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.”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".
“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.)
|Image constructed by The Analyst based on Canada Revenue |
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.