Friday, December 09, 2005


Election Day 10.5

The debates are one week away in Vancouver.

Various polls continue to show the Liberals with either a small, medium or insurmountable lead. There is one important thing to keep in mind all the Conservative campaign activity, it could have a delayed effect on polls. Once all their policy is released, people may take a more permanent, positive view of the party and leader.

The New Democrats

A solid announcement on health care funding. More money for primary and home care. This is not a vote grabber, but rather a necessity for the party that claims to be the champion of public health care. Also, not a bad strategy to target seniors since they actually vote.

Troop pullout of Afghanistan - Not sure this does anything but solidify the peaceniks.

Bloc Quebecois

Gilles enjoyed a wonderful 5 a 7.


The party unveiled another plank of their social policy platform and it is chalked full of, wait for it, tax credits. There are credits for tools, books (a $500 credit - max - at 16% is $80; about 10% of what the average student actually spends on textbooks) and equipment but no plan to increase non-repayable grants for students. Tax credits are bad social policy for two reasons: One, they are universal and everyone gets them; even those who don’t have financial need. In post-secondary education policy this is important since there is such a wide gap between high and low-income participation. Therefore, the majority of these credits will go to middle-to-high income students. Not good policy and definitely not going to remove a single barrier to access.

Second, tax credits are backend social policy. The student and family get access to the money during tax season, not when it is badly needed during school.

A promise to make the first $10,000 of scholarship and bursary exempt so, as Peter MacKay says, they will be easier to get. This will help a small collection of grad students or exceptional gifted students with enormous scholarships - see second last paragraph above to see who this will largely help.

The fact that the Tories addressed education is impressive and I give them full marks for including trade and apprenticeship, however, this is platform will not do anything to address the majority of the problems facing post-secondary education in the country.


Gun control and the Liberals? Do you really want to go down that road Paul? The idea of gun control is fine, however, the registry has been an absolute disaster. So now it is so long Anne, we needed those seats in Ontario and Vancouver more.

An outright ban on handguns; how 1970's, when it was actually first made illegal. Classic Liberal non-sense. Announce something that is already law and provide an out clause for those who legally use them (target shooters) and hope that nobody knows the difference. Collectors (and other "bad guys") can keep their guns if they become target shooters. Provinces can opt out. So, basically, nothing changes. Please go about your business.

There was more money promised for police and security which is a good thing. The Investing in law enforcement, including $225 million over five years for an RCMP Advanced Community Safety and Rapid Enforcement Team, $10 million a year for 10 years to increase the number of graduating RCMP officers, $50 million over five years for a Rural Community Safety Plan to provide resources for crime prevention initiatives in communities with less that 100,000 residents, and investments to stem the illegal smuggling of firearms into Canada.

FYI - The income trust issue seems to be an axe to grind gone wild. Apparently, the accusation seems to have started with Warren Kinsella who, for some reason, “mused” on his website that “a seniors organization had been actually briefed by Ministerial aides on what was coming before it did”. He later cited CARP as the organization. CARP issued a stern denial.

Tomorrow, watch for Paul Martin and Bill Clinton in Montreal, it will be in all the Saturday papers. A nice touch for the Liberals.

Shaky: It isn't for the gov't to pay for _all_ of the costs of a students books. It's to help students. 10% (trusting your numbers) is better then 0%.

Secondly, to follow your distinction, tax season goes well into the new year, that would be well past the beginning (when you buy books) of the second semester of University, so in effect each universities years books would be covered in a single tax year.

Dismissing this by saying that it doesn't "pay out" in August or December is just wrong.

7 p's of success. Proper planning prevents piss poor performance. University is supposed to be higher learning . . . I'd say that financial planning is part of that.

Don't be so quick to dismiss trustscam. Check out angry
You got the smearing part backwards, the liberals are trying to get at Kinsella. Kinsella's musings were right on. Don't be fooled by Ralph "the most honest, truthful, blah, blah, blah" Goodale. He screwed up royally by talking about taxing income trusts. His fire control was worst and now he is doing a typical liberal cover up..."nothing to see here move along, Stephen Harper is scary, I'm mister honest."

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