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“What do we hear from that side of the House? We hear about new taxes, high debt and the removal of all these benefits we have brought forward for Canadian families. The leader of the Liberal Party is promising to raise taxes on families and those who use tax-free savings accounts to save their money, and raise taxes on millions of families that receive the universal child care benefit. We will make no apologies for keeping more money in the pockets of Canadians.” 

Isn’t physically putting Canadians’ money back in our pockets a little creepy? I mean it certainly is for women and children. Likely even men would feel violated if a Tory slide their hand into your pocket to leave a twenty.

The above statement was first made by Conservative MP Joe Daniel and subsequently repeated, word for word, by Conservative MP Brad Butt that same day. A short time later Minister of Employment and Social Development, Pierre Poilievre uttered essentially the same statement in response to a question about the Liberals new tax plan. The Liberals do promise to get rid of income splitting and the child tax benefit (how terrible; both did so much for the average Canadian), but they promised to replace them with a childcare benefit that was better for all Canadians. They also propose to rearrange the tax system by cutting taxes by  2% for the Canadians at the lower end of the income spectrum and creating a new tax bracket for those making over $200,000 a year.


He's such a cute puppy dog! But beware his bark is worse than his bite!

He’s such a cute puppy dog! But beware: his bark is worse than his bite.
Jake Wright


Poilievre focused on the fact that the Liberals were nixing the increase in the TFSA to $10,000, you know, something all low income Canadians have. Because when you’re supporting a spouse and a kid on $60,000 dollars a year, of course you’re going to save $10,000 dollars. He also seemed to have nothing else to say, other than:

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader announced today that he would raise taxes for those earning less than $60,000 a year. Almost two-thirds of the people who maxed out their tax-free savings accounts earn less than $60,000 a year. They will have to pay more with the tax hike proposed today by the Liberal leader.

He repeated the same thing twice in the legislature. Now, I have noted before that Conservatives in particular tend to repeat the same phrases over and over and over and over and over…you get the picture. So have many others: most recently, the host of Jeopardy, Alex Trebek, who attended Question Period on May 5th and considered it to be “fairly scripted” with the scripts clearly all coming from the exact same printer.


Can I have "Scripted Political Phrases for Three Hundred" please Alex Trebek, host of the "Jeopardy!" quiz show, speaks to an audience of primarily media about an upcoming "Jeopardy!" show featuring an IBM computer called "Watson" in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011. It's the size of 10 refrigerators, and it swallows encyclopedias whole, but an IBM computer was lacking one thing it needed to battle the greatest champions from the "Jeopardy!" quiz TV show - it couldn't hit a buzzer. But that's been fixed, and on Thursday the hardware and software system named Watson played a competitive practice round against two champions. A "Jeopardy!" show featuring the computer will air in mid-February, 2011. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Can I have “Scripted Political Phrases for Three Hundred” please?
AP Photo/Seth Wenig


One of Harper’s most vicious attack dogs, Poilievre has been prone to intensive rhetoric before, the kind that doesn’t leave you as a cabinet minister for long. On Monday, he was so passionate about the Liberals’ proposal that he decided to go ahead and put an official Conservative catchphrase to the Liberal tax plan. He called it the Trudeau Tax. In the House of Commons.

Using an MP’s name (first or last) is forbidden in the Commons Chamber. Despite being a Conservative himself (and often under fire for blatant partisanship), Speaker Andrew Scheer was forced to remind Poilievre to mind his tongue. Scheer was unhappy to call out his collegue, saying:

“The minister will remember not to use proper names, but ridings. I ask the minister not to put me in the position of having to make that kind of determination and to just steer clear of proper names.”

He had to beg Poilievre not to make him reprimand him further. It effectively brought Pierre to heel, but, for how long, we can’t be certain.

The NDP struggled to put their own spin on the Liberal platform and simply pointed out that the Liberals and Conservatives had both cut taxes on corporations which should be reversed. Nathan Cullen, NDP Finance Critic, did admit that his party fundamentally opposed to raising taxes on the top 1% of Canadians. Apparently those who make more than the 170,000 an NDP MP makes shouldn’t pay more; only their corporations. Perhaps Mr. Cullen should check to see if this is actually the NDP platform, instead of a Conservative one.


As leader of the NDP, I shouldn't have to pay more in taxes!  Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

As leader of the NDP, I shouldn’t have to pay more in taxes!
Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press


It seems the so called “Trudeau Tax” (which isn’t all that taxing) may prove harder to spin negatively than the Conservatives and NDP would like. Perhaps they should focus on their platforms; sounds like they need some fine tuning.