Now, the Trawna Star speculates that maybe Lizzie's workin' alongside Dion and not really upstaging him.
The Green party, meanwhile, will leap out ahead of the Liberal announcement today with a detailed accounting of its carbon-tax proposal. With its more sweeping taxes and savings, the Green plan may help pave the way to making the Liberal plan look more modest and practical, though Green Leader Elizabeth May, already in an informal co-operation pact with Dion, says that's not the motivation.
Here are the big differences, based on what's known now of the plans.
The Greens are calling for $40 billion in tax increases on carbon – $50 a tonne – including higher prices at the gas pump. Sources say Liberals will propose more modest tax increases – about $14 billion, and no increases in gasoline prices.
The Greens and Liberals are both promising "revenue neutral" tax shifts. But the Greens, with larger increases, are proposing more sweeping decreases in income taxes, including "income splitting" to allow couples to pool their income to pay the lowest tax rate. It's said that income-splitting is not foreseen in the Liberal scheme.
The Liberals' plan includes large personal and corporate income tax refunds, including wider use of "refundable" tax credits that put money in the pockets of those who don't make enough to pay tax. The Greens also propose to ease the tax burdens of seniors and students.
I ain't sure how much of what Lizzie announces today will be new policy. Vision Green spells out pretty much everything the Greens propose on tax-shifting, carbon taxes and anti-poverty solutions. These policies are contained in different sections of the policy book. I suspect Lizzie'll just be wrapping up existing GPC policy in a neat and tidy package so the public and MSM can wrap their brains around it more easily without reading 150+ pages of Vision Green.
The timing is interesting, I'll allow. Since our GPC policy has been relatively accessible for some time, I don't think the timing is too big an issue. It ain't like Lizzie's coming out with some brand new policy, like Dion's gonna be doin' tomorrow. Also, the media ain't gonna give Lizzie's announcement the sorta coverage they'll give Dion. I don't even know when or where Lizzie's gonna be stumpin'.
I think Lizzie's timing speaks to the fact that Greens have gained big support over he past couple years. Dion, as I blogged earlier, is actively wooing GPC supporters with a message crafted to attract soft Green votes. The same Star article I quoted above says the Liberals are planning to use the slogan, "Shift happens." How original!
UPDATE: Plan is released. http://www.greenparty.ca/en/releases/18.06.2008