Stephen Harper has a plan


…and you can’t see it. There is no truth to the rumour that Wajid Khan wrote it.


Stephen Harper has a plan

  1. Did you ever see the episode of the West Wing where Josh bungles a press conference and ends up alluding to a “secret plan to fight inflation”?

  2. There’s a secret plan to fight inflation? what does it contain?

  3. This is how bad things start, Mike. But I hear Josh himself will be commenting shortly.

  4. I prefer the officials’ comments slightly later on in the article, which suggest that “the plan” is currently just “business as usual”.

  5. I think it’s time break out the ole video of Kirk belting out a heartfelt “Khaaaaaaaannn!!!!!”

  6. Didn’t Nixon have a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam?

  7. Toby, come quick! Sam’s getting his ass kicked by a girl!

  8. What about the plan where we all realize there is very little the Canadian government under any banner is going to be able to do much of anything to effect the current economic insanity? Unless it’s hire more university professors. I’m all for that right now… Hi Paul!

  9. And if he let Giorno write it…
    he’s already dead in the water and flowing over the falls before it gets leaked…
    Let’s look for a name…
    the Common Cents Revolution
    We Keep Our Promises
    We know how to…hide deficits…
    Trust us…

  10. Sorry – typo up there..
    First name should have read…
    Common Cents on the Dollar Revolution…

  11. http://www.khaaan.com/

    I’m entirely willing to believe there is nothing a Canadian government can do. I’m also entirely willing to believe that would be the prime minister’s argument until the minute he changes his argument. Emmett is showing the consistency Mr. Harper has long regarded as a weakness. For all I know, this week’s emerging policy, so different from last week’s, may even work.

  12. “Didn’t Nixon have a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam?”

    How do you do it? How can your mind reach back that far? Ahhhh, your mind is stuck there! I see: another lesson learned.

  13. I’m confused now, ‘cuz I was under the impression that economists sit around twiddling their thumbs until summoned by Stephane Dion. Did the Tories just say that they have regular consultations with the BoC? Just like EVERY OTHER GOVERNMENT before and elsewhere?

  14. Invisible plans are all the rage these days.

  15. This is one of few disadvantages of being the government during an election. Harper has to be responsible, careful what he says and can’t do a chicken little act like the rest of the leaders are doing.

    Who cares what we think, four or five pols and eggheads will get together and come up with a plan with no input from us lowly hoi polloi. Keeping plans secret, not informing the electorate, is business as usual in Canada. Janet Daley/Daily Telegraph has a good column today about this star chamber behaviour in Europe but could easily apply here as well.

    One of the things I admire about the U.S. is that they actually give a toss what the people think, though many of their pols choose to ignore public opinion about Wall St bailout in the end and than called themselves ‘heroic’.

  16. Well – I for one think that Angela Merkel had the right idea…even if she set off a game of European dominoes..

    sitting tight nibbling your thumb nail may be Harper’s method…but I’m sorry jwl – you can’t bail Sweater Boy out with that jaded argument…

  17. Funny that Obama managed to have an advisor meeting on the economy with the press present without even waiting to be sworn in. Mr Dion should have done likewise rather than present the impression of not being ready to go on day 1.

  18. As opposed to having…say… Our Prime Minister hold the said meeting? I think that the Cons are just annoyed that Dion proposed a plan while they had none.

    That whole fundamentals-are-strong line will get you but so far.

  19. The best line from “Celestial Navigation” (the West Wing episode from which the nigh-legendary “secret plan to fight inflation” scene comes from):

    Bartlet: “So, Josh, not only are you telling me I a secret plan to fight inflation, but that you also don’t support it?”

    Very Harper-esque in its style, come to think of it. :)

  20. He’s not in control. He can’t stand it. And he’s looking bad.

  21. Yes Harper should just pull his hair out and run around like the world is ending. What a stupid post.

    Geez, anyone with half a brain new it was going to be a tuff year. The PM spent all his year end interviews telling poeple it would be a tuff year.

    Nothing worse when the press hit’s the panic button asking for the P t do somthing just to do somthing.

    And last time a ckecke Harper started an economic stimuls in the fall of last year. nd last time a I checked there was still growth and there was still low uneployment.

    Kinsella is right the worst election coverage has come from macleans.ca

  22. Actually, JK.. you didn’t quote the entire Kinsella quote:

    “Wells, Coyne and Potter are great”

  23. It definitely is not the time to be pulling plans out of your rear, like Dions 30 day plan.

    Jack has just about worn out the sweater line.

    If anyone here can tell me what a credible plan is for canada, other than what we are doing…asssuming we have a kitchen on fire (the current popular phrase)…then have at her. But first you have to say what problem the plan is inteded to fix, and here is the challenge, the problem had to have occured in the last 3 weeks.


  24. Dion was looking pretty sad an hour ago out here in Sidney (Vancouver Island) and the crowd was not amused. If this stop is any indication of the next week I would re-evaluate this so called but brief surge by the lib’s because the only surge out here was an effort to find at least some Liberal supporters. All talk was about major infrastructure deals if economy gets worse and lots of meetings of course which didn’t go over well all shovels in the dirt sort of things while completely evading any mention of the Carbon Tax -like that’s a surprise. I almost feel sorry for the guy but you can tell they can see the writing on the wall from out west here and tha’ts for sure.

