It absolutely true that it is time for some raw politics. Trying to please people who use their carbon tax rebate to buy F%%k Trudeau flags is not a sound election strategy. And there is nothing wrong with showing people who are willing to consider voting for you that you are listening and you are even prepared to go back on one of your signature policies.

What is missing though is a coherent communication strategy. Start with explaining that oil heating is 4 times more expensive than natural gas. The same GJ of heating energy is $48 when you use heating oil and $12 when you use natural gas. It is not hard to argue that people with heating oil as their form of heating do not need a further incentive to switch. And that people on natural gas should not be complaining (see https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/heating-oil-carbon-tax-pei-1.7012855#:~:text=Up%20until%20July%201%2C%202023,diesel%20prices%20across%20the%20country.).

Then you could make the 3 year pause for carbon tax on heating oil conditional on signing up for a heavily subsidized heat pump. The argument then becomes that people are making the switch, the carbon tax has worked, and there is no need to saddle these people with additional costs while they wait their turn in the cue for a heat pump installation. Win-win-win.

Then create a minister in charge of energy conversion who a la Sean Fraser forces provinces, utility companies and municipalities to participate.

And while you are at it, create a role for a good communicator to combat the steady stream of lies from the Conservatives. Right now if you ask Canadians what portion of your Thanksgiving Turkey $40 price was to due to the carbon tax, you probably get more than 50% saying that it is more than $5. In reality it is likely between 0.5 to a cent (out of the $40).

Expand full comment

Thank you Evan.

I generally agree with you. However, in listing the issues that matter to Canadians, I would go beyond housing (and the others you mention) to include cost of living more generally. The price of food has been an important example. The price of services generally. Fuel for cars and homes. And so on.

I don't have Canadian data (of course), but U.S. data suggests that voter memories seldom go back more than twelve months. By the next election, the carbon tax debate will be about prices in 2024 and 2025. And by then, the debate will have expanded to include the extent to which Canada is meeting its greenhouse gas objectives (my prediction: it will be falling far short).

Expand full comment

.. as always - mucho gracias amigo Evan ! Heavy Lifting Host of my current preferred ‘Port - In the Ongoing Partisan ‘conservative’ YellowMedia ShitStorm..’

NAY may I say ! ..The slashing Hurricane Levels of PreFab Made In The USA / GOP Style Illusion, Delusion, Confusion ‘flooding the ZONE WITH SHIT - DAILY

The Bizarre Reality of what appears to be The Supreme Party of Pierre4Poilievre - Charitable WarRoom Septic ThinkTank - ELECTION CAMPAIGN STRATEGY ? ?

(SAME Jenni Byrne CORE TEAM that secretly Tested/WENT BIG & Engineered The Live & RoboCall Scandal of 2011 - Attacking some 243 Federal Ridings)

Well firstly.. The Uber UPC Strategy appears to be (as mentioned) The ‘Flood The Zone 101’ of Modern YellowMedia Electoral Coup D’état PROPAGANDA

- Thus - with ‘malice & much aforethought’ - REDUCE ‘the Final Showdown’ to mano a mano BINARY Popularity Gunfight to INDUCE a Total Misperception

YEA ! A National Canadian Voter Constituency Perception ! To Wit ! Daily Publicity POLLS are as INFALLIBLE as the POPE IN ROME..

& The Polls - much ballyhooed ‘infinitesimal’ Margin ofnError.. err er ErrOR’

So let’s start recognizing that Fatal Attraction to THE POLLS

& then start looking at / or for Qui Bono ?

Expand full comment

Are you suggesting Gurney and Moscrop aren't genuine in their criticisms, becuase I'm here for that.

Expand full comment

The Liberals are just practising politics 101: say whatever you need to get elected, and once in office, do whatever you have to stay there. BTW, all parties do it.

Expand full comment