That seventies platform

The Liberal platform wants to take the country back 40 years

The Liberal platform is a remarkable document. It has the feel of catharsis to it: a party that was unsure of what it believed, or unwilling to say, finally finding a sense of direction and boldly declaring where it wants to take the country. And where it wants to take the country is back to the 1970s.

After all those dreary years under Chretien and Martin of cutting spending and cutting taxes and cutting deficits, and that brief, uncertain lunge under Stephane Dion into the ideological heterodoxy of the green shift, the Liberals are back where one senses they feel most comfortable: raising spending, raising taxes (but only on corporations!), and deficits take the hindmost. Oh, and imposing stricter controls on foreign investment, steering the economy into certain preferred “champion” sectors, regulating wages according to their “value,” and so on. As I said, it’s a remarkable document. It’s as if the last thirty years never happened.

To be sure, there’s an air of play-acting at the same time, a tentative trying-on of ideas that have long been out of fashion. The pump-priming, industrial-strategy dirigistes of Trudeau’s era would scoff at the relatively small sums involved: an increase in spending of roughly $6-billion annually, matched by a $7-billion increase in taxes, works out to less than 3% of today’s budget. Mind you, the actual increase in tax revenues is likely to be much less than that: economists who’ve looked at the question don’t believe the 3 percentage points the Liberals would tack onto corporate taxes, reversing the cuts the Tories are in the process of enacting, would raise anything like the $5- to $6-billion the Liberals are claiming.

Which means even the laughable show of concern for the deficit the Liberals manage — they would “reduce” the deficit to 1% of GDP in two years, when it’s at 1.7% of GDP now — rather overstates matters. If they follow through on their spending plans, they will almost certainly increase the deficit, though again by relatively small sums: perhaps $2- or 3-billion. They seem almost to be doing it for the sake of doing it, because that is what makes us Liberals, rather than out of any great conviction it will accomplish much.

Reading the document, I had the same feeling. The foreign investment chapter sounded appropriately hostile, but the follow-through in actual policy terms was unconvincing, and would probably change little. The “Canadian champions” silliness will be an excuse to waste a lot of money on pet Liberal projects, but in the end the economy will go its own way, as it always does. Even the hike in corporate taxes is hardly likely to be apocalyptic. The Grits, after all, would only raise the rate back to 18%, which is where it was four months ago.

Still, it’s the wrong direction to go. People in politics are inclined to depict every disagreement in the direst terms, but the fact that issues are rarely as stark as they paint them should not lead us to believe there are not real differences in approaches, or that one way is not preferable to another. The Grits would not send us to poorhouse overnight. But their economic policies are not the kind that would tend to enhance our prospects either. And over the longer term, as the population ages and a massive increase in costs meets a shrinking labour force, we are going to need those sorts of policies, desperately. The only way the next generation will be able to afford this generation’s dotage is if they are much wealthier than we are. And the only way that will happen is if we start now to generate much faster rates of annual productivity growth, and go on doing so, year after year, for the next several decades.

Measured against that benchmark, the Liberal platform starts to look more alarming. The Family Pack of social benefits, for students, pensioners, caregivers and so on, may be delightful ideas in themselves. But they come unaccompanied by any comparable concern with producing the wealth to pay for them. .

The document reveals throughout a vision of the economy as a thing, a lump of clay to be pushed, prodded, and massaged to the designs of its government makers — not an interconnected network of millions of individuals, each with their own agendas, values and interests, connected by prices and disciplined by competition, and vastly unknowable to any planner or architect. The latter view would tend to see the productivity question as a matter of allowing individuals greater freedom to innovate, by lowering taxes on investment, and giving them no option but to do so, by lowering barriers to competition. The Liberal approach is rather to offer up yet another program, an Innovation and Productivity Tax Credit, on the theory that a) we don’t have nearly enough of those already, and b) innovation comes from the Canada Revenue Agency.

We shall see where all this leads. The NDP have yet to release their platform, but will presumably feel compelled, in view of this overt attempt by the Liberals to poach their voters, to top them. And when, after the election, these two parties came to negotiating the terms on which the one would support the other, we may hazard a guess the resulting document will not be more pro-growth than this one.




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That seventies platform

  1. Boy are YOU ever on the wrong side of history!

    You won't get to the 21st century by channelling Ayn Rand.

  2. Boy are YOU ever on the wrong side of history!

    You won't get to the 21st century by channelling Ayn Rand.

