01.13.2015 01:37 PM

The best-laid plans of men, mice and Conservatives

…often go awry. So sayeth Robbie Burns (not The Bard, as I mistakenly said on Twitter, and my genial colleague Chris Blizzard promptly set me straight).

Man oh man, this election just got very interesting.


  1. Jacob Trouba says:

    In lieu of this, hopefully Cons delay their expensive tax cuts targeted and families and only families. Such pandering is disgusting and not fair to the general population.

    • MF says:

      Obviously you do not have kids.

      • Wayne says:

        The majority of the professional agitators and whiners on this board do not.

        • Mark says:

          As a professional agitator and whiner, as some have called us on this board, with kids in college, I would prefer the government widen its focus on families to include those of us parents with greater children’s expenses than those with small children. However, barring that, I agree that this targeting should go the way of the dinosaur. Let’s see how vigilant these Tories are with keeping spending in check with another two years of deficit being possible. I bet they can’t do it. The devil will make them spend, spend and spend to secure votes.

  2. MississaugaPeter says:

    IMO, benefits the Cons for two reasons:

    1. Focus on economy, and claim that they got us out of the 2008 fiasco and will get us out of this one.

    2. Means that JT will have to explain where is he going to get money for any promises he makes.

    Works will with the Cons radio spots with JT saying something along the lines that the budget will balance itself.

    I don’t think any Cons voters will jump off the bandwagon because Harper will postpone surpluses for two years because of the loss in revenue due to the ol price (65.9 at Costco in Edmonton).

    The question is can Harper get 4-5% of the Blue Liberal vote and will the left be divided. Either and Harper majority.

    • King Prick says:

      No chance The Harp Seal gets a Liberal vote, blue, red or otherwise. What he will get though, is a great deal of east coasters—Ontario to PEI—who have lost their oil patch jobs. He’ll promise more oil jobs and like lemmings they’ll vote for him out of desperation instead of asking why he’s not making attempts at introducing industry to their regions. The next thing he gets, and I do hope I’m wrong, is another majority which will ultimately put Canada in the tank for good. In the event that Harp Seal, gets a minority, the NDP and the Liberals must initiate a coalition government. If they choose not to; we, as Canadians, will know for certain that neither Mulcair, Trudeau nor their respective parties have any interest in the needs of Canadians and maybe then we’ll all wake up and look towards real alternatives. For the record: the Green party is not an alternative. Mostly because she’s American born. John A would spin in his grave if he even knew she was a sitting parliamentarian.

  3. Sean says:

    Also, Conference Board of Canada says Alberta is heading for a recession. That province hasn’t really considered any options for about 40 years. Now it is packed with new residents who came for jobs. Most importantly it is a region with no experience or inclination to plan for any bad economic news at all. That is where things may get interesting….

    • Kevin T. says:

      Ahhh…. Ralph bucks. Those were the good ol’ days. It was pretty mindblowing to be from the East and working the oilpatch and also receiving cheques every once in a while from the government. Enjoyed receiving the money, but I thought it was a bit shortsighted for future planning purposes.

    • Kev says:

      Alberta heading for a recession?

      Not true. It’s already in one. As are NB and NL.

  4. Luke says:

    I think these various economic developments are more advantageous to Mulcair et al than anyone else. The news I have been noticing in passing seems to corroborrate his Dutch disease talk rather nicely.

    • davie says:

      If the term is used again in talking economy, I hope that this time, when an politician (especially Conservative) uses the term, that the reporter or interviewer will first ask that politicin what her or his understanding is of ‘dutch disease’ in economic terms.

      • Luke says:

        I haven’t been paying much attention to the news/opinion stuff lately, but I’m a little surprised that I haven’t noticed any renewed Dutch disease talk, as that all seems completely relevant now. I would imagine Mulcair at least would feel somewhat vindicated and maybe would want to remind the electorate and political people that he basically called this a while back. To me it speaks well of him and I’m generally not much of a fan.

  5. Steven says:

    No worries, Timmie’s People: we have a Trained Economist at the helm, who obviously did wonders with the Chretien /Martin economic legacy left to him.

    • MM says:

      The Chretien /Martin economic legacy that had balanced budgets when oil was below $50, btw.

      • Steven says:

        That’s so 2005.

        Our Strong, Stable Harper Government be praised.

        (P.S. And while we’re on the subject, why not just do away with elections).

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        The Harper legacy might be said to be that his government eliminated the deficits wrought by the 2008 crash, which would have been one helluva lot bigger had a Dion/Layton/Duceppe Coalition from hell got their way, while at the same time increasing federal transfers for healthcare by an annual 6%, guaranteed.

        As opposed to slashing the hell out of the transfers and shifting the deficit burden onto the backs of the provinces, as did his predecessors.

        • Steven says:

          I suggest that you reduce your HarperCon-flavoured Kool Aid consumption, Al.

          It’s apparently causing you memory loss, including your forgetting the ill-advised HarperCon cuts to the GST which even conservative economists warned against and the 2008 election campaign when the Harperites said the economy was strong and there would be no deficits.

        • Michael says:

          First off Al, nothing has been eliminated just yet. If oil prices do not rise we will still be in deficit. And secondly, your comments on a Dion led government are pure speculation. We have no way of knowing how large a deficit Mr. Dion would have run, or even if he would have run one at all, since he never became PM.

