Monday, May 28, 2012

The Bean Counter Government

Andrew Coyne has discerned, finally, what the Harper government is all about - of late, anyway - the economy.

The government's agenda thus has three broad objectives:  One, curb (somewhat) the growth in transfers to the elderly, whether for pensions or, via federal transfers to the provinces, for health care.

Two, increase the supply of labour. Bring in more immigrants, encourage people to work longer, be less tolerant of idling.

Three, raise productivity, mostly by putting more competitive heat on business - that is to say, by opening the borders to competition from with-out - but also by raising national savings, providing the wherewithal for productive investment. Hence the cuts in taxes on savings, and hence, again, the greater openness to foreign investment.

Not only does this show signs of unaccustomed coherence in this government, but it represents a marked shift in emphasis. In the minority government years, and in the first months of the majority, the Conservatives preferred to cast themselves in the "guardian" role: strong on defence, tough on crime, vigilant against threats to public security or national sovereignty. For a variety of reasons, those messages have tended to have less resonance of late, or at any rate have been downplayed.

So Harper has, to use the term currently in vogue, pivoted from tough guy to bean counter.  Probably just as well.   Steve always looked just a tad preposterous when he dressed up to play Commando.   I hope Coyne is right, that Harper has indeed changed course, but I somehow doubt it.   Harper, experiences teaches us, is all about bullying someone, some way over something that he either dislikes or really wants.   His order is imposed, not founded on consensus.

While managing the economy is essential and something for which the Libs venerate people like Paul Martin, bean counting has to be harnessed to serve the country, the people and their future.   And you can't plan for the future if you don't look for it.   And this is where Harper falls far short of the mark.

When it comes to leading a nation, preparing it for the future, Harper is bound by stunted instincts.  We cannot replay the 20th century through the 21st.    There are great changes in store for the world this century and, while Canada may be spared the worst of the immediate impacts, it won't be immune to the repercussions that follow.   None of this, however, is on Harper's radar screen.

Climate change, for example, is not integral to Harper's agenda.   Yet how can you chart a nation's economic future if you omit a force that may, quite easily, overwhelm your objectives and render them obsolete?   If you seek the reins of power you must be prepared to steer the wagon around obstacles in the road.

Likewise, Harper is unwilling to grasp that the challenges ahead also afford a variety of  rich opportunities.  You'll have the bad either way but you'll only have the good if you reach for it in time.  Harper can't see that, which explains why he ignores these difficult problems, kicking them down the road to some successor for whom the opportunities may, by then, be long foreclosed.

Canada needs a leader.   Instead we're stuck with the department head from Accounts Receivable.


thwap said...

Coyne is funny. harper has gone from being a wholesale violator of the basic fundamentals of parliamentary democracy to being a serious politician with respectable policies has he?

Aside from Coyne's blinkered economics, he makes the same mistake as everyone else who forgets the unforgivable.

harper is a criminal pool of slime who should be in prison, NOT a prime minister with legitimate policies.

Kev said...

Harper is as he always was, a neo-liberal. Acoyne knows this he simply chooses to ignore it as neo-liberalism dovetails nicely with his own desire for small government.

Anonymous said...

I read. Harper is a Neo-Nazi Reformer, of his Northern Foundation Party from 1989. They said, the skinheads organized that party. Harper certainly comes across as a dictator.

Harper gives billions of our tax dollars to, banks, mines, oil and gas corporation, and big businesses. He also gives them huge tax reductions. This was seen on the House of Commons TV channel. Harper steals from us, to give to the wealthiest corporations in the world. Harper of course, now does his dastardly deeds behind closed doors, while he slashes the services, we pay through the nose for.

Harper has no control over Conservatives obscene spending.
The waste of our tax dollars used for the most ridiculous, Harper's $1 billion on a stupid fake lake. I won't list all of the thieved tax dollars. Everyone knows about them anyhow.

Harper has so many lawsuits against him, I have lost count. That will also be our bill to pay.

The Etioboke Center election, was declared null and void by the court. How fortunate for Harper. He is appointing two new Conservative judges. Hmmm? I wonder if Harper's will appeal, will be presided over by one of his new judges? Harper is also trying to ban, all the other ridings in dispute.

Harper is trying to quash the election fraud and the robo-call investigation. What does that tell Canadians? Harper is also the only one, being investigated for that crime.

Another Common Wealth country's media said, how badly Harper is destroying Democracy in Canada. Canadians have had their Civil
Rights and Liberties taken from them by Harper.

Canadians despise fascism and dictatorships...Harper has stepped way over the line.