    • Wow way to totally miss the mark.

      Andrew Coyne is talking about productivity. About the global economy. About all the things you claim to be interested in.

      PC for thirty years and all that.

      Face it Emily, this is tax and spend Liberal stuff.

      Disgusting.

      Disgusted Cats.

      • Cats belong in a box.

        E. Schrödinger

    • Atlas Shrugged opens on April 15th. You should watch it and learn a few things.

      • Rand would have voted for Ignatieff. After all, he's only in it for himself.

        • Cute enough for a +1.

      • Bioshock is out now. You should play it and learn a few more.

    • Coyne, if you think Canada should "generate much faster rates of annual productivity growth" without redistributing the wealth among ALL Canadians, especially when that wealth is created in large part by incentives paid for with taxpayer dollars or comes straight from the natural ressources which belong to ALL Canadians, then you and I live in different countries and it's time you crossed the border to the South to go fraternize with American Republicans who wake up extra early in the morning to figure out ways to best steal the working man's hard earned cash.

      • Uh, why shouldn't all of Canada grow equally, rather than tinkering with redistribution?

        • Are all Canadians the same (in terms of age, qualifications,
          economic background, values, culture and language)?

          Are all Canadian provinces and territories the same in terms
          of the ressources available and access to waterways and/or
          ports or proximity to large US markets?

          Obviously not. That's what we have a federation for. So that the sum of
          all the different parts makes something greater than each individual piece.

          Just cause Alberta and N&L struck it rich recently doesn't change all that.
          Unless you'd like to admit right here that the real separatists are actually
          the Harper Cons from Alberta! lolz

          • So you're vision of Canada is a country that only produces wealth from Oil extraction? A country that's only stays together because it can extort money from some? I'm glad I don't live in the same country as you do!

            I also find it curious that you'd suggest the "real separatists are actually the Harper Cons from Alberta". Alberta's never had a referendum. Quebec has. Alberta doesn't leverage it's independence and threat of leaving the country to extort absurd sums of money from the federal government. Quebec does. And all this while Alberta has legitimate problems with the federal government, while Quebec's only problem is that not enough Alberta oil money flows east (while the politicians there shame Alberta for producing that money in the first place).

          • Fair enough, but I didn't make the rules. All I'm saying is Harper Cons aim to weaken the fed. gov. in the long term so that provinces like Alberta and N&L can dictate their terms now that Confederation is no longer their cup of tea on account that they've struck gold.

            And why don't you complain about Ontario? Last I heard,
            they were also on the receiving end of equalization payments.

            Here's a song written by a fellow Montrealer. Listen hard to the lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo_S13SYeZw

  3. Where to turn for smart financial management? Harper spreads tens of billions of borrowed dollars around the country and Ignatieff offers us fantasy money.
    Who to vote for?

  4. Where to turn for smart financial management? Harper spreads tens of billions of borrowed dollars around the country and Ignatieff offers us fantasy money.
    Who to vote for?

    • Its clear that out of all the parties its the CPC that would increase our debt the least.

      Cats away!

      • At the record-rate that they've already set, I seriously doubt your deluded endorsement. Harper's 'Back to the 50s' version of socio-economic subterfuge does avoid the 'We're in it together' and 'up-with-people' vibe that Ignatieff was trying to hit, but give me unity over fear everyday. While helping lower-middle and lowest working class families may not even make the first page of Harpernomics — hey Jim and Jane, before you head to the recycler with the neighbours bottles, remember to pay your gym fees because you'll get $56 back next tax time!' — at least the Liberal policies acknowledge challenges that people have shared experiences with and that would benefit from some cohesive plan.
        And remember, spay and neuter your cats…

        • Well after reading the new Lib Platform, and knowing that if they get a chance to implement it with the requisite increased perks that will be demanded from the NDP and Bloc, then I think that shared experience you are talking about will be one of watching a stimulous deficit turn into a balooning structural deficit that will cripple our ability to have a growing economy.

          • By balooning structural deficit I mean one that increases every year which would certainly be the result of the Liberal plans.

            The Conservative plan is much more careful with the economy, hence new spending is gradually implemented, and tax cuts encourage job growth and deficits decrease year after year.

          • Small tax cuts don't encourage job growth, and do encourage deficit growth. The stats are in on those, and you're wrong on both assumption.

