Over on the momentarily free pages of the Globe and Mail, one of the very few solid backers of Dion’s carbon tax in the columnist world is today backing off.
Jeffery Simpson writes that “the political timing, given what's happened to world oil prices, could not be worse” for Dion’s inflationary and regressive flat-tax now.
Dion’s carbon tax needs friends. But he can’t be too critical of Simpson for his defection when only months ago he was making the exact same point when he said: “Given the current price of these fuels, it is difficult to argue that a further price signal will dampen consumption or shift demand.”
But it’s not just on timing where the Liberals have erred. According to details that have already leaked so far, Liberals are preparing to tie their political fortunes to a scheme that will increase the price of diesel and home heating fuel, and won’t be in place for four years – ensuring that we don't meet our 2012 targets.
Dion must be wondering now why he didn't just stand with Jack Layton, Premiers McGuinty and Charest as well as Senators Obama and McCain in calling for a cap and trade system that is working in Europe and could be part of a North American solution to put a long-overdue real cap on emissions.
If he had, he'd at least have more friends.