Friday, May 29, 2009

More on Deficits

The proper deficit figures, presumably from more current GDP information:

Canada: 3.3%
U.S.A.: 13.6%
Japan: 9.9%
Britain: 9.8%

The same editorial concludes:
It is time to stop these juvenile exchanges and move on to an adult conversation on what should be done after the recession to bring the budget back into balance. Ignatieff has said he would be open to the idea of raising taxes. Harper isn't. Would he undertake massive spending cuts or continue to run deficits? Canadians deserve an answer.
I couldn't agree more. Ignatieff made much of his intention to respond to personal attacks by attacking the CPC's record, which he has done. But the criticisms reported so far haven't contained much substance at all. Perhaps his demand for Jim Flaherty to be fired just made a better story than anything else he might have said, but until I see those other things, I'll remain unimpressed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Speaking of Deficits...

From here:
[Stephen Harper] added that, despite a deteriorating financial situation across the world, the Canadian deficit is a third to a quarter of the size of the shortfalls faced by the United States, Britain and Japan and that the money is being borrowed at historically low interest rates to help create jobs and build infrastructure.
Projected Canadian deficit: $50 billion CAD = $44.6 billion USD
Projected U.S. deficit: $1800 billion USD
Projected U.K. deficit: £175 billion = $279.3 billion USD
Projected Japanese deficit: ??? (anybody?)

But these things are usually measured as percentage of GDP, I gather.

IMF 2008 says:
Canadian GDP: $1.510 trillion USD
U.S. GDP: $14.265 trillion USD
U.K. GDP: $2.674 trillion USD
Japanese GDP: $4.923 trillion USD


Canadian deficit: 3.0% of GDP
U.S. deficit: 12.6% of GDP
U.K. deficit: 10.4% of GDP
Japanese deficit: ???

Yup, Steve is telling the truth.

For once.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Conservatives Raising Taxes?


In short, the following words by Stephen Harper:
“What we’re not going to do, is every two or three months, come up with another economic policy, another budget, until we need to raise taxes.”
Are misinterpreted by Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale as meaning that the CPC has a secret plan to raise taxes. I'm as happy as anybody to pick on the CPC, but this herring is as red as they come.

I mean, Conservative deficit spending and tax hikes? Steve would never live it down.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's On

The Globe and Mail catches up.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper continued this new, aggressive tack in the Commons yesterday, engaging in sabre-rattling as he flatly rejected Mr. Ignatieff's proposals to boost access to employment insurance and warned he was ready to fight an election on this.
I believe that settles it: it's on. Ignatieff made clear that he'll fight an election for EI reform and Harper agrees. The two party leaders have been getting increasingly blustery, and neither looks likely to back down. People in the know disagree with me, but in a self-contradictory way:

The Liberals, anxious not to be forced to look like they're dodging a fight, have double-timed the selection of candidates and advanced the deadline for their election platform to have it ready in weeks.

But senior strategists on both sides said they don't believe there will be an election this spring.

Here, Lawrence Martin wonders why the Liberals are being so polite when they could have savaged Harper for his prorogation. Perhaps Iggy is trying to emulate Obama and remain above all that, but I doubt that he could paint himself as such an idealist at this point. Nonetheless he keeps things pretty high-brow in his response:
"Now, when we're in the middle of the worst economic crisis this country has faced in a generation, all the Conservatives can think about is getting together in some basement room and working on some attack ads. Is that serious government?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It has begun!

Finally, the Conservatives frame Ignatieff. It took them long enough; Iggy did warn that he'd be quick to pounce if they started running attack ads when they ought to be worrying about the economy. But now the talk of a summer or fall election (what, again?) has probably got them worried, especially when the polls are unfavourable.

I have a feeling that there will be retaliation and escalation; if the mid-year election is really going to happen, then the campaign effectively began tonight.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rules are for other parties

... especially our own rules.

Fixed election dates? Sure, we campaigned on 'em and pushed 'em through. But we can still call an election a year early.

Elected senators? Maybe next time.

Parliamentary review for Supreme Court appointments? It's not like we have a Parliament anyway, so nyah nyah nyah.

Seriously. How can you re-elect these people?