            Now, it's true that the deficit doesn't grow by as much as the simple tax cuts, there is some additional business activity that comes along but it is typically very minor. Job growth doesn't happen just because companies have more money. That goes primary to the executive via bonuses, and some small amounts to shareholders. Job growth only comes through additional demand, and that doesn't happen because the richest 10% of our population gets richer as the taxes drop.

            That happens when the bulk of our society, the middle and lower class, get more money so that they can start purchasing the things they need.

            Demand causes job growth, not supply. I really don't understand what makes supply-siders like yourself think it can be any other way than a refusal to acknowledge that the capitalists are less important to a functioning economy than the consumers.

      • Where is the money for the prisons and the planes coming from again?

        • Flaherty has this special pixie dust. Don't worry, be happy vote for Harper. And stop asking those pesky questions will ya?

        • What's the cost of the prisons? 2 billion over 5 years or something?

          And I missed the press conference where Ignatieff said he simply would buy no planes at all. Could you please link me to it?

          P.S. I'm not in favour of the prisons, but I'm even less in favour of misinformation.

      • How exactly is it clear? You provide zero details, kinda like harper on his prison costs.

  5. List, of canada's ineffectual, commercialization programs. I think the recent globe article argues as to the poor effect of the research tax credits as well.

  6. List, of canada's ineffectual, commercialization programs. I think the recent globe article argues as to the poor effect of the research tax credits as well.

  7. It's unfortunate that the Liberal party is not organised enough to really drive the undemocratic and unacceptable behaviour of the Conservative Party into the eye of the public. Instead they have to rely on these trusted Liberal strategies to win voters over. Canada trails many OECD countries in terms of productivity and has one of the most hostile investing environments as well, these kind of things need to be addressed if Canada is to rise to the top instead of fall back into the pack as the rest of the world returns to pre-recession form. The Liberal Party is the better choice than the Conservatives but I can't help but feel they missed a large opportunity to really create a progressive and competitive Canada.

  8. It's unfortunate that the Liberal party is not organised enough to really drive the undemocratic and unacceptable behaviour of the Conservative Party into the eye of the public. Instead they have to rely on these trusted Liberal strategies to win voters over. Canada trails many OECD countries in terms of productivity and has one of the most hostile investing environments as well, these kind of things need to be addressed if Canada is to rise to the top instead of fall back into the pack as the rest of the world returns to pre-recession form. The Liberal Party is the better choice than the Conservatives but I can't help but feel they missed a large opportunity to really create a progressive and competitive Canada.

    • Out of curiosity, what initiatives were you expecting the Liberals to announce? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, I'm just curious.

      Personally, limiting foreign investment in Canada hit a nerve with me, particularly in relation to the telco sector. Unfortunately, the Tories aren't much better: While they auctioned off wireless spectrum to new entrants, this seems to be all that they're willing to do. A more forceful and less timid attempt at inviting competition and bringing costs down should be encouraged.

    • If you want Canada to be a more productive nation and have a less hostile investing environment, then you should not vote Liberal.

    • Or the Liberals and media have focused on these faux scandals endlessly and voters just won't buy it.

  9. Andrew,
    Your observation is mostly correct. However you overlooked the 2011 version of the Green Shift. The Liberal Party will be dead on arrival in all of Western Canada by Friday. Shutting down or increasing the prices within th carbon industry (Coal, oil gas, transportation, recreation, travel etc.) is really foolish even IF it is a good idea.

  10. Andrew,
    Your observation is mostly correct. However you overlooked the 2011 version of the Green Shift. The Liberal Party will be dead on arrival in all of Western Canada by Friday. Shutting down or increasing the prices within th carbon industry (Coal, oil gas, transportation, recreation, travel etc.) is really foolish even IF it is a good idea.

    • Why do people always speak about the west as if it were one giant united Alberta coalition? There are plenty of folks in AB with questions about the sustainability of the oil/tar sands. If your point is they will be worried about their future none the less – i i agree. However, i didn't see anything approaching NEP 2011 in the libs platform.

    • Funny, I'm from the West, and I think at lot of BCers would be thrilled with more environmental controls.

  11. The ____________ would not send us to poorhouse overnight. But their economic policies are not the kind that would tend to enhance our prospects either. And over the longer term, as the population ages and a massive increase in costs meets a shrinking labour force, we are going to need those sorts of policies, desperately.

