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.