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Friday, February 06, 2009

Won't somebody think of the children

I don't want to be 'that guy', but it needs saying: "Won't somebody think of the children?"

Here's what I'm getting at -- around the world, fiscal conservatives are standing up and opposing big-government stimulus packages in the name of the next generation.

Down in Australia, where they are in a similar position to Canada economically, a big spending government is being checked by Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull. He's currently using their Triple-E senate to block a $42 billion dollar stimulus package. Here are his reasons:

[The PM] has made not one hard decision since coming to office. He has wanted to be Santa Claus -- everybody gets a prize.

The problem with everybody getting a prize today is that our children will be carrying a very heavy penalty in the years to come.

This is why we will vote against this package. That is why we do not support a further round of cash handouts.

We know this will not be popular. But it is the right thing to do. Somebody has to stand up for future generations, and not cruel their chances in life by weighing them down with staggering levels of debt.

Malcolm Turnbull isn't alone though. Even British Tory leader, David Cameron, is coming around:

I believe there is something morally repugnant about this Labour Government sacrificing tomorrow for the political convenience of today. And, I believe, so does the vast majority of this country. For the first time in generations, parents are looking at their children and questioning if they will have a better life than they themselves had.

A few years ago, you could count on Stephen Harper and his Conservatives to say things like that. No more, and unfortunately there's no sign of any party on the horizon that can be called conservative. So in the meantime, we'll have to make do with admiring them from afar.

Here's Malcolm Turnbull's speech in full:

Posted by Robert Jago on February 6, 2009 in International Politics | Permalink


Good post Robert, it does need saying -- again and again and again.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-02-06 5:11:50 AM

Do we have a single politician in the whole of Canada standing in opposition to the "stimulus" package offered by the so-called "Conservative" party?

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-02-06 10:02:32 AM

Regrettably, P.M., the political situation does not allow it, and the Canadian electorate, as apathetic as ever, does not oppose the package strongly enough to break the stalemate.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-06 10:25:56 AM

Two points:

1. I hate to sound like I'm defending Canada's Conservatives, but the Australian Liberals and the British Tories would be doing the exact same thing in a minority Parliament. (The U.S. Republicans would be spending if they had power for certain.) As such, this criticism rings hollow. Further, there is evidence -- rather than hot air -- that Canadian Conservatives will take unpopular, principled stands and I can't say that for the Australian Liberals. (The British Tories had Thatcher so there is evidence they take principled, unpopular stands.) Canada's Conservatives, unlike the Australian Liberals or the British Tories, haven't completely sold out gun owners -- which is to say, although they haven't been vigorous enough in repealing existing gun control, they don't blindly support any new measures the left brings forward; they oppose them.

2. The "Triple-E Senate" is easily one of the worst ideas the Canadian right has ever developed. All another federal elected body will do is be is another engine of legislation that will increase the size and power of the federal government at the expense of individuals and especially the provinces. That's exactly what happened in the U.S. after the election of senators. If Australia's Triple-E opposes this legislation, it will be the exception, not the rule.

Posted by: Michael Cust | 2009-02-06 2:30:16 PM

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