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A clown with Garden Brothers Circus touches up his make-up in his Toronto dressing room on February 24, 2000. (KEVIN FRAYER)
A clown with Garden Brothers Circus touches up his make-up in his Toronto dressing room on February 24, 2000. (KEVIN FRAYER)

Tim Powers

The Liberal circus Add to ...

I want to pick up on a theme I began to develop yesterday - the Liberal Party as circus. Sit back, reflect on the major policy issues of the day and you find the Liberals offer nothing but nonsense, noise or nose stretchers.

Copenhagen - they have given you, the Canadian public, a picture altering contest and something they call an environmental initiative with no targets. Regardless of what you think of the government's plan, there are at least targets and a desire to work hand-in-hand with the Americans.

Detainees - other than calling for a royal commission, they offer nothing here but noise. Ujjal Dosanjh's heightened hyperbole and acting aside, they have not offered any prescription about what they would have done differently. In fact, history shows the Harper government improved detainee transfer arrangements in 2007, strengthening what existed when the Liberals were in power. They can chortle about cover-ups all the way want but the only thing they are hiding is their own intellectual ineptitude on options.

Just a brief detour - Mr. Dosanjh and others in the Liberal Party could take some lessons from Paul Dewar and the NDP on offering a responsible critique on Afghan detainees. Dewar always comes across as measured and thoughtful. He sounds like he wants answers as opposed to simply swinging for the fences as the Liberals appear to be doing. While the NDP have much more practice than the Liberals do in opposition, it is guys like Dewar, a future potential leadership candidate, that have arguably made the Dippers a more effective opponent of the government this fall.

Economy - In an op-ed piece earlier this week, Scott Clark, a member of Michael Ignatieff's "economic brain trust," called for increased taxes on Canadians. He suggests hiking the GST back to 7 per cent and says "a credible budget will have to include tax increases." Maybe it is worth debating what Mr. Clark has said, but as far as I know he contradicts what Liberals have suggested about tax hikes. So who is offering an accurate version of Liberal economic policy, Mr. Clark or Mr. Ignatieff?

No organization is perfect. This is true of the current Conservative administration. The Harper government can always get better, but compared to its Liberal opposition - particularly in these three rings - the Prime Minister looks capable and his Liberal opponents resemble clowns.

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