Blog of Mass Distraction

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Minor Problem

Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party are poised to form the next government of Canada. The Conservatives, like the Liberals and NDP, released their full platform last week. Harper has even been musing a majority government which might be possible if the Conservative popularity continues to rise (read:Martin/Liberal support continues to errode). Though there will probably be a number of strategic voters that shift from NDP to Liberal in an effort to avoid such a situation.
But for now it seems like Stephen Harper may be heading a Conservative minority government after January 23rd. With his anti-Liberal support solidified Harper has even made some rather bold plans in the Conservative platform publicly available. For example, the Conservatives plan to support the US Ballistic Missile Defense program (which I've discussed previously). While the Martin Liberals tacitly supported it, at least they weren't going to waste money on it. Now Canada may have a seat at the decision table and have to pay part of the bill (which runs in the billions).
Conservatives have also said they'll create a new type of savings plan called an RLSP (Registered Lifetime Savings Plan). It's purported to be for low and middle income families to help them save and works almost opposite to an RRSP. Tax is paid on money that goes in to an RLSP but not when it's taken out, and there can be up to $5000 contributed each year. What I want to know is where the hell would a low income family get $5000 after taxes to pay into this thing? It seems it would benefit the wealthy far more since they can easily invest that into a high return fund and not have to pay any taxes on it when they take it out.

On the plus side, if the Conservatives win a minority hopefully it won't last too long. The Conservative policies are pretty far removed from those of the other parties. This is especially true of this Conservative party (as opposed to hisorical PC platforms) because it's largely made up of Reform/Alliance party members. They are almost diametrically opposed to NDP policies and most policies of the Bloq as well. They may actually get some support from a few Liberal MPs since the Liberals more than other parties have the broadest spectrum of members (from all economic, social and political backgrounds and beliefs).


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