No one makes things more difficult on Stéphane Dion than Stéphane Dion.
Imagine this: a politician deciding to champion a proposal that will increase taxes, won’t cap pollution, will disproportionately impact the poor, is favoured by big polluters, has been a demonstrable failure in other countries, and upon which he has launched a scathing critique not 24 months ago. It would be a tall order for a popular politician – and an impossibility for someone lagging at 10 percent approval.
Clearly in a charitable mood in view of the unfolding train wreck, pollster Nik Nanos has some free advice for Stephane Dion – get help!
“For him to have a chance to succeed, he needs the third party validators to come forward and say that it is reasonable, that it is achievable, and that it is desirable. If he's just left out there by himself, it's going to be a very difficult sell”
So, in that same spirit of charity, Canada’s number one equine themed politics blog is offering to identify people who say a carbon tax is reasonable, achievable, and desirable. Let’s see:
How about presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton? No luck there. She agrees with Jack Layton on a cap-and-trade system.
What about Barack Obama? Not a chance. He slams carbon taxes and agrees with Jack Layton on a cap-and-trade system.
John McCain must agree with Dion. Nope. Even he agrees with Jack Layton on a cap-and-trade system.
What about US-based envitronmental groups like Environmental Defence? No luck there. They see cap and trade as the way forward, just like Jack Layton.
What about other Liberals like Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty? Forget about it. Even the brother of Dion’s environment critic has broken with Dion on carbon tax and agrees with Jack Layton on a cap-and-trade system.
North America is moving towards a consensus on the need for a cap-and-trade market on carbon. Why aren’t Dion’s Liberals?
More crass political gamesmanship, it would appear. Liberals have decided that the NDP already “owns” cap-and-trade and didn’t want to share it with them. Spoiling for a fight that might help their leader's lagging approval numbers, they have put all their eggs in the carbon tax basket because they know Harper is vehemently opposed to it. Too bad for them, there aren’t many people who think carbon tax is the answer.
Sorry Stéphane Dion. When it comes to a carbon tax, you are pretty much on your own.