Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion moved to locate the party firmly in the middle between the Conservatives and the New Democrats on Sunday.

Addressing a Liberal women's meeting in Toronto, he said the Conservatives do not understand that the role of the government is to help people, while the New Democrats do not understand that the role of the private sector is to create jobs and wealth.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is an old-fashioned conservative, while NDP Leader Jack Layton is an old-fashioned socialist, he said. Dion described the Tories as having a "laissez-faire I don't care" approach.

The NDP's plan to roll back Conservative tax cuts for businesses and increase social spending is an effort to buy votes using "monopoly money." Taxing companies will increase the burden on the economy and the companies that create jobs.

The Liberals Green Shift proposal would cut taxes on productive activity, and tax pollution, he said.

Dion spoke after a number of Liberal women MPs had addressed the crowd. He was complimented for ensuring more than a third of the party's candidates in the Oct. 14 federal election are women.

Some of the speakers took shots at Harper, with candidate Diane Marleau calling him "a top-down paternalistic bully." Marleau is the incumbent in the Sudbury riding.

During her speech, Yasmin Ratansi, the  incumbent in Toronto's Don Valley East riding, said, "All [Harper] wants to do is become the 51st state in the United States."