Friday, January 30, 2009

When Did Harper Know About Economy?

November's GDP Numbers are out now:
"Canada's economy continued its slide in November as the country's economic output shrank by 0.7 per cent, according to figures released Friday.

Statistics Canada said slumping construction activity and an ailing manufacturing sector led an industrial race to the bottom in the month, the third one in four in which Canadian GDP contracted.

Canada's national output shrank by 0.1 per cent in October, offsetting a similar gain in September.

In August, the Canadian economy slipped 0.3 per cent, an indication that a financial slowdown had already hit Canada prior to the credit meltdown that really began in September."
Given the number of official and unofficial financial advisors to the PMO it is now clear that Harper knew the economy was going south and cynically (illegally) tried to trick Canadians into giving him a majority before the effects started to be felt.

First of all, Harper himself is an economist. Given that and the official economic advisors on his team and regular meetings by Harper and other members of his government with business and economic leaders Harper must have known what was going on even while he denied it on the campaign trail.

So once more for anyone who doesn't get it yet. Stephen Harper is not a conservative, Stephen Harper believes in nothing at all except his own power, and keeping it.

Harper's budget is a bad one. There is no vision behind it, no plan for the economy, it is about handing out favors to people he might need when the next election comes and that's all.

Still when it comes to the vote Ignatieff was right and Layton was wrong. It is not that the budget is good, or that Harper deserves confidence, or that Harper deserves to stay in power - on the contrary Harper's actions since last fall have been close to criminal. But, people are scared and some aren't too bright. Harper has been lying to them long and hard. Harper has people convinced that a coalition is illegal and the polls unanimously show that people have no appetite for either the coalition or the election. Had the Governor General called an election instead of turning to Ignatieff the result could have been a Conservative majority for the next several years at least.

So, the only real play that didn't risk a long term majority for the little dictator was to allow this budget to go through - allow what stimulus there is start to flow so it can at least help some Canadians. Ignatieff, Layton, and any Canadian who is paying attention now has the task of making sure that people understand that Harper is not on anyone's side but his own, letting people know that coalitions are in fact legal and constitutional and laying the groundwork for the next election which may come as soon as March.

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