    Canadian political madlibs! Fill in the blank with any party you like. Then enjoy voting for parties with no real difference. We sure make the best out of the freedom we take for granted. Less privileged countries must be so jealous.

  12. The ____________ would not send us to poorhouse overnight. But their economic policies are not the kind that would tend to enhance our prospects either. And over the longer term, as the population ages and a massive increase in costs meets a shrinking labour force, we are going to need those sorts of policies, desperately.

    Canadian political madlibs! Fill in the blank with any party you like. Then enjoy voting for parties with no real difference. We sure make the best out of the freedom we take for granted. Less privileged countries must be so jealous.

    • Mike,

      I kind of agree with what you say, but I am betting a majority PC government would be best suited to handle the demographic shift that is coming. The other two parties would just spend until the sky fell.

    • Very true – among the 'big parties'. Time to take a look at the 'fringe', where there are REAL conservatives, like CHP Canada.

  13. I want some assurance of Universal Health Care .

  14. I want some assurance of Universal Health Care .

    • That's an elephant that no one seems to want to address.

      • How we do need to address that one for sure, Claudia. But how could we address it if the first word uttered will also be the word which will stop the health care debate: American system anyone?

        I wish Canadians would be able to step over that hurdle, to finally see beyond such overused, but sill used, scare mongering. There are plenty of examples to choose from when considering alternatives to our current healthcare system. Several European countries have adopted new healthcare policies, and as such could be realistically looked at for Canadians. But like I said, the only word uttered will be: American! Stop the debate right now!

        • I do agree if that's the only option we should stop the debate, but surely it's room for improvment, wouldn't you agree?

          Here in Alberta ER waiting times are crazy, not enough beds, long waiting lists for surgery, not enough family doctors. I realize the province handles most of it. A lot of polls that I've saw before the election it seemed to be one huge issue, so how the federal government can help?

          • When I posted my comment, it was going through my mind that my post would probably be misunderstood.

            I should have said: everytime when we want to debate healthcare reform we start off by comparing the changes to the American system only, and that's too bad. Precisely because we cannot seem to bypass the thinking that only the American system is the other option available when thinking healthcare reform, and that is, of course, not true.

            That is what I meant by saying that we need to be able to overcome such silly debates as scaremongering and only then can we look at other healthcare systems being available for comparison. I think some of the improved European models are interesting. I am most familiar with the Dutch reforms which have taken place over the past few years, but there are other European countries too which have adjusted their systems in advance of knowing that with a changing demographic, changes in healthcare provisions need to be made.

            I hope this is a better post than my last one. :)

          • Canada seems to have one obstacle which tthe European countries don't have to deal with (or have to deal with in much lesser degree) and that would the provincial and federal boundaries to take into account. Most European countries are governed differently than Canada is. Most European countries do not have such strong boundaries existing between a national government and provincial governments. And so, yes, such strong boundaries set do pose an extra layer of complexity to our healthcare system.

          • It did help thanks, isn't that what Harper wants to do? Minimize the boundaries between Ottawa and the provincial goverments.

          • I think Harper would like to clarify the bounderies existing between the provinces and the federal government.

            But really, Claudia, what can Harper say? What must Harper do to get his own word out there? The media no longer reports Harper's words; Harper's words are now merely interpreted, at best, or else completely distorted. And to whose benefit? To no one's benefit. Discussions are being shut down, whether they be on healthcare reform or anything else, and Canada will have to live with such obstructions of debates.

            I know why healthcare reform in the Netherlands was possible. Because an open debate was possible, as always. It is not right to shoot the messenger when trying to solve problems in this country. What is right is that each and every leader must be able to speak openly to the Canadian voters without being branded 'evil'. In Canada, I don't think it is possible. But times may change. Some day Canadian taxpayers will wake up, like they did in Europe, when real changes to the healthcare system need to be made because the tax burden had simpy become unbearable. We will wait untill then.

          • I've been labouring under the impression for a few years now that the Conservatives want to transfer more taxation power to the provinces, and gradually eliminate federal programmes which intrude on provincial jurisdiction (healthcare, education, etc.); perhaps gradually phasing-out the equalization programme so the federal government can concern itself with its core responsibilities: defence, external affairs, trade and the economic union, citizenship, and monetary policy. I've been hoping that the Conservatives are waiting for a majority before engaging in such a large reorganization of federal-provincial responsibilities.

