Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Vote for the Party You Think Can Actually Run the Economy"

Thank you Stephen Harper for letting all Canadians know that they really should be voting Liberal in this election. Any objective consideration of which party has had the best record managing the economy and which party has the best plan to get our current economy rolling get would see the Liberals come out on top. Are there any economists who would argue otherwise? Many have endorsed the Green Shift as being good for the economy (in fact Stephen Harper commissioned a government report that said as much), even the very recent TD report issued to the McGuinty government recommended this approach. Yet not a single economist has said it will be bad for the economy like Harper claims.

The Liberal platform as a whole has also been endorsed by economists, environmentalists, agricultural groups, student groups, police forces and municipal leaders. Can any other party say the same?

The Liberals also have a plan to deal with the current economic crisis within the first 30 days of taking office:

1. Call upon the heads of Canada’s financial regulatory agencies – the Office of
the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), Canadian Deposit Insurance
Corporation (CDIC), the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Bank of Canada – to evaluate the status and appropriateness of Canada’s
financial regulatory framework within the context of the new global economic
2. Convene a meeting of leading independent private sector economists to report on the state of the economy and assess both domestic and international trends for the coming year.
3. Direct the Department of Finance to prepare an Economic and Fiscal Update to be presented no later than the end of the third week of a new Liberal government.
4. Convene a Meeting of Canada’s first ministers to address the new realities of Canada’s economic situation and to ensure the best possible coordination of efforts with the provincial and territorial governments.
5. Work in partnership with the provinces and territories to identify infrastructure projects and opportunities in the manufacturing sector that have the greatest potential to stimulate investment and create jobs. Support will then be provided through the accelerated flow of funds under our infrastructure program and the Liberal $1-billion Advanced Manufacturing Prosperity Fund.

Number 1 and 2 the Conservatives refuse to do because they don’t seem to listen to experts and economists, Number 3 the Conservatives would likely delay, Number 4 is long overdue and Harper said he would likely postpone for several more months, and Number 5 the Conservatives refuse to do. In reality both the Conservatives and NDP have no real plan to deal with the economic crisis (in fact the NDP says their first act would be to raise taxes on the kinds of companies most hard hit by the crisis leading to even more job losses) so obviously they can’t help us through it.

Economists have also validated the Liberal platform numbers, can any other party say that? With revelations that there are many uncosted portions of the current NDP platform it's clear they can't be trusted to manage the books. The Conservatives meanwhile have cobbled together a platform at the last minute in response to being slammed on this during the debates. That hardly signifies confident economic management.

I remember the day the Liberals released their platform Harper's response was "if this was a CEO of a company he (Dion) would be fired" Well if Harper really wants the economy to be the main issue in this campaign let's run with that metaphor for a second thinking of Harper as the CEO of Canada. If a CEO took over a company that was a leader in its field and its stock plummeted and high company profits turned to being near the red and the company became dead last in its field what would happen to that CEO if their only response was "don't worry be happy"? Well Harper inherited a government that had never been in better financial shape and that was first in the G7 in economic productivity and it's now gone to the brink of deficit, the former $3 billion fiscal cushion is gone, we are now last in the G7 in economic productivity, forecasts of a recession are mounting and Harper's response is that nothing needs to be done. If Conservative supporters don't think that's a reason for being fired when their own leader believes economic management to the key issue in this campaign, I certainly hope they don't end up being CEOs one day. After all Harper obviously agrees with the CEO metaphor for a PM.

So Stephen Harper I agree with you: Canadians should vote for the party you think can actually run the economy. If they follow your advice St├ęphane Dion will be the next Prime Minister.

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Anonymous said...

No doubt the same economists who predicted the US finical crunch endorsed the green shift.