My Famous Tweet

Last week on CBC’s The National, my tweeted question was the first one that the At Issue presented and answered. Watch and listen to their response here.

Will There Be A Federal Election This Fall?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

My Apology to Dan Quail

First, have a look at this YouTube video…

Alaska, sandwiched between Russia and Canada. One on one side, the other, on, uhm, the other side. Foreign countries, both of them, if you’re from Alaska. And if you’re lucky enough to be from Alaska then obviously that makes you a powerful leader, poised to lead the world’s most powerful nation.

My apologies to Dan Quail for making fun of him. I’d like to retract all of my Dan Quail jokes and summarily project them to Sarah Palin, the leader of leaders from places that are in between other foreign places.

The Big Issue Is Pushed To The Sidelines Again

Regardless of a persons’ thoughts on the Liberal, NDP, or Green parties, and regardless of whether they support the Conservatives, I think it is absolutely critical to Canada that people take the keenest of interest in the environment and encourage the Conservatives to do more than what they are currently proposing. If you have young kids like I do, just think about what life might be like 30 years from now for them, and what we can do now to ensure a solid future for them. In my opinion, this issue is the biggest of them all and daft compromises will have significant effects in the years to come. Of course the economy is a huge issue too and is intrinsically linked to sustainability. Things like crime, childcare, tobacco laws, etc, pale in comparison to the environment issue.

Sound Economics

It’s always been my understanding that one of the big draws to the Conservatives is their supposed sound economic policies. Over the last few evenings I’ve tried to find some balanced, non-partisan overview on the Harper government’s economic performance. Overwhelmingly the information I’ve found has shown these economic policies are about as sound as a canvas covered canoe, minus the canvas.

This conservative Harvard economist thinks Harper’s energy tax policy is the opposite of correct.
Bad GST cut? Did the GST cut decrease your product pricing? There are too many examples of disagreement with the GST cut as being good economic policy, I’ll sum it up with this excerpt from a Maclean’s article:

It is, though, a move that annoys most experts on tax strategy, who tend to see value-added taxes on consumption like the GST as a much better way to fund government than taxing personal or corporate earnings. “It’s bad tax policy, bad economic policy,” said James Milway, executive director of the Toronto-based Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity.

I’ve also heard quite a bit recently about Canada’s drop in productivity.progressive-economics has an article on it, I suppose there are many other sources.
Added to the above is the deficit the Conservatives have racked up in the last 4 months. I’m not sure that is sound policy?

The one thing that Harper is good at is choosing policies that are extremely popular. If it’s simple and immediately pleasing to Canadians, then Harper will put it in his mandate. That is his economic plan. The GST cut, pretty much panned by all economists, was very popular with the voters and helped his party win a minority government. More recently the Conservatives are dishing out money leading up to the election, even though Harper insists “this is not money being thrown around on the eve of an election.”
Aside from economics, the Conservatives thrive on popular issues in all sorts of areas. Their “tough on crime” policy resonates with voters but a lot of it is doomed to failure. The USA is a prime example of how “tough on crime” doesn’t work. The Greens put it more succinctly than I.

Back to economics, the most frustrating thing about the Conservatives is that they don’t even come close to the very good record of the Liberals. As Chantal Hébert points out, despite what we think of Paul Martin the Prime Minister, there is a lot of good things to be said of Paul Martin the Finance Minister.

If you’re looking for some different viewpoints on the above issues, it’s not so easy finding them. For example, do a google search for Conservatives “tough on crime” and your first and second hits are pretty typical of what is being written on the web.

If you have any thoughts, idea, or links that are contrary to the above I’d like to hear from you….

Economic Bits on the Left and Right

I came across a couple of articles which expose downright silliness (if you believe the authors to be correct) with the Conservative’s economic plan. The first article is pretty funny. With regards to Harper, the author asks “if increasing taxes on carbon and reducing taxes on income would destroy the economy, shouldn’t Harper be raising income taxes and slashing carbon taxes in order to create an economic boom? If he truly believes what he says, isn’t he showing gross negligence with respect to the Canadian economy. Given that the economy is currently struggling – couldn’t he fix this with a reverse green shift, e.g. black shift?” You can find the whole article here at Crawl Across The Ocean.

The second article is less witty and more analytical. If I tried to summerize it, I doubt that I would do the author justice. So just read it if you get the chance and are interested.

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