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Feature Article - December 8, 2005

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December 8, 2005

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Buy my vote, please

Editorial by Jeff Green

Stephen Harper has been running around the Country over the past week, talking about policy and making promises. As Christmas approaches it seems it is only a matter of time before he dons a Santa suit to accompany all the goodies he is promising to prospective voters.

If Paul Martin seems a bit Grinch-like about all these gifts Harper is bestowing, (last week Martrin was reportedly heard saying “I must stop Harper’s Christmas from coming, but how”), it’s probably because he doled out all his gifts back before the election, spending his billions for Halloween.

You can’t get points at Christmastime for the Hallowe’en present you bought for your kids. Any parent knows that.


It is as a parent, coincidentally, that I have a bone to pick with Stephen Harper’s latest set of goodies, $100 each month for each kid aged 6 and under. Hello, some of us don’t have kids under 6; what do we get out of it? Are we supposed to be happy for our friends and neighbours who have younger children? That’s like telling an older child to be happy for their younger siblings who received more expensive and desirable Christmas presents. It doesn’t really work.

If Mr. Harper would like to buy my vote, he’d better offer me some money.

He did just that last week, with his GST reduction promise, although I don’t think it is as lucrative as he said it was. The average Canadian family is supposed to save $400 per year.

I don’t know about anybody else, but my family can’t afford to buy that much stuff after making mortgage payments and buying food, which don’t have GST on them. For the sake of argument, let’s say the GST promise is worth $200 to me. I don’t count the other 1% of GST that will be deducted in five years because I can’t think that far ahead, and neither can any Canadian politician, as far as I can tell.

So, really, all I’ve been offered so far from Mr. Harper is $200 per year. Then again, $200 is better than nothing.

Now, the Prime Minister’s response to Stephen Harper’s GST promise was like that of a divorced parent who has found out that their former partner has promised a Play Station 2 for their child, and responds by promising the child an Xbox.

Martin didn’t say that voters shouldn’t be bribed with their own money; he said that it is better to give people an income tax break, that would be more valuable.

As a voter I say to Mr. Martin, please spell that out, how much do I get from that income tax break? Is it more than $200, because if it isn’t, well there’s this other guy offering more money than you are.

So far, the money on the table is really peanuts, unless of course there little tykes running around your house, in which case four years of Harper is looking pretty good right now.

But it’s still 6 weeks until Christmas - I mean until the election - plenty of time for Santa Martin or Santa Harper to sweeten the pot.

Maybe Christmas is the ideal time for a Federal election, after all.

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