So Ignatieff's desperation, or should that be Donolo/Chretien's desperation revealed itself today? Apparently yes. The Liberals have released a new attack ad, falsely claiming the Conservative government would gut health care if given a majority. As already pointed out by many Blogging Tories, it appears Liberals have already resigned themselves to an election loss, and hope to keep the Conservatives from getting a majority, as they believe a Conservative minority government is inevitable.
So what about that new Liberal attack ad? The one that claims Stephen Harper will cut $11 billion in spending, most of it being health care. The ad appears to have been hastily created, with no thought given to blow back or facts of the matter. So let's take a look at some of the easiest talking points Conservatives can use regarding the ad.
1. The current health accord, a contract signed by all provincial and federal government, doesn't expire until the end of fiscal year 2013-2014. If the Conservative government wins a majority, the longest they would remain in power is 2015, leaving only one year to make those supposed health care cuts.
2. Liberals are back to that hidden agenda thing again. Pathetic. So Mr. Ignatieff, your party never campaigned in 1993 on a platform that included health care cuts in the billions. That was a real hidden agenda. So what guarantee do we have Liberals won't slash health care and transfer payments again? Your word Mr. Ignatieff? Sorry. Got burned by Chretien/Martin before. Won't happen again.
3. Canada is predicted to lead the G7 in growth for the foreseeable future, according to the OCED and IMF. A growing economy means rising government revenues, lessening the need for budgetary cuts.
4. The Conservatives have already pledged to keep the 6% yearly increase past the year 2014, as have the Liberals and Dippers. In fact, over the past five years Conservatives have maintained that increase, as well as injecting health care money into various causes, such as health care amongst aboriginals. So we have seen the track record of the Conservatives, and the record of the Liberals. Liberals lose this comparison badly. Sorry Mr. Donolo, but you can't rewrite history.
5. As pointed out by the PM, there are 80,000 public sector employees who will be retiring in the next few years. Using attrition and cutting a bloated bureaucracy is solid financial and economic policy. Money saved that can be used for things like health care. Hmmm. That seems to fit in nicely with the Conservative platform of focusing on the economy.
6. As was pointed out to Ignatieff during the debates, the first expenditure of fighter jets doesn't occur for another five years. That blows the coalitions whole argument about jets we supposedly can't afford. Even the PBO predicts balanced budgets within five years. So no health care cuts to finance jets. There goes a pretty big plank of Ignatieff's platform.
7. To this day, the Liberals make no apologies for slashing billions from health care for Canadians. They blame Mike Harris for health care cuts in Ontario. The problem is the Liberals have a new leader ready for a coronation when Ignatieff falls on his own sword. A guy named Bob Rae. Scary. The fact is Harris increased health care spending, despite the fact the federal government of Chretien?Martin cut the federal share. And anyone who survived the "Rae years" already knows the challenges faced due to Rae's absolute incompetence as Ontario Premier. ( think of this point as a two-fer. Ignatieff and Rae)
I'm sure many others also have excellent points. Please post in the comments section.