For the record, I support the principle of the gun registry (though not its excessive overrun), and I don’t mean to diminish the memory of the people who died on the streets of my old home town in 2005, but upon hearing this bit of news in the wake of Toronto’s Boxing Day shootings, this little passage came to mind. Make of it what you will.

Paul Martin stepped up to the podium the other day.

My fellow Canadians. I am shocked — SHOCKED! — to learn that in 2005, more Canadians were killed on the streets of Toronto by cars than they were by guns. Well, as your Prime Minister, I’m here to tell you that I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

In response to these tragic deaths, I am announcing that, under a Liberal government, we will mandate that all cars be registered, and no car be driven without a license. Any person caught without a license or registration will receive a stiff fine, and the incident will go on their record. This government will set up a car registry, which will keep records on the cars are legally licensed to Canadian citizens, with a national database the police can check to verify the status of suspect automobiles.

To further combat the out-of-control car traffic on the streets of Toronto, we will impose hefty fines for the improper use of our automobiles. Anybody caught committing a crime with an automobile will face stiff sentences. These regulations will not harm responsible car owners. Those who need to use a car in order to put food on the table only need to register their car, and take a few classes before earning their license, after which they can enjoy the full use of their vehicle without government intrusion.

I ask Canadians to join me as we stand up to the car problem in this country. With your support and some decisive action, we will be sure that those individuals who died on the streets of Toronto last year did not die in vain.

Later, Martin’s advisors, who weren’t found sobbing behind the stage, could be seen chasing after him, shouting “Sir? Sir? There’s something you need to know, sir!”

Worth Repeating

A Conservative administration may mean that low-income taxpayers end up losing the tax cuts they received in 2005. This link comes courtesy Gen X at 40

Last November, before calling the election, the Liberals cut personal income taxes — a one per cent reduction to the lowest tax bracket, from 16 to 15 per cent, and an increase of $500 to the basic personal exemption. The cuts will mean a tax rebate for 2005, as less tax is being knocked off Canadians’ paycheques for 2006. The Conservatives voted against those tax cuts in November, but they became law. Late last year, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s staff told CBC Online the Conservatives would let the tax cuts stand if they win the election. But the Conservatives called CBC this week to say that while they would allow the Liberal tax cut to stand for last year, meaning Canadians will still get that tax rebate, they intend to immediately raise personal income taxes if they are elected later this month.

In Alan’s view, this is an example of the Conservatives’ stealthy social conservative agenda, playing up to a special interest group of their own:

The social engineers of the CPC get no control of our culture to reshape the nation in their image through a tax cut that will benefit everyone. So they have to scrap it. This means my family and all families that have an income that gets to or above the lowest level of taxation will lose about 400 bucks a year. It means people without kids are paying for Stephen Harper’s chosen beneficiaries of the state. As I suggested here, “the needy” (something that can be defined even if you can disagree on the given definition) is being replaced by “the family” (a term the socons can manipulate). Smackery of the moral law.

I would point out that Harper’s GST cut theoretically applies to everyone, and benefits lower income earners more than the rich, who consume more and thus pay more. But it is surprising that the Conservatives would even consider scrapping an income tax cut, being a party that supposedly wants to reduce taxes as much as possible, where possible.

What this means is that, in some Conservative eyes, certain tax cuts are better than others, but I’ve not heard a decent explanation of why that is. And when Harris took power in Ontario, or when Campbell took power in BC, the taxes they cut first were income taxes, despite suggestions that the sales taxes would be a better target. So it is fair to ask, why the different approach. Who do the Harper Conservatives see as being more deserving of tax cuts, and why?

It’s also worth noting that the agenda of a possible Conservative government will likely be tempered by opposition demands in a minority house. It’s possible we’ll get that explanation on the floor of the House of Commons at that time.

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