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Monday, May 25, 2009

Stephen Harper never breaks promises

... except when he does. A Shotgun commenter with a good memory points to the Conservative Party of Canada's economic plan from Election October '08:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper understands the global financial crisis. His plan for the way forward has been clear and consistent: balanced budgets, lower taxes, investments to create jobs and keeping inflation low. (emphasis mine)

Politicians and promises--some things never seem to change.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on May 25, 2009 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


Yeah it's a good thing nothing happened in the interim. Be a shame to have to adjust one's course just because of a financial crisis or two economic bubbles bursting. That way everyone can say you are to stupid to know how to adjust your course but then he would be accused of being inflexible. Geez.

Posted by: B | 2009-05-25 7:49:42 PM

The Liebral/NDP/Green Party trots out the same platform year after year and no one calls them out when they fail to implement it. But if Harper does it once, with good reason, and you're all over him. Pathetic. Get a life people. Harper is the best thing out there and he deserves our support.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-05-25 7:56:31 PM


On October 3rd, when President Bush signed the $700 Billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" it was clear what path the US would take in dealing the financial crisis: Keynesian stimulus.

On October 7th, a day that the New York Times headlined with "Global Fears Of a Recession Grow Stronger" and the Globe and Mail with "Economic storm touches down," and 7 days before a federal election, Stephen Harper announced that his party would follow a "clear and consistent," but different, path of " balanced budgets, lower taxes, investments to create jobs and keeping inflation low" if they were returned to government.

In the intervening period, no new financial crisis emerged. However, starting with a miscalculation by Harper in his fiscal update concerning government funding of political parties, a full-blown political crisis ensued.

Are we to believe that Stephen Harper has changed his mind about whether deficit spending is a good idea under these circumstances or should we conclude that Harper and the Conservatives are acting like Liberals to protect what they see as their political interest?

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-05-25 8:15:10 PM

Harper sucks.

Posted by: Harper Sucks | 2009-05-25 8:57:25 PM

Let's summarize:

- Harper is anything but a real conservative
- Harper's integrity is zero
- Harper has no clue about fiscal and economic matters (despite his PhD)
- Harper's word means diddly-squat

Posted by: Werner Patels @ The Right Comment | 2009-05-25 9:00:09 PM

Alright, the "Ottawa experiment" has failed again -- and this time for the last time. So, can we in the West now please start separation procedures so we can shed that dead weight once and for all?

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2009-05-25 9:02:51 PM

Harper did what every politician would have done; he protected his interests. If Canadians hadn't demanded these idiotic Keynesian policies, Harper would not have caved in.

I'm not trying to defend Harper, I'm simply saying we get the government we deserve.

So I guess the question is how do we go about changing peoples' minds?

Posted by: Charles | 2009-05-25 9:25:44 PM

I would suggest that all read Burton Folson's book "New Deal or Raw Deal'. The parallels are to close to disregard. Mr. Harper's first instincts were correct. He succombed to political expediency but has moved slowly in comparison to the US. Even though patronage is common in Canada it is not as prevelant as in the US. Hope that it doesn't become overwhelming.

Posted by: DML | 2009-05-25 11:04:14 PM

Ahh... isn't it easy to be a constant critic when all you have to do is type away....

Posted by: Nathalie | 2009-05-26 4:33:03 AM

Nathalie -

It is easy to be a critic. It's fun, too. And certainly none of us here at the Shotgun knows what it's like to be Prime Minister.

On the other hand, though, I don't know what it's like to be, say, Premier of Ontario or Leader of the Opposition, but I criticize the Liberals, too, when they deserve it. Rarely do I see Conservatives standing up for the Grits because I don't know what it's like to be in their shoes. (Though I do get labeled a Liberal, despite the fact that all I have to do is type away, if I don't go after them enough.)

It's part of the game, and in this case since it's an issue Harper went after the Liberals for from opposition, and because I believe that Harper is not blind or stupid (quite the opposite, actually) and knew full well that a recession was coming, I think the criticism is more than fair.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-05-26 7:59:33 AM

Charles - at the beginning of the year there was popular support for balancing the budget in spite of the recession. Canadians had their minds changed by the government and opposition. So I don't buy the argument that the people demanded deficit stimulus spending. A suddenly empowered opposition did, but that's not the same thing.

Now, though, the question is: how do we change their minds? I think it's going to be very difficult. After all, even the Conservatives believe that deficit spending is necessary!

If no major party is championing a political option, it ceases to be a significant one. This is one of my biggest criticisms of Harper.

Posted by: Janet | 2009-05-26 8:08:23 AM

- Harper has no clue about fiscal and economic matters (despite his PhD)
Posted by: Weiner Patels | 2009-05-25 9:00:09 PM

When did Harper get a PhD? Or could it be you awarded him a PhD from one of the bogus degree sites that advertise on your website?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-05-26 9:05:32 AM

"If Canadians hadn't demanded these idiotic Keynesian policies, Harper would not have caved in."

Canadians didn't demand these idiotic policies, the media did. Conservative support surged into majority territory when it looked like the three stooges might force an election. When they caved it shot right back down. Believing that isn't the case is giving Ignatieff far too much credit in my opinion.

Posted by: K Stricker | 2009-05-26 10:54:31 AM

Poor uneducated and dumb Stig: he can't even spell "Wiener" correctly without getting it wrong, nor does he understand how Google ads work. I believe in freedom of speech, but do we at the Shotgun have to tolerate the constant stupidity and non-contributions from the Stig?

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2009-05-26 12:44:19 PM

"the Conservative Party of Canada's economic plan from Election October '08"

I have no doubt that if the CPC had won a majority they could have stuck to that plan.

However, the welfare junkies in the Maritimes, Toronto, and Quebec saw to it that the CPC didn't get a majority and anyone who thinks that the CPC could have passed their pre-election plan for the way forward that was clear and consistent with balanced budgets, lower taxes, investments to create jobs, and kept inflation low with a minority government and the Bloc Coalition(Liberals,NDP,Bloc) chomping at the bit to pull another election is smoking their lunch.

This is as good as it gets, people.
The alternative would be something similar to what Obama is doing in the U.S. and you can take that to the bank.

If you don't want the only real alternative to the CPC, and it ain't the Libertarian Party, then get a grip.

Politics is the art of the possible.
~Otto Von Bismarck

Posted by: Speller | 2009-05-26 3:37:20 PM


Sorry to get back so late. I respectfully disagree. Ask Canadians whether they think we need fiscal stimulus. The large majority will say we do. During the whole debate, of the people I know (I do admit this is very unscientific), almost every single person was convinced we needed fiscal stimulus. I also perused the G&M and NP blogs (probably a good representation of Canadian thinking), and again, Canadians wanted stimulus.

The opposition parties never would have demanded the stimulus if they didn't think they had the backing of the population. They wouldn't have risked it since it is their job to eventually get elected. We get the governments and policies we deserve.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-05-26 3:48:49 PM

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