Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deficit Bad For Canadians, Worse For Conservatives

The Conservatives in Canada once had numerous strengths; their party was known for strong positions in regards to foreign affairs, crime and punishment, and perhaps the most important, the economy. With their adopting of the Liberal position of withdrawing from military action in Afghanistan by 2011 and their change to not make their crime bills matters of confidence, it appeared the economy was all they had left; but today in a 42 page report from Kevin Page, a parliamentary budget officer, it was made clear the Conservatives lost even that.

The independent government official reported this morning that in all likelihood Canada will be in deficit next year by 3.9 billion dollars and the year after that by an additional 1.4 billion dollars. The report contrasts greatly with the campaign promise from Stephen Harper, that Canada would not see a deficit. But perhaps the most troubling aspect of the report was the statement that it is a "distinct possibility" Canada will be in deficit this year.

Stephen Harper and finance minister Jim Flaherty put the blame for the looming deficits on the world's worsening economic situation, however the government's own independent budgetary officer suggests differently; that the poor economic position Canada is in, is not due to external factors alone, but in fact "largely" a result from this Conservative government's actions. In Page's report he succinctly states:

"The weak fiscal performance to date is largely attributable to previous policy decisions as opposed to weakened economic conditions."
With this damning evidence that the Conservative government under Stephen Harper is largely to blame for the upcoming deficits, Conservatives are now shown to have one of the worst economic records, and with that revelation comes perhaps a greater loss to their party. For they did not just perform poorly, they lost their last pillar of ideological strength; and that won't just affect future election results, that will affect their very core.


MississaugaPeter said...


Don't be fooled. The Conservative's Afghanistan 2011 withdrawal date promise was made in the same election, and is as good as their "there will be no deficit" promise.

Anonymous said...

Mississauga: Well I don't think we'll leave, I do think we will stop overt military involvement.


MississaugaPeter said...

If Harper has a majority, there will be no stoppage of "overt military involvement" until the U.S. realizes its folly.

The Liberal's infatuation with Obama may even result with the Liberals supporting a continuation, especially if Obama puts more troops into Afghanistan as promised.

Anonymous said...

Mississauga: I don't know. First Harper getting a majority seems more and more unlikely every day. I hope there is another election in a year because with these deficits Harper is pretty much screwed.

As for the Liberals hopping on the Obama bandwagon to stay in Afghanistan to do military operations in support of the US, I admit that is certainly probable and a good point. You should write up on that, it's an interesting possibility.

However I would hope Canadians, and Liberals would not allow that to happen. I personally would be quite disgusted if we continued fighting past 2011.

It certainly is a question I'd want answered by either of the leadership candidates, and if there was variance among them, that would almost certainly decide for me who I would support.


WesternGrit said...

Conservatives in Canada have not been sound fiscal managers in most of the past 100 years. Repeatedly Conservative gov'ts have been bailed out by Liberals. Whether it was Bennet, or Mulroney, or many in-between, they all needed Liberals to save our economy.

The myth of Conservative (conservative, more appropriately) economic mastery comes from the "old school" American and European conservative definition - and has little to do with these modern "failures".

Anonymous said...

Western: Oh I couldn't agree with you more. I just don't want people to forget it.