…Let us review the basics.
During the 2008 and 2011 elections, the NDP proposed the introduction of a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And during his run for the NDP leader, Mr. Mulcair offered his own cap-and-trade proposal.
It is on this basis that the Conservatives now accuse the New Democrats of seeking to impose a carbon tax.
You might remember a carbon tax as what Stephane Dion’s Liberals proposed in 2008. Mr. Harper said Mr. Dion’s proposal would “screw everybody.” Thing is, while the Conservatives were damning a carbon tax, they were proposing to pursue a North American cap-and-trade system. The Conservatives put it in their platform. And the Harper government put it in its Throne Speech. Jim Prentice lobbied the Alberta government to join the Harper government’s initiative. As late as December 2009, the Harper government claimed to be “working in collaboration with the provinces and territories to develop a cap-and-trade system that will ultimately be aligned with the emerging cap-and-trade program in the United States.”
But during the 2011 federal campaign, the Conservatives decided that cap-and-trade and a carbon tax were the same thing. So never mind what they proposed in 2008 and pursued through 2009. And never mind that, whatever they say now, they still won’t rule out pursuing a cap-and-trade system in the future if the United States is prepared to do likewise…
Maybe the Conservatives think you’re stupid. Maybe, more charitably, they just think they’re smarter than you. Or maybe they assume that you’re cynical enough—or enough of you are cynical—about this stuff that they can safely carry on like this. Or maybe they’re terribly confused themselves.
But sitting at home you probably shouldn’t be joining in the laughter. Because ultimately the joke is on you.