100 days of decision: day 1,101


Monte Solberg, who served in this Conservative government for nearly three years, has decided that — darn it — it’s time for this Conservative government to decide what it wants to do when it grows up:

This budget isn’t a conservative document so much as it’s a political document; a document that will give the Conservative government the room necessary to craft a compelling conservative vision for the future.

They must craft that vision without hesitation, and they must do it in a way that makes people want to be a part of it.


100 days of decision: day 1,101

  1. Well yes–it does set the way. Especially since a huge deficit with no tangible result will in future years allow Conservatives to demand social spending cuts. It’s ridiculous. The few bucks in each person’s pocket will not stimulate the economy. What a waste! A huge deficit for nothing. It’s maddening.

    • What if this is their vision? It worked for W.

  2. Monte is not sounding very conservative either. Most cons I know get twitchy when the words ‘government’ and ‘vision’ appear in the same sentence unless they are impersonating Reagan saying things like ‘ In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.’

    • …unless they are impersonating Reagan…

      When are they *not* impersonating Reagan?

      • Reagan would have ended the Ottawa bus strike by now.

        • Don’t you mean, “Reagan would have forgotten the bus strike by now.”

  3. It is a foregone conclusion that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and his party will support the budget, for it could have been written by his party, except for those parts that really make sense,.

    It’s amazing the extent do which Dunning-Kruger manifests itself at the highest levels of the Conservative intelligentsia (such as it is). Three years of the dumbest, most inept government in my lifetime and these people still believe their geniuses.

    • Since I’m always picking on the conbots for using bad grammar to call me stupid, I suppose I should point out that you should have used “they’re geniuses”. Balance, you

      It’s not that amazing, really. In the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is an evil Liberal commie freak.

  4. Well this isn’t Monte’s first conversion ex post facto. Remember, these are a bunch of anti-politicians who vowed to shake things up in Ottawa. He got elected in that Reform tide that rode a wave of fake discontent with ‘gold-plated parliamentary pensions,’ and originally made a big fuss of opting out of such a waste of taxpayers’ money. A couple of years in, however, pragmatism overtook ideological integrity, and the Hon. Mr. Solberg and Co opted back into their right to feed at the trough once they finished reforming Ottawa and retired . While working a few more now-pensionable years, Monte toed the party/government line.
    Now that Monte has a guaranteed pension that pays more for him to do nothing than the value of my entire wage package, he can say exactly what he feels and not worry about repercussions. He doesn’t care! He can tell it like it is! Why, he should run for office. Shake things up a bit. I’m sure there are enough conservative-types out there who actually beleive this populist clap-trap when it comes up. Looks at Monte’s and early Reform’s political success.
    Like they say, there’s one born every minute.

  5. Is Monte saying that big deficits and ineffective government spending is the conservatism of the future?

    • What he is in fact saying is that Harper is playing chess and anticipating 23 moves ahead. Not 22 or 24 but 23. And he’ll show you the computer modelling of it, if you ask him.

  6. The U.S.A. stimulus package is more then double ours in relation to GDP. Our deficit would be upwards of 100 billion dollars if we compared it to the Americans on a per capita basis. China, the EU and GB all have massive deficits coming up. So it looks the whole planet thinks the way out of this mess is to increase gov`t spending to offset the structural issues in the market economy.

    Now in the midst of all this global stimulation, what would you say if our gov`t posted a small surplus by slashing programs and services and zero stimulation ? That would be fiscally conservative but irresponsible and foolish at this time—-Monte knows that—most rational thinkers know that—he just hopes that the true believers in his party can find a way to forgive Harper for doing what he had to do and the mushy middle elsewhere can find a way to give him credit for doing what they would have done.

  7. I think that a lot of Conservatives are rather disgusted with the budget, but it’s not like they have an outlet to voice their frustrations with their Dear Leader. Instead they are reduced to “cognitive dissonance” statements like Monte’s.

  8. Thank you to PW for pointing out Monte’s Musings (TM).
    I’m sure it will be factored into the decision that Mr. Ignatieff and his caucus are making.
    Yesterday – I had the feeling that they would find some amendments sufficient to make this paletable.
    Today – I’m leaning towards the professor going for broke and giving a Caesar like Thumbs down!

    • –Not a chance—Iggy will never turn down this budget—even the dollar jumped today and the market.

      If Iggy ever went to the electorate to fight this budget the only votes he could count on would be Andrew Coyne, jwl, and maybe me.

  9. I don’t know, but … Garret Keizer’s definition of populism in the December Harper’s :-

    Populism : a political philosophy in which the rich are invariably bad and the system that made them rich is unquestionably good.

    I’m not sure it applies to any party or movement in Canada.

    • Would there not be some truth in the opposite in Canada….at least in the roots of the current Conservative crowd?

    • Since I can only think of two real populist movements in the last century in Canada, the CCF & Reform before they had delusions of being able to govern this country. (Getting elected, not a delusion. Governing, yes.) Although given their lemming-like voting, I suppose any Alberta government could be considered populist.

  10. A lot of commenters seem to be focusing on the plan, and what the specifics will look like once the Conservative’s make good on Mote’s stated intention of developing a vision for the future.

    I think perhaps PW’s point is more that it’s stunning that the Tories are thinking about maybe developing a plan for the future of Canada in their third year of government.

    At least they seem to acknowledge that up to this point there was no plan, so I suppose there’s that. I eagerly await word of the Tories plan for the future of the nation.

    I just wish they’d bothered to put one forward during either of the last two elections.

    • Close, LKO. Except that just about the only guy who is acknowledging there’s no plan is the one who’s left the government. Kind of a bonus.

  11. Personally i’m not overly concerned by a vision of a conservative future, at least not from these guys. If it ever arrives it will probably coincide with the 2nd coming.
    Besides, if you really want to clear a pathway for this oft delayed utopia, where Ottawa bureaucrats and un-named columnists are compelled to shovell yr driveway or mow yr lawn gratis; then you may want to find a scriptwriter whose literary gems rise above, slightly, the pedestrian and mundane.
    Witness the following if you please: tax relief as a balm for spender bender bruises – who knew? ; rollicking adventures with fiscal cons and dripping red phantasms, while spending tumbles down like a forthing river – or is it billions tumbling forth like a river of spending.
    i’m too hard on the guy it’s not that easy to sing the praises of a glorious new day that just seems to be forever receeding.

    • sigh! I guess a cranky citic like me should learn to spell at least – shovel, receding. Everything else is Monte’s fault, he made me write it so.

      • Would Harper’s prescription-drug-withdrawal hallucinations count as conservative visions?