Déjà vu…

Parliament was un-prorogued today…

Governor General Michaëlle Jean delivered an eight minute address outlining the soon-to-be (arguably, already) released budget in “broad strokes.”

Is it just me or does this all seem a little anti-climactic given that big chunks of the proposed budget have already been released? In the past, any leaks were basically grounds for arrest…Please don’t make me think that those were the good ol’ days. (Shiver.)

Somehow, in the past eight or nine weeks since the Conservatives received their stay (of execution), we have gone from a razor-thin surplus (projected for the next five years) to a $64 billion deficit (over two years).

Am I missing something?

 The writing on the wall- even to the most unaware (and I am including all of you who still have your heads in the sand) that an economic shift (that had been on the horizon for at least a couple months) had become painfully apparent within the first week of the illegal election called in the fall of 2008.

It seems so long ago now that Harper tried to take advantage of what he believed to be the last gasp of good economic times to push an election that he and his party had basically had made “illegal” with legislation that had been passed only months before. (For the many who have painfully short short-term memories, this was legislation that was passed so that sitting governments could not arbitrarily call an election just because it was advantageous for them to do so…)

Much has been made of the sitting government’s attempt to talk to as many groups, in the various levels of government as possible in order to come up with a comprehensive plan to mitigate the damage to the Canadian economy in the context of what may or may not be the biggest global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Give me a break! 

If the Conservatives truly gave a damn, they would have made good on what they said immediately after the election. For those of you who continue to be memory challenged, Canada was going to see a kinder, gentler, more conciliatory Conservative Party…I think I might have snorted when I heard Harper say this.

Was Hell freezing over? Apparently not.

What the Conservative Party did leading up to the proposal to form a Coalition Government (which, despite all the Conservative bluster, is NOT illegal) was anything but conciliatory and nowhere approaching how a Minority Government should have been run in the first place.  

If Harper and his Conservatives had not fallen back on the arrogant assumption that it would be business as usual and tried to (continue to) force their will down the gullets of the other members of Parliament, we would not have been in this holding pattern (or wasted tens of millions of dollars on an election that basically gave us the same result.) 

I should reserve opinion until I have had a closer look at what they propose to do that will take Canada into a deficit situation for AT LEAST the next two years but since they decided to shoot their mouths off, I will respond in kind.

I have heard a lot of rhetoric about short-term solutions to bring about an immediate impact on the Canadian economy. Short-term solutions, in my opinion are short-sighted.

We need to implement ideas with a ripple effect in the economy in the short-term as well as the long-term. Anything less would be a waste of money- money that Canada doesn’t have. I would like to blame the Conservatives for the lack of foresight (again) when they decided to lower the GST (among other initiatives)- which only benefited those who have a lot of disposable income in the first place (not me or most Canadians for that matter)- that served to deplete the coffers that were put in place for situations like the one we currently find ourselves.

I would put money on the fact that the Conservatives are regretting implementing the TFSA. Good for individuals but not good for the economy as a whole.

There were a couple segments on CBC news where they enlisted the Dragons (from The Dragon’s Den) to hear pitches from different groups for a hypothetical $20 billion in funding, five Dragons with $4 billion each to dole out. I can’t say that I completely disagreed with the majority of what they would do and the reasoning behind their actions. Of course they are not politicians, and are not beholding to anyone with this hypothetical cash.

I don’t know what his motives are, but dare I say that Ignatieff’s intention to at least read the budget before coming to a decision is reasonable. Layton, on the other hand, has been posturing in the news. I don’t doubt his reasoning that Harper has only overhauled the budget to stay in power (duh) or that we cannot trust Harper and his acolytes to make good on what is outlined in the budget (double duh). There is a laundry list of things that the current government campaigned on and then did a 180 (hello mainstream media, why are you not making a big issue of this?) but, do you not owe the Canadian people the courtesy of at least reading the budget before you slam it and vote it down? 

Is your own power grab not getting in the way of common sense? Don’t get me wrong, I would love to sit down with Layton at a pub and have a beer but he is being disingenuous. Stop acting like a petulant child. And why, oh why did you not work with the Liberals when Martin was Prime Minister? Martin’s term as Prime Minister is generally regarded as a giant failure but that man did not have a chance. The missed opportunities- it’s enough to make you cry.

Harper has pretty much stated that he is willing to go to the polls for this budget (another game of chicken, anyone?) which means 1. it is a budget that will pander as opposed to making effective change 2. they are going to go for the low hanging fruit that looks good on the surface but really doesn’t get you that much in the end.

In the words of the most obstinate Dragon, Canada is going to be in a “world of hurt.”

As an optimistic cynic, I will hope for the best and plan for the worst- something we should all be doing.




~ by angryegg on January 26, 2009.

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