            Perhaps the elimination of federal spending in healthcare and education will coincide with a revised Canada Health Act which allows the provinces to pursue funding-models which are the more sustainable over time whilst still providing health care to those who can't afford it. At least, this is what I hope will happen. If it does, the provinces will have the tax room and the legislative freedom necessary to ensure their programmes and policies are tailored to suit their specific needs.

          • Oh, what a refreshing voice you have, Anders.

            Yes, I agree with most of what you state within your post. I have no idea why or when the federal and provincial bounderies came so hopelessly entangled. Before we can unleash any progressive potential in this country, and one of them being sustainable healthcare reform for
            all, we need to look at where the bounderies between the provincial power and the federal power be delineated. That task in itself would not be an easy one, but certainly not when trying to tackle that task during minority governments. Strange really, because in the Netherlands, where coalition governments are the rule most often, a lot of things get accomplished, actually. But Canada is such a large and diverse country, that there is a need for a clear federal role to be played and the need for a clear provincial role to be played.

            I believe that healthcare delivery, and its needed changes, are best looked after by the provinces because the provincial governments operate in closer contact with specific needs within such bounds. What may work well here, may not work as well overthere. Many aspects play a role when looking at reform of our healthcare system.

            Even parts of the New Zealand healthcare system could be interesting to look at. But the attitude in Canada seems to be that every spot in Canada needs to offer exactly the same healthcare services, or specified quality thereof. In other words, such unreasonable demand – unreasonable because nothing organized from a central place so far away will ever be in tune with what actually works on the ground – can never be met. It's time we start talking about a fair minimum standard across this country and let ideas for improvement flow from there. Aim for a reasonable, fair minimum standard which the National government could spell out, and above that, let the provinces go at 'r.

          • Second FVerhoeven sentiment, Anders well said. I think that's Harper's goal.

          • The question is how to manage the costs. Spending more isn't an intelligent answer, as health care costs tend to increase at a rate 3-5x the rate of economic growth. The problem is that people tend to think of health care in irrational terms (HOW CAN YOU PUT A PRICE ON A HUMAN LIFE?!!!, etc.) You won't get elected by proposing rational but difficult solutions bound to trigger an emotional response.

          • Sadly, it is a matter of demographics. The only choices are fix it now, or destroy it later. To fix it, we will have to come up with an affordable funding system (public or private) and ration it to some degree (crazy to think that someone can go to the Dr twice a month, for years, without paying a penny.) These ideas may seem harsh, but if not implemented, UHC will be gone. The rationing will then be a necessity, and it will be brutal. Not saying I like these options, but people have to be blind to think that this isn't inevitable. UHC was envisioned when people lived, on average, to 70?

    • The damage in our ability to fund Health Care that would be the result of implementing that Lib platform would guarantee severe cutbacks in Universal Health Care.

    • Sorry…I know this offends a lot of people…but IMO but our national psyche is just too insecure to have an honest and open discussion about health care.

      It's too tied into our list of what separates us from Americans and "makes us Canadians" So we're not really talking about efficient health care delivery, people really see it as threatening our national identity.

    • Sorry, no matter who you vote for, there are no assurances of UCH. It is out-dated, and will eventually die without massive modifications. Any party that says otherwise is lying to you. In order for some of it to be saved, all the political parties need to get their heads out of the sand. Ten years from now will be too late.

    • You want assurance? You can be assured that Universal Health Care will continue to consume our wealth outside of any proportional ability of our society to pay for it.

      See Commons, Tragedy of the.

  15. Sounds like Bob Rae had a hand in this latest manifesto.

  16. Sounds like Bob Rae had a hand in this latest manifesto.

    • Well it's only fair isn't it?…considering he'll be the guy defending it shortly after the election.

  17. That's an elephant that no one seems to want to address.

  18. I agree, but it’s even worse because of the additional bureaucratic overhead it creates, the inevitable NEP-like dampening effects of the cap-and-trade carbon exchange, the reliance on sleight-of-hand for those growth-slowing corporate tax increases, etc.

    Strangely, it reminds me of the 1980 election in the sense the Clark Conservatives had the right plan but it took more time than the campaign allowed for it to sink in. This time I’m hoping the campaign is short enough that people don’t get nostalgic and vote in an old PM with an even older platform…

    One thing sure for me, this campaign will get very nasty before it ends. The stakes are huge.

