Musings —08.28.2015 08:06 AM—
- Justin Trudeau has rolled the dice, big time. He says, if elected, he will run big budgetary deficits – $10 billion a year for three years.
- Why did he do it? I suspect he knows that – at this point, at least – he is running third. Individual horse race polls notwithstanding, any credible synthesis of voting intentions suggest this thing is still between Team Orange and Team Blue. So he figured he had to make a bold move, and he did.
- When all else fails, go left. By just about every economic measure, Trudeau is now running to the left of Mulcair. And he has therefore commenced attacking the NDP leader for being an austerity-loving Thatcherite. Will it work? I don’t think so.
- Trudeau’s deficit pledge requires a fundamental reordering of our thinking on what the parties believe. It was always simple: Conservatuves on the right, New Democrats on the left, and Liberals in the pragmatic middle. Can the ideological underpinnings of a political party change? Of course. But only over a long period of time, with careful reflection and lots of consultation, and certainly not during the middle of an election campaign.
- It helps Trudeau’s opponents. The Conservatives have repeatedly attacked Trudeau for saying that budgets “take care of themselves.” The NDP has been frantically attempting to shift towards the economic middle. With one swift and decisive move, Trudeau has provided evidence in support of the Tory criticism – and has opened up a ton of centrist ideological breathing room for the Dippers.
- That all said, could his deficit gambit work? Maybe. Perhaps. But at this point, it looks a bit dangerous. Justin Trudeau has rolled the dice – and only time will tell if he’s rolled snake eyes.