  25. Remember all the chatter over the last few years about how the world economy had decoupled from that of the United States, and that recession in the U.S. didn’t mean problems globally?

    The pending recession in Canada is likely to be fairly short and mild. By this time next year, we will be back into economic growth, however tepid to start. In the meantime, you simply won’t see banks failing and people defaulting on mortgages by the bushelful here in Canada. (I do recall, though, reading about an entrepreneur in Alberta who had leveraged himself to the teeth to buy a number of apartment buildings. Right about now, guys like that are feeling like Wile E. Coyote just after he goes off the cliff, but before he falls.)

    Our job market is also is pretty good shape. The job losses have already taken place in the manufacturing economy in Ontario, and Western provinces were in fact facing a huge labour shortage. To the extent that a slowdown will put in place a correction for overheated housing and job markets in the West, that might not be a completely bad thing.

    The focus now needs to go to productivity in Canada. The huge run up in commodities prices masked the fact that for the last number of years, our productivity growth has been very poor. Canada needs less regulatory burden, lower corporate taxes, and better infrastructure if we plan to make real strides in wealth creation.

  26. Kinsella is old and jaded and has abysmal taste in music…
    and he’s playing gna gna – you can’t have my ball – I’m taking it home and if you don’t win – it’s all Earnscliffe’s fault…
    And once I used to respect the fellow…

  27. “Actually, JK.. you didn’t quote the entire Kinsella quote:

    “Wells, Coyne and Potter are great”

    I think Coyne could be greater yet if he could explain this sort of ‘playing with the market” (let’s leave Kinsella in the dust):

    “Verheugen, on the other hand, has already given assurancesthat 100% free CO2 permit allocation “should be possible” for select industries and governments, and the industry commissioner’s cabinet has already leaked to the press a Commission ‘non-paper’ that gives an indication of which sectors could be likely to receive an exemption from the EU ETS”

  28. Well, the US market is tanking again today. But I understand Main Street Canada is just all right.

    And, Wolf is monitoring the situation for us. Oddly enough, in The Situation Room. With The Best Political Team in… I guess, The Universe.
    Except probably MacLean’s.

  29. Further to what Wayne is saying, one can’t help but notice the sharp contrast in today’s BC rallies held by Dion and Layton. Not just the size and visuals, which hugely favor the Dippers.
    (it sounded like about 30 people at Dion’s rally, too bad the camera didn’t pan the crowd)

    But Layton also clearly understands one of the main purposes of a stump speech–to pump up the troops, urge them on to work harder. Layton delivered that in spades. Meanwhile, Dion made a mild plea to his workers. He again took questions from reporters in a haphazard way, we could barely hear the question, and there was nothing interesting in Dion’s answers. CTV Newsnet and (surprisingly) CPAC must have been bored too, as they cut away after about three questions.

  30. “This is one of few disadvantages of being the government during an election. Harper has to be responsible, careful what he says and can’t do a chicken little act like the rest of the leaders are doing.”

    You know what, I don’t care if he gets burned on this. This is the guy don’t forget who recklessly promised to not tax income trusts just because the Liberals were trying to do something responsible about runaway tax losses because of income trusts. What happened? Predictably, ever greater numbers of income trusts and greater runaway tax losses.

    I don’t buy the Conservative talking point that the only two options are running around in a panic pulling your hair out and not do anything. This “economist” doesn’t know what to do here. He couldn’t predict the weather if he was inside a tornado. He has shown no leadership.

    And he insults Canadians when he says we are only worried about our investments and not our jobs. Job losses are mounting, Mr. Harper. If you conservative ideology says do nothing and let the market take its course, then have the leadership b–ls to say so instead of this “secret plans” you don’t want to be accountable for or answer to or explain to those you are asking to vote for you.

  31. Yeah. I think Kinsella could do well to stop playing a death march for the Liberal campaign. Yes, Harper will probably win, but having 35-ish% support isn’t exactly Harpermania and Liberals ought to do what they can to oppose him. Kinsella’s strategy seems to to hand him the keys for 4-5 years and pick up the pieces afterwards.

  32. “pick up the pieces afterwards.”

    methinks he would let others pick up the pieces afterwards.

  33. Sure. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

  34. Laugh all you want, but secret plans are necessary in markets, which are driven not just by actions, but also expectations and credibility.

    Allow me to use Paul Martin as an example – Martin balanced the budget largely by backloading. He put together a schedule and made cuts one year, promising to make further cuts later. He was credible, and the markets responded accordingly, improving their long-term assessment of Canadian economic growth. That ensuing economic growth enabled Martin to balance the budget – he managed expectations.

    Similarly, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke never muse about what they might do. If you let off too much, it will affect the market. This is especially true when you are talking about bailing out companies – if companies believe they will be bailed out, they are more likely to engage in moral hazards (say lending money to poor people). On the other hand if you say “no bailouts for anybody” you may risk runs on the bank.

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