  19. I agree, but it’s even worse because of the additional bureaucratic overhead it creates, the inevitable NEP-like dampening effects of the cap-and-trade carbon exchange, the reliance on sleight-of-hand for those growth-slowing corporate tax increases, etc.

    Strangely, it reminds me of the 1980 election in the sense the Clark Conservatives had the right plan but it took more time than the campaign allowed for it to sink in. This time I’m hoping the campaign is short enough that people don’t get nostalgic and vote in an old PM with an even older platform…

    One thing sure for me, this campaign will get very nasty before it ends. The stakes are huge.

    • You might want to ask Harper about that cap and trade scheme, because it's the system he supports and has committed himself to.

    • I was concerned about the prospects of a tax and spend NDP/Liberal coalition before.

      Now I'm absolutely pertrified.

      • fear and paranoia is definately what Harper is going for……seems to be working too

        • Uh, this is Ignatieff's platform, or am I missing something?

  20. Wow way to totally miss the mark.

    Andrew Coyne is talking about productivity. About the global economy. About all the things you claim to be interested in.

    PC for thirty years and all that.

    Face it Emily, this is tax and spend Liberal stuff.

    Disgusting.

    Disgusted Cats.

  21. Its clear that out of all the parties its the CPC that would increase our debt the least.

    Cats away!

  22. Cats belong in a box.

    E. Schrödinger

  23. You might want to ask Harper about that cap and trade scheme, because it's the system he supports and has committed himself to.

  24. I was concerned about the prospects of a tax and spend NDP/Liberal coalition before.

    Now I'm absolutely pertrified.

  25. At the record-rate that they've already set, I seriously doubt your deluded endorsement. Harper's 'Back to the 50s' version of socio-economic subterfuge does avoid the 'We're in it together' and 'up-with-people' vibe that Ignatieff was trying to hit, but give me unity over fear everyday. While helping lower-middle and lowest working class families may not even make the first page of Harpernomics — hey Jim and Jane, before you head to the recycler with the neighbours bottles, remember to pay your gym fees because you'll get $56 back next tax time!' — at least the Liberal policies acknowledge challenges that people have shared experiences with and that would benefit from some cohesive plan.
    And remember, spay and neuter your cats…

  26. Incoming from Coyne…well that was a big surprise! So…you didn't like it then i take it AC?

    Jeez Andrew can you at lest give us libs time to strap our helmets on first?

    Can't wait to hear your critique of Mr Harper's platform…course it'll help if you have a time machine to go check em out 5 years down the road. Has there ever been a more bizarre set of promises? Speaking of the 70's. Trudeau would have made mincemeat of such a move – " So, relax. Veg out. No need to hit that gym for at least 5 years."….don't know about MI though?

    I'm a little disappointed the libs have leaned so heavily left…i guess they feel they have to raid the NDP's larder? Now what have they got left to bring about "our" need to cozy up to the CR vote at the same time? Seems like they're gonna just rely on 3 strikes and you're out Mr H.
    Lord i hope they kept back an ace somwhere up their sleeve.

  27. Incoming from Coyne…well that was a big surprise! So…you didn't like it then i take it AC?

    Jeez Andrew can you at lest give us libs time to strap our helmets on first?

    Can't wait to hear your critique of Mr Harper's platform…course it'll help if you have a time machine to go check em out 5 years down the road. Has there ever been a more bizarre set of promises? Speaking of the 70's. Trudeau would have made mincemeat of such a move – " So, relax. Veg out. No need to hit that gym for at least 5 years."….don't know about MI though?

    I'm a little disappointed the libs have leaned so heavily left…i guess they feel they have to raid the NDP's larder? Now what have they got left to bring about "our" need to cozy up to the CR vote at the same time? Seems like they're gonna just rely on 3 strikes and you're out Mr H.
    Lord i hope they kept back an ace somwhere up their sleeve.

    • what have they got left to bring about "our" need to cozy up to the CR vote at the same time

      I can't stress enough how important it is to cozy up to the CR vote!

      • Damn you Mr kermi…i would've thought the green shift would've satified you?

