Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Harper's Dilemma

Inheriting a government with a balanced budget, a solid economy and big surpluses is a pretty sweet deal. Ideology doesn't matter much when the good times are rolling.

Facing the prospect of having to govern in a recession with a big unemployment problem and government deficits is something else altogether. That's where ideology comes into play and where it can truly make or break a minority government.

Dealing with a nation in trouble doesn't come naturally to Stephen Harper. In hard times, Canadians expect you to govern from the left. They begin to worry about themselves and their kids and their neighbours and how everyone is going to get by.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study released yesterday couldn't be clearer. 96% of the 2,000 surveyed want the government to move, now, to protect their jobs. Four in ten believe they're just one to two paycheques away from poverty. 90% want government action to reduce poverty.

There's the dilemma for Stephen Harper. Social spending goes against his grain. He's defunded the government so that he'll have to go into deficit if he has to introduce recession relief programmes. And yet the Canadian public won't be thinking of that 2-cent GST cut when they're feeling vulnerable and a right-wing, doctrinaire government doesn't meet their expectations.

Right now no one knows what's in store for Canada, how bad the fallout from the American meltdown is going to get. Steve has already committed billions to bail out Canadian banks and the insurance industry is looking for a bailout too. If Steve "spreads the wealth" around the financial sector but doesn't come through for the populace, he may be writing his own pink slip.


Oldschool said...

Bet you're really upset . . . just think . . . you could be enjoying the Dion Green Sh*t . . . . tax everything . . . what would Canada look like then? Why our struggling Euro cousins. Markell is in Brussells trying to get the Cap and Trade removed from German industry . . . cause they have threatened to move!!!
As the globe continues to cool . . . now it official . . . all warming since 1940 has been clawed back!!!
A college professor running a country . . . now thats a joke!!!

omega said...

...Wow, I'm surprised you'd let such charged dickheads post on your blog!

I scratch my head and wonder how and why people have it so totally backwards with their observations. Oldschool exemplifies the complete absence of rational thought we're going through in society today.

It's almost as if it has become taboo to support things like responsible government, good social policy and a going concern for all people.

Where this proliferation of die hard neo-right fanatics has come from is beyond me.
It's as if every issue has become too hot to touch by making it all a battle of perspectives. The notions of fair wages, fair economies and equal opportunity are so sensible, it's no wonder all these support-the-worst goons get all riled up over it.

Inflation has turned into some test of manhood. The middle class has suffered unprecedented losses in the past 8 years...
I don't get how more of the same will ever reverse that trend, and I wish people would stop acting like they're immune to the effects.

Up next, jingoism and corporate military!

Anonymous said...

omaga.....you are sooooooooo right on. A. Morris

Anonymous said...

This man Harper, doesn't believe in "creativity" for crying out loud. That means he doesn't have the ability to correct or produce solutions to the present Canadian dilemma nor does he want to do so. This man who has hung his own portait around parliment while removing those of past Prime Ministers speaks volumes about his personal vent and his vision for Canada. Believe my way or you lose. A. Morris