Saturday, March 10, 2007

call an election; let's see what candidates are really made of ... i'm tired of speculation of an election and polls!

Dion says Liberals ready for a federal election
March 10, 2007 | CBC

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said Saturday he is preparing for a federal election even though he would rather not go to the polls this spring.

Dion said in an interview with CBC Radio's The House that the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper seem eager to have an election.

"We have a government that is spending like crazy in order to try to seduce the Canadian people," Dion said in The Pas, Man., one of his stops this week during a cross-country tour.

"It's clear that they are preparing an election. It's a shame that the prime minister wants to push us into an election like this, but if that is the case, the Liberals will be ready."

Dion said Harper has announced about $12 billion in spending in the past month alone and the announcements are a clear sign that an election could be called at any time.

"I don't want an election, but I know we may have an election in the coming weeks. We need to assume that we need to be ready."

While Parliament is on a two-week break, Dion has been visiting cities and towns to try to raise his profile as Liberal leader and build support for the party.

Dion acknowledged that the Conservatives have tried to vilify him through an estimated $3-million television ad campaign. But despite the nightly negative ads, he believes Canadians will come to appreciate his leadership ability and style.

"I will be able to show to Canadians that I am a leader. I have a clear vision of what I want to do for my country."
Dion says Canadians curious about him

Dion said he thinks Canadians also will embrace his "three pillars" of economic growth, social justice and environmental sustainability. He said he has consulted people across the country to develop a deep understanding of the country and its needs, and to determine a new direction for Canada.

"There is a lot of curiosity about me since I am now the leader of the opposition. People want to know more about who I am and it is my duty to be very available," he said.

Dion said a lot of Canadians have expressed concerns to him about the approach by Harper to national issues. For example, many have indicated they think the federal government should not have cancelled the Kelowna accord.

Under the 10-year plan worked out by the previous Liberal government at a first ministers meeting in the B.C. city, $5.1 billion was to be spent on housing, education, health and social needs for First Nations in Canada.
Concerned about budget

As for the federal budget to be delivered on March 19, Dion said he will have to study its provisions before deciding what to do.

"I am not saying I will support it. I am not saying I will vote against it. I have a lot of concerns about what he [Harper] is planning to do."

Dion said if the budget includes another cut to the GST, he is opposed to such a move because he thinks trimming income taxes would be more beneficial for Canadians.

The Harper government has cut the GST to six per cent from seven per cent, and has pledged to cut another percentage point.

Dion said no economists support further GST cuts.

Since he started his tour, Dion has delivered a speech on social justice in Halifax and another on the economic policy in Ottawa.