        • We are very slowly turning you into a tory, muah haha, it has been our plan all along! : )

          • Not at all.:)

            I remember reading a reply that Trudeau once sent to Conrad Black after he had commiserated with him after he was turfed in 79, when it looked like the end of Trudeau's career in politics. They played around with the concept of Trudeau now playing the part of Duplessis to Clark's Trudeau [ or something like that...it was a great letter...i think it's in one of Peter Newman's tomes] Trudeau shot back that he wasn't worried about the future, since he was sure that any consevative worth his salt winds up becoming a liberal eventually anyway. Consolation for a liberal…for me too… and a damn fine joke on SH, if it happens to be true

          • Believe that was correspondence between Mulroney and Black, not Trudeau and Black.

          • No. You can find the letter in the section of Newman's latest[?]book, dealing with CB. The theme of the book is great Canadian maverick/characters…something like that.

          • I'll look up that – apologies for the error!

          • No need. I only came on it by chance myself.

  28. And how much will Harper's program cost? He won't even reveal the cost of his programs, his crime bills with the need for new prisons, his estimates of the single-bid fighter jets are in dispute as are most of his financial numbers. Harper caused a structural deficit even without the economic downtown. He inherited an envious financial situation and squandered it – and on what exactly? He increased government spending in his first couple years, but exactly what did Canadians get for all that increased government spending?

    Compare what Harper said in the last 2 elections about finances (first, cutting government spending and second, he would not run a deficit) to what he actually did and there is your answer for the future. Exactly how many times do you plan to let Mr. Harper swindle you financially? Elect him again and he'll likely can the PBO, whose numbers never match up with what Harper would like us to believe. We know Harper can't be trusted.

    The Liberals plan has an emphasize on education and helping with some specific problems, such as home care, and they've made it clear where they plan to get the money from and they won't be pushing through Harper's crime legislation which doesn't seem to be based on credible policy.

    I like Ignatieff's open and inclusive style a lot better than Harper's closed and divisive style, but even just on financial matters alone, I expect Canada to be much better off under Liberal rule than under Harper rule, based on Harper's record.

  29. And how much will Harper's program cost? He won't even reveal the cost of his programs, his crime bills with the need for new prisons, his estimates of the single-bid fighter jets are in dispute as are most of his financial numbers. Harper caused a structural deficit even without the economic downtown. He inherited an envious financial situation and squandered it – and on what exactly? He increased government spending in his first couple years, but exactly what did Canadians get for all that increased government spending?

    Compare what Harper said in the last 2 elections about finances (first, cutting government spending and second, he would not run a deficit) to what he actually did and there is your answer for the future. Exactly how many times do you plan to let Mr. Harper swindle you financially? Elect him again and he'll likely can the PBO, whose numbers never match up with what Harper would like us to believe. We know Harper can't be trusted.

    The Liberals plan has an emphasize on education and helping with some specific problems, such as home care, and they've made it clear where they plan to get the money from and they won't be pushing through Harper's crime legislation which doesn't seem to be based on credible policy.

    I like Ignatieff's open and inclusive style a lot better than Harper's closed and divisive style, but even just on financial matters alone, I expect Canada to be much better off under Liberal rule than under Harper rule, based on Harper's record.

    • education and health care are provincial matters. i get a kick out of Liberals lecturing about "parliament" and "rules" and they don't even understand the separation of powers.

      • Transfer payments? No? Never heard of this stuff?

    • The liberals plan to get their money by raising the corporate tax rate from 15% (which they voted for) to 18%. They claim that this will increase Federal Government revenues by 6 billion. They base their projections on the 2007 corporate tax take. (much lower now – sound like solid financial planning.) A guy from the UofC calculated that the total gain in federal corporate taxes would actually be around 1.8 billion. (After factoring in that corporations invest less when taxes go up.) The really funny thing about it is that the tax increase would also result in a 1.7 billion decrease Provincial tax revenue. Result: 100 million extra, and up to 200,000 lost jobs. That is how the liberal plan to buy my vote? Sorry, it doesn't seem like they can figure out finances enough to get my vote, but it appears that their dodgy numbers has purchased yours. :(

  30. what have they got left to bring about "our" need to cozy up to the CR vote at the same time

    I can't stress enough how important it is to cozy up to the CR vote!

  31. How we do need to address that one for sure, Claudia. But how could we address it if the first word uttered will also be the word which will stop the health care debate: American system anyone?

    I wish Canadians would be able to step over that hurdle, to finally see beyond such overused, but sill used, scare mongering. There are plenty of examples to choose from when considering alternatives to our current healthcare system. Several European countries have adopted new healthcare policies, and as such could be realistically looked at for Canadians. But like I said, the only word uttered will be: American! Stop the debate right now!

