Monday, 16 July 2012

Brian Pallister slickest NDP foe in a decade

Brian Pallister in the House of Commons as a

Image Source: Retrieved from the CBC,
who obtained it from Fred Chartrand/Canadian

Brian Pallister is the most formidable opponent the Manitoba NDP has faced in at least a decade. While having experience as a powerful player in the Filmon cabinet (whose austerity agenda he unapologetically embraces), Pallister also has experience as an Alliance/CON MP. On his slick website the sole PC candidate has a bio highlighting his role in the Alliance takeover of the Federal PCs.

In 1997, he left provincial politics to pursue the reformation of a single National Conservative Party. In 2000, Brian was elected as the Member of Parliament for Portage for the Canadian Alliance Party (later to become the Conservative Party of Canada) and re-elected three times.
This serves as quite a good analogy for what Pallister's going to do to the Manitoba PC party. All remnants of "progressiveness", of the Red Tory party of Duff Roblin, will be extinguished.  What this leadership candidate will strive to do, in an ever so fabian fashion, is refashion the Manitoba PCs into the Manitoba Alliance Party.

In his years as an Alliance/CON MP Pallister learned Federal politics from the masters. Harper's CONs have mastered a mix of ideological conservatism and fake populism (despite having notoriously elitist policies), one that Pallister is obviously trying to channel in a way that Walter Weir would be proud of.  

However, the reason for the meeting in Oakbank was for Pallister to continue to spread his motto, “It’s time for change.” Pallister, a man who grew up southwest of Portage La Prairie on a farm, believes the province needs to boost attention and positives that result from honest, hard-working people. He explained, “I believe that grassroots small business drives the economy — not necessarily just a top-down approach.”


“They promised to not increase taxes in writing… but they did. Only the NDP can call a 6 per cent increase a cut. We are a blue-collar province who appreciates hard workers and we need to save the small businesses.”

("NDP’s time over, Pallister says". June. Jordan Swerid. The Beausejour Review.)
 The article doesn't make it clear which tax rates he was speaking about (I assume he's referring to 2012 Manitoba budget personal income tax increases). But I wonder what he'd think of Manitoba's small business tax rate - generally synonymous with the "lower corporate tax rate".

Image constructed by The Analyst based on Canada Revenue
Agency figures
Damn you, Selinger, placing unnecessary burdens on the small businesses (which, btw, aren't great net job creators) by giving them a corporate income tax rate of zero percent!!!! Have you no mercy?!

Regardless of the accuracy of whatever narrative the provincial conservatives try to spin, the Dippers should be worried. It looks like Pallister is going to come out of the leadership race unopposed, meaning that the Dippers and not fellow PCs will be the main target of Pallister's attacks.

 The Doerist NDP - and, yes, Selinger is still practicing Doerist politics -, for the first time, is going to face a skilled opponent. Triangulating, capitulating, and renouncing your social democratic principles to pander to "moderates" can only win so many elections. Facing a candidate running on conviction politics might be all it takes to topple the Doerist Dippers. 


  1. I think he may be referring to the increase in the gas tax. Also, I seem to remember that he left federal politics because of the far right leanings of Harper's cabinet, or at least that was the story at the time. At any rate, the Selinger government is so far to the right that the only place Pallister can go is off the deep end.

  2. I'm too lazy to search it out. Would have been back in 05 or 06. Besides, maybe I'm wrong. However, i think he left around the same time as Rick Borotsik, who also couldn't stand the reformers.

  3. Nice try on the corporate tax rates. It would paint a clearer picture if you included ALL required rates and remittances. The small business tax rate elimination is minor when compared against payroll tax and paid up capital tax. When you factor in these charges, Manitoba becomes uncompetitive really, really fast.

    1. Only banks, trust and loan corporations, and crown corporations pay the corporation capital tax.

    2. If you are going to provide a link, you may want to provide a link that actually supports your position.

      All corporations are subject to the paid up capital tax. The calculation method for Banks, Trust and Loan corporations and crown corporations is different and is what your link indicates.

    3. For fiscal years beginning after December 31, 2010, the corporation capital tax is eliminated for all corporations except banks, trust and loan corporations, and crown corporations."

      So, you're saying that "eliminated" means "it's still in place, but it'll be calculated differently from all non-financial entities"?

    4. It's eliminated now. But the whole concept of double taxing is absurd.

      Even without the capital tax and with the window dressing that's the elimination of the small business tax, Manitoba is uncompetitive in a business tax perspective - and that doesn't even touch on having the highest personal income taxes in the country.

      Do some math (I have)and take a look at ALL tax rates, etc. It's pretty easy to see why businesses don;t locate their head offices here