Chris Hall (CBC News):
There was a time in Canada when New Democrats were considered “Liberals in a hurry.” But in this federal election campaign the reverse appears to be true.
Under Justin Trudeau, the Liberals look and sound a lot like New Democrats in a rush.
Consider some of the key commitments Trudeau’s made both in the lead up to and during the election.
A Liberal government, he says, would spend a staggering $125 billion over the next 10 years to build and refurbish critical infrastructure.
The Liberals would tax the rich, creating a new 33 per cent tax bracket for people earning more than $200,000 a year. They’d scrap the Conservatives universal child care benefit as part of a plan to create a new, tax-free benefit that would pay more to lower-income families than those who are better off.
As well, Trudeau says, the Liberals are prepared to run deficits for each of the next three years.
OK, it’s not exactly socialism. Other Liberal leaders have campaigned from the left, including Trudeau’s own father, with great success.
But these Liberals are not just crowding New Democrats on their familiar turf on the federal scene. They’re happily pitching in to help NDP leader Tom Mulcair pack up the furniture as he moves his party to the political centre.
Whatever Mulcair is proposing, the Liberals will go bigger. Whatever the NDP plans to spend, Liberals will dole out more.