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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stephen Harper puts down the text of the fiscal update, slowly backs away

An update from the Financial Post:

OTTAWA -- Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister, said Sunday he plans to table the next budget on Jan. 27 and indicated temporary stimulus -- likely in the form of aid for the ailing automotive sector and additional liquidity injections into the financial system -- is in the offing.

"There will be further stimulus to the economy ... that is given," he said, adding that Ottawa was "going to have to deal with automotive issues".

Furthermore, the Conservatives moved to remove yet another controversial element from its financial plan -- a temporary ban on strikes in the public service. On Saturday, it announced it was dropping attempts to kill taxpayer-funded subsidies to political parties.

During a Sunday morning broadcast interview, Mr. Flaherty said the economic situation is dire. That's why the government has pushed up the budget's timetable and it will be "very serious" in crafting the budget document.

Read the rest.

I always prefer economic "stimulus" which actually stimulates the economy, like tax cuts and shrinking the public sector, to actions which benefit a small minority of Canadians and sometime result in lower unemployment figures in the short term but which harm us all in the long; but I can't be all that disappointed that Flaherty and friends will be extending corporate welfare to the auto sector or flooding the banks with money since it was never in any doubt that Flaherty is a Keynesian true believer.

The Conservatives backing down from their bold policy to ban public sector strikes (well, ban isn't exactly the right word–government employees could still strike, but shouldn't be expecting their jobs to go unfilled in their absence) is yet another dissapointment after they withdrew their plan to end public funding of political parties.

The opposition are not going to back down now, if they can overcome the large obstacles and agree on a Liberal-NDP coalition with the support of the Bloc, they will vote against the fiscal update and force the Conservatives out of government. Such a coalition government will follow the example of the Bush and soon-to-be Obama administrations by ramping up spending, bailing out anyone who asks very nicely, and possibly even nationalizing the banks and the financial sector, but its unlikely to result in a long-lasting or stable governing situation.

The Conservative Party will be contesting another election sometime in the near future and I don't think they're well served by looking panicked, skittish, and as indistinguishable from the Liberals as possible. It seems to be that Harper's chicken dodge has expended a lot of political capital and credibility with the voters to achieve a big ol' pile of nothin'.

Harper is just another political animal who always chooses power over principle. But, as we may be seeing, even Machiavellian politicians like Harper can stumble out of power.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on November 30, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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We are in full panic mode. We look like idiots. Taping and publishing private telephone conversations is illegal in Canada. Harper is being compared to Richard Nixon.

Anyway this works out we are screwed and it is all Steven Harpers fault. We will never get a majority now.

It’s like Jim Prentice planned it all but he didn’t.

Posted by: Bruce | 2008-11-30 6:12:16 PM

Harper is in a full panic and on the run! Nice to watch Baird, Harper and Flaherty squirming! Even their own supporters are turning on them now! Welcome back to the opposition bench for the next 2 to 3 years Stevie Harper! lol! I doubt Harper can take the humiliation--he'll quit and run sobbing back to Calgary!

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-11-30 6:21:30 PM

So who is going to go to jail for the illegal taping, the money laundering to get around Elections Canada law, the attempt to bribe an MP, and all the other nasty stuff? Can you see Harper in jail? He can get tips from Lord Black on how to please hard to please fellow prisoners! lol

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-11-30 6:23:33 PM

He can get tips from Lord Black on how to please hard to please fellow prisoners! lol

Posted by: ROGER | 30-Nov-08 6:23:33 PM

Obcessively sick puppy you are.

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-30 6:28:35 PM

Hey JC, I believe on being tough on crime and hardened unrepentant criminals like Black ought not to do their pandering in public like his article begging Bush in yesterday's Post. If I had my way, black would be fed bread and water and be charged for his stay in jail! And I would make him work on a chain gang clearing brush, digging ditches and doing an honest days work everyday, instead of loafing around writing columns and encouraging other criminals to think of jail as a soft place to lounge around! Be tough on crime, make criminals like Black pay!

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-11-30 6:43:14 PM

Harper inherits Joe Clark's mantel of loser! Gotta love the changing of the clown achievement award! It is 1979 all over again! John Crosby was a lot funnier than Flaherty, but hey, Harper is more deserving of the title than Joe Who Clark ever was! Harper is never going to live this down! And for a guy with a really thin skin who tries to act like a strong man, Harper is going to be apoplectic with rage and humiliation! Luv't!

Posted by: ROGER | 2008-11-30 6:47:47 PM

what can I say ? we have two parties recently rejected in a general election are going to overthrow the government propped up by a party who's sole aim is to break up the country because Harper threaten to take away their tax payer subsidies, now I think I've seen everything.

Tell me again is this for the benefit of Canadians or Liberal Party coffers ?

Posted by: Rob | 2008-12-01 11:52:55 PM

Stephen Harper is the leader of the Progressive Conservative party and through his rhetoric and inaction has forfeited his position of Prime Minister of Canada. Regardless of their political aspirations and their inherit political unrest, the Bloc members and supporters are Canadian until otherwise defined. The country needed, required his leadership - instead he had another agenda.

Posted by: Marlin | 2008-12-05 1:07:31 PM

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