Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh Why Canada?

In Canada, more than anywhere I’ve ever experienced, there is only one poll that counts and that is election day. My prediction that the Conservatives would fail to win government, purely on economic indicators, was part right.

Progressive parties have the numbers, but not government; just look at the bald numbers -
the broad progressives just over 60% - the winning conservatives just short of 40%. With just 59% of eligible voters turning out the progressives obviously failed to capitalize on their support base.

This was the election that shouldn't have been held, that attracted a dismal turnout, that didn't change anything. Without doubt the blame for this electoral farce lies chiefly with the Liberals and their poor choice of leader. Not to put Dion down personally, but he is hardly an inspiration.

Incremental Conservatism
So, given the sad result, what are the prospects? One commentator suggested incremental conservatism, given that Stephen Harper still lacks the numbers to institute a full conservative program. Just as well the brakes are on when the rest of the world is reacting to forced change.

“Each increment forward on a couple of conservative issues-- telecom deregulation, maybe, or military spending, a family tax issue -- has been matched by lurching fallbacks on scores of others. On the environment and consumer regulation, not to mention spending, the Tories have been as prone to heavy government intervention as any non-conservative.” Financial Post

Never mind that JK Galbraith, Canadian born and bred, adapted Keynesian economics to the modern Americas, indeed to post war Europe; sensible Canada has lost the plot. Again I blame the Liberals, who have also lost the plot. It’s not a left/right debate in the end, it is an economic/fiscal argument.

The Liberals have a record of adapting to the needs of the times; from today they need to be looking at where they are going and make some hard decisions. Before the greed set in they had an innate understanding of what the country wanted, and the ability to deliver. The focus must now be to rebuild that ability.

3 comments:

D.K. Raed said...

I don't understand much about the Canadian political parties. Seeing these election results, it looked to me like they are staying conservative while we are lurching away from that model. But then on Jon Stewart The Daily Show tonight, he said in Canada what they call a conservative is what we here would call a pro-nadar-gay-rights-environmentalist. So ... I guess I REALLY don't understand Canadian political parties!

Cart said...

I don’t know Jon Stewart, but he is full of shit, or working from tired stereotypes. Harper’s conservatives are currently abusing the Bush admin for giving in to the left. If Stewart was on the button he might have suggested the Canadian Conservatives will never realise their dream. But then hey! How do you convey anything black and white on colour TV?

D.K. Raed said...

I think he was just making a cheap joke at Canada's expense. Or maybe he was being fantastically sarcastic, as he is known to be. It generated a good laugh from his audience. But wow, if they think Bush has "given in" to the left, woo boy, just wait a few months. When we turn, we tend to go wide.