Income Trusts:

RECOMMENDATION 1: It is imperative that a democratic government be as transparent as possible when levying a new tax so that it can be held to account by its citizens. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the federal government release the data and methodology it used to estimate the amount of federal tax revenue loss caused by the income trust sector.

Twelve months have now passed and I have heard nothing from Micahel Ignatieff whatsoever on the matter of Stephen Harper lying to all Canadians about tax leakage from income trusts. Nothing. The only cause of blacked out documents that I ever hear or see Michael Ignatieff champion is the cause of the blacked out documents concerning possible abuse of Afghan detainees. Why would Michael Ignatieff pursue one such case of blacked out documents and not the other? I don’t get it. This should not be interpreted as my suggesting that any one issue is more or less important than the other. The act of government’s lying to its citizens and covering up those lies is what is important. Stephen Harper could be lying to Canadians about something as banal and trivial as whether he has sex with Monica Lewinsky. The subject of the lie is not what determines importance, it is the act of lying that determines the importance as well as the public’s ABSOLUTE right to know to know the real truth from those who are elected to represent their interests, and not somebody else’s interests.

Furthermore, when you have a pattern of lying, then the case against the liar becomes so much easier to expose and heightens the need to know, as we may be dealing with a serial liar. So why is Michael Ignatieff pursuing Harper’s lies about possible Afghan detainee torture, but has gone dead silent on the matter of Harper’s blatant lie about tax leakage? What gives? Are some Harper lies acceptable to Michael Ignatieff and members of the Liberal caucus, whereas others are not? Do the Liberals not see the immense value of connecting the dots between Harper;s apparent lies about Afghan detainees and Harper’s lies about tax leakage, that I connected as long ago as April 26, 2007. See: “Of blackouts and bluster”, at: http://caiti-online.blogspot.com/2007/04/of-blackouts-and-bluster.html

If so, how are these differences defined by the Liberals as between lies that are left unchallenged and those worthy of pursuit? What is the process whereby it is determined that some lies will be pursued with vigour and others allowed to persist? Whose interests are taken into account when making such judgments? Where do Canadians interest come to play, if at all, in making these seemingly arbitrary decisions? Much would be learned about the inner workings of the Liberal Party and who really pulls the strings by knowing the answer to this fascinating question. I suspect knowing the answer would not serve the Liberal party well, so my advice is for them to start doing what is incumbent upon them to do, namely pursue all of Harper’s lies with equal vigour and resourcefulness.

However, this is a question that Michael Ignatieff needs to answer and a decision he soon needs to make, as I am beginning to have my doubts about whether his definition of democracy and leadership differs from mine. My definition of democracy and leadership is determined by the resoluteness with which a person who leads the Liberal Party pursues the following. I have seen nothing to date from Michael Ignatieff to suggest he meets my test, of:

“It is imperative that a democratic government be as transparent as possible when levying a new tax so that it can be held to account by its citizens. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the federal government release the data and methodology it
used to estimate the amount of federal tax revenue loss caused by the income trust sector.”


I look forward to being proven wrong. A good place for the Liberals to start, would be by calling for the implementation of the Marshall Savings Plan in Budget 2010, as it is a win win win for all Canadians and a win win win for the Liberals if they have their heads screwed on straight.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brent:

A++++++

lets go Iggy????

JIC

CAITI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

ggy, unfit to lead and definitely unfit to govern. Another ivory tower wannabee like Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and Dr. Booth. They might make the 'All Egghead Team' but they are doomed to failure and will take all of us down with them as none of them have any real world experience.

Les

Dr Mike said...

A leader is only as good as his willingness to go to the mat for the people.

So far , the only thing on the mat is us.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...self-indulgent as usual.

Nothing about how well we did in the Olympics? Nothing about Chile?

Nope, Fullard's ego time, again.

Everyone is bad, no good and only Fullard is right.

Want some cheese with you whine there?

CAITI said...

Obviously Anonymous is so without an ego of his own, that he/she decides to post Anonymously?

Meanwhile, if you are so damn concerned about Chile and how well we did at the Olympics, why don't ypu tell us all about it, whomever you are.

There is no limit to the space available in these comments for you to take up your own cause, whatever that might be:

....Chile?....Olympics?...maligning me and my public service?...my huge ego?...whatever.

Look forward to hearing all about it. Go ahead...self indulge!

Brent Fullard

Rotterdam said...

you have heard nothing because he agrees with the change in policy.

CAITI said...

Rotterdam:

What policy change? The one where lying to Canadians about something as provable/disprovable as tax leakage is okay?

Or the one about double taxing retirement income in RRSPs, but not pension funds?

If so why did Ignatieff tell me this via email? Are you saying Ignatieff is a liar?


From: Michael Ignatieff
To: Brent Fullard
Sent: Sun, 5 Apr 2009 6:59 PM
Subject: Re: Okay Liberals: Your silence is deafening. What is your position on “Retiring into the unknown”?

Brent, this is your leader. We are working on pension reform. We have made our position on income trusts clear over a year ago.
Income security for Canadians is in the top three of my platform priorities. I thank you for everything you are doing to keep
these issues before the public. Stay in touch. MI

By that, Michael was referring to the following Liberal position:

“Building upon our initial proposal to retain income trusts as a high-yield investment option so that Canadians have a diversity of investment vehicles, while ensuring tax neutrality between corporations and income trusts, a Liberal government will repeal the punitive 31.5 percent tax on income trusts and replace it with a 10 percent tax that is refundable for Canadian residents.”