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In all likelihood, Dion’s Green Shift is dead. The political media will say Harpers win was a rejection of such a policy. I don’t believe this is true and is unfortunate.
First of all, the Green Shift was a big and fairly complicated idea. It’s effects and side-effects take some study or explanation to begin to understand. I don’t believe that just prior to a 6-week election is the best time to unveil such a complex policy. Such a short time frame makes it easy for the Conservatives to spin fear and uncertainty (ie: propaganda), without time to refute it all.
Second, such an important and complex policy needs to be accompanied by a massive public awareness campaign. As one data point, the only thing I know about the Green Shift was that it “shifted some taxes from income to carbon emissions”, it wasn’t supposed to increase anyone’s taxes overall, and tax credits would be issued for special cases where low-income or fixed-income people were being penalized. That’s the level of detail I have consumed, and I read a lot of political news and opinion. I didn’t go searching out more information, but most people won’t, so I’d claim there wasn’t enough good info being pushed out.
Third, and unfortunately, a policy change like this needs a charismatic leader to make people believe in it.
I think the ideal scenario would be for Dion to continue on as the “Green Shift” evangelist and environmental minister/critic, but paired with a great leader.
And, on a similar note, here’s a good article in the NYT today: (Green) Bailout (and Buildup)