Seems like day 155.
Yesterday all the discussion was about Green Party leader Elizabeth May being excluded from the leader’s debate. This, May and her supporters say, is undemocratic because all views should be represented. May told reporters she will ask the uncomfortable questions no one else asks. But if the criteria is that all views be represented and leaders who ask difficult questions must be given a platform, then there is a strong case that Christian Heritage Party leader Jim Hnatiuk be included — who else is going to talk about abortion. And if the CHP, why not the leaders of the Libertarian, Pirate, and Communist parties. They are talking about things no other party leader is, they would ask uncomfortable questions, they would add to the diversity of the leaders’s debate. And if it is undemocratic to keep Elizabeth May out of the leader’s debate, then it is undemocratic to exclude the leader of any party.
Today the Liberals announced a $500 million “Early Childhood Learning and Care Fund” initiative which the National Post’s John Ivison points out is significantly scaled down from the Grit plan of 2005. Five years ago, a $5 billion “investment” in universal daycare was just a start but today a $500 million initiative represents about half of what Michael Ignatieff is promising will eventually make universal daycare affordable for all. Notably, the Liberal plan maintains the $100-month per child-under-six Universal Child Care Benefit. What I don’t get is that the Liberals have always complained that the $2.5 billion the Conservatives give directly to families is not nearly enough yet they are promising to add just one-fifth of that next year and 40% of that total when the plan if fully implemented “to give our kids the head start they need, while creating new, affordable child care spaces to give working families choice.” On Twitter, Stephen Gordon and Jo Kennelly do the math and find the Grit plan underwhelming. The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada said federal funding of daycare is a step in the wrong direction. IMFC has a number studies and commentaries that explain why universal daycare is a bad idea.
A very good debate at Economy Lab between economists Jack Mintz and Mike Moffat on income splitting.
The Liberals will release their platform live online this Sunday (April 3).