Liberals indecisive on policy: certain on political pork

The liberals have been and are being incredibly weak in the run up to and during this election.  We can usefully look at the liberal plan mark 1 and mark 2.

Liberal environmental plan:

Mark 1: Carbon tax good: direct, elegant, transparent and least easy to game.

Mark 2: Revenue neutrality bad: done for political expediency but actually confused the message and undermined the strength of the plan.

Deficits:

Mark 1: Deficits are sometimes necessary: infinitely reasonable proposition.

Mark 2: Deficits will never happen with the liberals in power:  Hmm, which crystal ball do they have?  Even in the face of a protracted recession?  Wow have they been sleeping? The whole world is old school Keynesian now.

Income trusts:

Mark 1, 2 & 3: Same bad policy position.  Don’t trust me ask Jack Mince.  If he and I are on the same page you know trusts are bad policy.  Probably one of those policies that we could fairly describe as pork that will produce bacon for the party coffers.

Consequence:

The liberals look indecisive on good policy and consistent only when it comes to saving their own bacon.  Partly they are the victims of their past success in out-flanking the right on the issue of fiscal “prudence” and the evilness of deficits.  The liberals of course used these two battering rams with great effect against the left-flank, both inside and outside their own party.  To call that hysteresis, is to fail to appreciate irony.

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