Are the Ignatieff Liberals really opposed to the HST being implemented in Ontario and BC? How can they be, if, behind closed doors, assuring their provincial Liberal counterparts that they will honor the HST deals if they were to be government?
It's obvious that they're trying to both oppose openly (for the purpose of benefiting from voter anger at the HST's implementation by these two provinces) and, behind closed doors, suggesting that they won't scrap, kill, abolish it if in power (of course, they have the record of promising to "scrap, kill, abolish" the GST but once in power, never did, and they actually made HST deals with some provinces, too!).
At some point during the last few weeks, someone at OLO made the strategic decision to go after the government on the HST deals in British Columbia in Ontario,almost certainly to boost Liberal support in two regions where it is both critical and — at least, according to the most recent polls — starting to slide.
Given the widespread public outrage over the tax — particularly in BC, but likely to grow in Ontario as well — it must have seemed, on the surface, like a smart move, particularly in what then seemed likely to be the leadup to a fall campaign.The catch? Apparently, around the same time, someone else at OLO had given Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty the distinct impression that a future Liberal government would honour the existing agreement with Ottawa. Which is why when he was asked about it in a scrum last week, McGuinty was only too happy to go on the record with his understanding of Ignatieff’s views on the HST deal.
Not surprisingly, this left the federal Liberals rather unexpectedly on the defensive. John McCallum, the party’s finance critic, assured Hill reporters that the premier would soon be issuing a “clarification”. A few hours later, McGuinty’s office released a terse statement that, as it turned out, didn’t clarify much at all, except that the wink-and-a-nod on the HST didn’t come from Ignatieff himself, but some unnamed — but surely fairly senior — member of his team.
Bunch of short-sighted, dishonest feckups. Of course, we're talking about Ignatieff and the Liberals, so no surprise. It's not uncommon for these leftists to fail to "see things coming" when making moves that could blow up in their faces.
Well, stupid is as stupid does...