  6. JH says:

    Can’t wait to see the official election platforms from all parties, should this hold true. It’s also wondrous to see the nutbar cheering on some sites and by some media. Imagine cheering for bad economic news for the country or even for one province!

    • Michael says:

      JH, don’t know if it is cheering as much as it’s schadenfreude. I think a lot of people in central Canada are sick of what appeared to be gloating by Albertans and conservatives at how well the Alberta economy was doing. As if somehow Albertans and conservatives were responsible for placing Alberta over top of oil reserves.

      • Derek Pearce says:

        Thank you. This, this is what has stuck in my craw the past number of years. Albertans and Conservatives have created their own narrative wherein Alberta’s prosperity is due to having elected PC governments since 1971 provincially and Harper since 2006. I’m tired of this idea that it’s a mere coincidence the oil is there for brilliant neocon economic managers to take advantage of.

      • JH says:

        Dunno. Seening lots of gloating on the pundit shows these days and it’s not very smart. Particularly when it’s being done by people representing the Liberal and NDP parties on the panels. How they hope to convince voters in the West to take a look at them and their policies etc., while so evidently enjoying the prospect of economic turmoil out there is beyond me. f’rinstance, Brad Lavigne and this Alvaro woman were positively giggly over it all, on P& P the other night. Surely the parties’ brain trusts realize this is very tricky and a fine line to walk. I’m just surprised they haven’t told some of these people to cool their jets. As for the hosts – well you know, brain dead and just reading scripts badly from the get go.

      • Kev says:

        In fact, given that the boundaries of Alberta were set in 1905, it’s a LIBERAL legacy! 🙂

  7. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    All they had in the way of positive reinforcement was their stewardship of the economy and now that’s gone. They will go in the spring not because they really want to but because they really no longer have any other choice. All of their previous options are now moot points.

  8. Steve T says:

    Just goes to prove my long-held belief that governments have a lot less to do with the overall fiscal health of the country than they like to give themselves credit for (or the public likes to blame them for).

    Unless specific, tangible domestic policies can be identified as creditworthy (or blameworthy), then it is the global economy that is probably the reason for upswings and downswings.

    So, cutting spending may be a credible reason the government reduced the deficit. Rising revenues due to higher oil prices, on the other hand, is not due to the government’s genius.

  9. Ted H says:

    The Canadian economy chugged along despite the Conservatives, not because of. They are lucky they didn’t screw things up too badly, they really don’t know what they are doing despite their claims to the contrary. All their plans for a surplus hung on the price of oil in the Conservative heartland, Alberta, which despite all of it’s crowing about being the economic engine of Canada really didn’t do anything either. They had oil, so what, they won the lottery, they were born on 3rd base and thought they hit a home run. The Alberta economy unlike Ontario’s, despite the latters problems primarily due to globalization and the high recent price of oil, has no depth.

  10. Al in Cranbrook says:

    The short version…

    People aren’t scared nearly so much as they’re getting damn well pissed off. Take a look at the kickback that’s breaking out around Europe. When people get POed enough about real threats to their security and way of life, they start to circle the wagons.

    And they gravitate to the leader who appears to be the toughest sonuvabitch available that’s ready to deal with the problem. (…think, f’rinstance, Churchill, Thatcher, Reagan, Bush)

    On the issue of security and terrorism, I deeply suspect things are going to get (a lot) worse before it gets any better any time soon.

    On the issue of the crash in oil prices, in large part brought about by the Saudi’s looking to crush their competition in both N. America and Russia, just wait until the layoffs start to work their way through the economy in both the US and Canada. As the old adage puts it, shit runs down hill, kiddies. All the way to eastern Canada’s manufacturing sector and Atlantic Canada’s unemployment lineups.

    Think voters are going to blame Harper for this, think again.

    What they’re going to do, increasingly so, between now and Oct. when the election will happen, is compare the current PM with the other two wannabes to see whose going to be that tough sonuvabitch best able to stand up for what is truly important to Canadians.

    …which, as it currently stands, is pretty much a no-brainer.

    • smelter rat says:

      Yes, he bravely ran straight into that closet.

    • Mary says:

      Yes, when I think Harper, Churchill….Reagan…Thatcher…they’re all the same league. LOL.

      And only maybe 20% of the electorate will look for a “tough sonovabitch” to support…and Harper has their support, and always has had it. Their votes will give him many MPs west of Ontario, but that won’t give him a majority…

      • Ted H says:

        Reagan and Thatcher are probably in the same league, Harper is a mini version of those two. Churchill is on another planet compared to that trio of reptiles.

  11. Philippe says:

    The myth that Cons manage the economy well is the greatest hoax in the History of mankind. Closely followed by multiple grainy bigfoot vids.

  12. Phil Evans says:

    Hence the recent frothing @ the mouth on “security”, now the bet on the petro funded “economy” is going south.

  13. graham watt says:

    The focus of the 2015 Canadian Federal
    election won’t be mostly about policy.
    It’ll be mostly about taking out the garbage.

  14. graham watt says:

    Hail, Mary:
    Harper is a wrong (and pathetic) man for the times.
    His ménage a trois with Thatcher and Reagan is so 1970.
    Ayn Rand is toast. Harold Roark fell off his ego and died,
    hitting his head on Dominique Francon’s ass on the way down.
    Harper should get rid of his bolshie ideology, like he gets rid
    of his closest people, Stalinistically hurling it, like them, under
    a convenient bus. It’s time for courage, hope, heart and ideas,
    and a riddance to cunning lies and individualized meanness.

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