Leading economist warns of possible Depression - Macleans.ca
 

Leading economist warns of possible Depression


 

A few more points from the Prime Minister’s obviously satirical interview with ATV.

1. Asked if a Depression could be in the offing, the Prime Minister responded, “It could be.” This new projection comes three months to the day after he assured Canadians that if we were going to experience a Recession, “we probably would have had it by now” and just over two months after he told Canadians the stock market was rife with “great buying opportunities.”

Non-rhetorical question: Would you let this man manage your personal finances?

2. He says now that he’s “very worried about the Canadian economy.” This comes after Mr. Harper argued during the election that a) the Canadian economy was on “solid footing”; b) opposition parties were “talking down” the economy when they warned of potential problems; and c) Canadians were “not worried” about losing their jobs or their homes.

Non-rhetorical question: Does the Prime Minister’s empathy make you feel any better?

3. On the subject of economic stimulus, the Prime Minister says there was some in the fall economic statement, he wishes Parliament had passed that, since it didn’t he’ll reintroduce it in January, waiting another month won’t hurt the economy and, indeed, the government needs the extra time to make sure it applies the stimulus correctly.

Non-rhetorical questions: If what the government needed after the October election was three months to consider its options, why did it bother convening Parliament in November? Was the stimulus provided in the economic statement thoroughly thought through? Has the apparently agreed-upon auto bailout been properly considered? 

4. The Prime Minister continues to insist the opposition parties are plotting to “overturn the results of the election.”

Non-rhetorical question: Is there a single, reputable constitutional scholar in this country who would agree with the Prime Minister’s use of the word “overturn?”


 

Leading economist warns of possible Depression

  1. Non-rhetorical answers:

    1. I’m not asking him to. I wish he’d be a better steward of the public purse, but at least he probably wouldn’t do any worse than if other parties actually delivered on their rhetoric.

    2. I don’t need the PM’s empathy to feel good, bad or indifferent. People who look to the PM for that need stronger family ties and/or a few friends.

    3A. To elect a Speaker and have a Speech from the Throne, the kind of stuff new Parliaments are supposed to do.

    3B. Probably not, which is why there actually wasn’t a whole lot of “stimulus” in it (amen!), and there was a promise of more to come (amen promptly withdrawn), if required, at a new year’s budget.

    3C. In that it involves punishing the next generation with added debt for mistakes not of its own making, I would argue not. Your mileage may vary.

    4. I would hope not. But constitutional scholars do not have the monopoly on electing this country’s government; the voters do. There is a difference between constitutional legality and political legitimacy. The proposed coalition would pass the former and has, by all appearances, failed spectacularly at the latter.

    Overall, thank you for far more serious non-rhetorical questions than the allegedly hilarious previous one.

  2. Harper’s swing from everything-is-fine to this is starting seem downright bi-polar.

  3. It’s a good thing Mr. Harper clearly communicated that he is A Leader, because otherwise we’d only have his actions to judge him by.

    And his actions have been pretty damned erratic.

  4. 2. I don’t need the PM’s empathy to feel good, bad or indifferent. People who look to the PM for that need stronger family ties and/or a few friends.

    Exactly right.

  5. “…constitutional scholars do not have the monopoly on electing this country’s government; the voters do.”

    The only thing the voters of this country elect is one single MP to represent them in Parliament.

  6. Question 1: I’d rather have a realist like Harper at the head of our government, than the panderers and deceivers who “lead” the other parties.

    The remaining questions don’t matter after this is answered.

  7. 1. Asked if a Depression could be in the offing, the Prime Minister responded, “It could be.” This new projection comes three months to the day after he assured Canadians that if we were going to experience a Recession, “we probably would have had it by now” and just over two months after he told Canadians the stock market was rife with “great buying opportunities.”

    Question 1: I’d rather have a realist like Harper at the head of our government, than the panderers and deceivers who “lead” the other parties.

    That is a simply fascinating definition of “realism” you have there.

  8. Gosh, it wasn’t that long ago that Harper was accusing the opposition parties of fear mongering about the economy.

    This man really does need to make up his mind what is and isn’t from one day to the next.

  9. Sandi: But then he’d have to hold to one particular position, rather than bobbing and weaving to whatever he feels will resonate best with the polls.

    My favourite is when he flat out denied that he ever called the last parliament dysfunctional.

  10. What a paranoid Harpercrite. He’s always acted as though fear was his best route to a majority. I guess he didn’t think it was ‘his’ fear and ‘their’ majority…. Like all sane minds, we can only hope.

  11. Would you let this man manage your personal finances?
    I would take financial advice from him, but he’s too reckless for me to actually turn over management to him.

    Does the Prime Minister’s empathy make you feel any better?
    Nothing the prime minister says or does elicits feeling in me.

    In 2006, though I voted for another party, I was relieved to have a PM who seemed more pragmatic than Paul Martin. A PM who had a reputation of being clear on what he wanted and who was known for his integrity. Stephen Harper is a major disappointment.

  12. Non-rhetorical question(S): Do you have any regrets about your actions leading up to and including the prorogue?

    Answer(S): naw

  13. What is the point of asking the PM questions if the answers have no bearing on what he will do?

  14. Could that old W allen joke apply here? Just because i’m paranoid, that doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get me.

  15. Did Harper not say that the only way we will get a recession is if we voted for the opposition parties? Guess it must be the fault of the 62% of voters who did not vote Conservative that we now have the possible depression that Harper is now forecasting. If Harper had a majority, we probably would still be hearing about the healthy surplus that we are running while the rest of the world is floundering in red ink.

  16. Following on Anon’s thought, the problem with Canada is clearly not the economy – it’s Canadians. Or at least most of them. Maybe an effective stimulus would be buying a one-way ticket out of the country for 62% of voters?

    To save the country, we just need to destroy it. No biggie.

  17. “The only thing the voters of this country elect is one single MP to represent them in Parliament.”

    Really? Then why did Jack Layton spend the entire campaign saying he was running for Prime Minister?

  18. I’m glad that the press picked up on The Economist’s foreshadowing of a could-be Depression, because the opposition has let The Economist off without even a warning.

  19. Anon is right. Jack Layton did make his campaign a run for prime minister. And the Tories had ads featuring a ballot with the names of the party leaders.

    I was surprised then how much the election was being debated as if it were a direct, presidential-style vote. The media said nothing. It’s no wonder so many Canadians are confused about how our parliamentary system works.