The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Rodney MacDonald deserves to lose this election
Today the Nova Scotia Legislature has been dissolved for yet another election. The PC minority government deserved to be brought down and they deserve to be defeated.
The PC government was defeated on their budget. In it they proposed to renege on the law requiring a certain amount of debt repayment a year. They would use this money instead to balance the budget. In my mind a single year of deficit does not outweigh the importance of debt repayment. If the government was allowed to avoid the repayment one year it would become increasingly easy for them to do it in later years.
It is particularly annoying when you consider that the PCs have increased spending while in office. Surely there are some cuts that they could have made to ensure a balanced budget. Shifting money around is just a way to avoid responsibility.
And now the people of Nova Scotia have an opportunity to hold them responsible.
Yes, but. There's always a yes, but. So what party do we get instead? The problem we Nova Scotians have is there is no more-fiscally-responsable alternative. Liberals? - No! NDP? - No!!! So Hugh, maybe this IS a special circumstance, with the world-wide credit melt-down. Ever think of That?!
Posted by: Alan Taylor | 2009-05-05 10:17:36 AM
Alan, I am sympathetic to the plight of having no fiscally responsible party to pick from. After all that is a national problem. There is no easy solution to that.
I don't buy the special circumstance excuse. As I pointed out in my post, the PCs have been increasing the size of government. If they had been fiscal conservatives from the beginning maybe they wouldn't be in this mess.
Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-05-05 10:51:12 AM
Alan, spending less and cutting taxes is a better approach to the "world-wide credit melt-down" than increased government spending and deficits. Replacing private sector spending for government sector does not create prosperity. It expands the size and scope of government and destroys capital through ineffecient allocation.
Since politics is always a choice among lesser evils, I was initially inclined to agree with you. Unless there is a better option out there, those inclined to vote should stick with the PCs.
What information would the re-election of the PCs signal to all the political parties? Well, it would signal that voters are prepared to forgive a party that breaks a promise to retire debt and contain spending. If the PCs are tossed out, the market would be signalling the opposite information, something the new government would likely take to heart.
Great post, Hugh.
Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-05-05 10:59:25 AM
So, if the PC's followed the law as it stands they would have to borrow money in order to pay off debt? That doesn't seem to make much sense, unless they are borrowing at an interest rate that is MUCH lower than the interest rate of the debt they are paying off.
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-06 9:24:12 AM
Or they could cut spending
Posted by: hughmacintyre | 2009-05-06 10:32:42 AM
Matthew makes a good point about a choice among lesser evils. Nova Scotia Conservative governments have a (recent?) history of overspending that I was hoping was ending. The cynicism of the NDP and Libs recently calling for Provincial Government spending to "stimulate" the economy in the face of a worldwide problem, and now criticising the government when they do so is obvious. But our voters don't notice and don't care. The press don't point out the contradictions either. So my choice, and the rest of us voters' choice, is who best to trust (or who to distrust the least) with our money, and also to consider other factors, besides government spending, such as laws on unions "rights", gay marriage, health care policy, etc.
For me the NDP is just not in the picture at all, and the Liberals barely tolerable. I just wish our Conservatives really were ... "conservative".
Posted by: Alan Taylor | 2009-05-06 8:31:25 PM
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