  32. Another excellent piece by Andrew Coyne. He's near the top of the "must-read" list for this election.

  33. Another excellent piece by Andrew Coyne. He's near the top of the "must-read" list for this election.

    • …near the top…who's on the top?

      • Monte Solberg? Lorrie Goldstein? Ezra Levant? Lorne Gunter? L. Ian Macdonald?

        So much to choose from.

      • Paul Wells? Although his blogging has been a little light so far. What's up with that?

        I remember back in '06, PW would blog like mad about the campaign. Nowadays, it's one post every few days or so.

        • Isn't he travelling with Harper right now? There's some pushback from some Conservatives to allow a little bit more information flow, but I'm not sure if that is taking hold or not.

          • Yep, I heard the same thing. PW was trying to blog a couple days ago and Harper stomped up to him in an apparent rage, ripped PW's laptop away from him, threw it on the floor, and proceeded to stomp on it. When it became clear to SH that this was not having the desired damage impact, SH went outside the bus, placed PW's laptop under the front passenger wheel, and instructed the driver to slowly drive forward. When the driver refused, and took out his IPhone4, apparently to twitter about this, SH lunged forward and grabbed said mobile device from the driver's hand, and proceeded to shove it down the driver's throat, in order to make sure no ill advised tweets were sent. SH then got behind the wheel of the bus, and finished of PW's laptop for good. The evil laugh that followed was reported to have been heard at least 100 km away……oh no, SH is coming for me now….somebody please helj;fianfodnandfbndflkNV jldsk

          • LOL! I was going to reply to Catherine that Harper's 5 question rule would not prevent PW from blogging, but you seem to have done it in a more imaginative way…

    • "Another excellent piece …"? No, just tyical Andrew COyne not being happy because HIS ideas haven't been bought holus bolus by a political party.

      • It's almost as if the public isn't paying much attention to PPG coverage!

        • LOL
          I guess that's true. Either that, or they can see right through it. You're probably right though, they probably pay little attention.

          On the front page of Devoir, picture posted at Spector's site, it says "Harper hits a wall", and then below you see: Cons 37%, Libs 26, Layton 18, Duceppe 10.

          Now, I would have to say most people would like at the headline, look at the numbers, and then have a diminished view of the newspaper.

        • Or made up their mind long time ago!

  34. Damn you Mr kermi…i would've thought the green shift would've satified you?

  35. Ahhh… but what needs to happen first, before critiquing the party's policies, is you must come to realize that it's the only party so far to put out a platform, with projects, a direction, a vision and goals.

    The bar is set so low in my Canada that this in itself is a huge magnet for a voter like me.

  36. Ahhh… but what needs to happen first, before critiquing the party's policies, is you must come to realize that it's the only party so far to put out a platform, with projects, a direction, a vision and goals.

    The bar is set so low in my Canada that this in itself is a huge magnet for a voter like me.

    • You're going to vote for a party simply because they release their platform first, even though it doesn't appear to pay for itself and has some big holes in it? Unfortunately, I don't think there are many voters like you to attract with that kind of magnet.

      • I never said I will vote for them. I just said that the fact they have a platform is enticing. Its already one step ahead of the other parties. If you didn't catch the slight bit of sarcasm and plain disappointment in my comment I apologize for not being clear enough.

        • Well, your missed sarcasm aside, I think the timing of election platform releases have little impact on elections. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, Bob Rae didn't release his election platform until well late into the Ontario provincial election that saw him form an NDP majority, so I don't see it as the factor you do – again, putting all sarcasm and such aside.

          • You see, that is IF they release a platform. Which the conservatives didn't last election.

          • Yeah, but to be fair, the Tories are the incumbents. They're going to campaign on the budget that was released before they were defeated, as well as defend their track record in office.

            It would be suicide for an opposition party to not release a platform during a campaign (except for the Bloc, I guess), whereas it's somewhat forgivable for any incumbent government not to do so.

          • This doesn't make sense to me. If the conservatives want a majority they shouldn't be campaigning on a budget they released as leaders of a minority government… Essentially created to please the NDP.

    • They put out a platform, but a bad one. The liberals plan to get their money by raising the corporate tax rate from 15% (which they voted for) to 18%. They claim that this will increase Federal Government revenues by 6 billion. They base their projections on the 2007 corporate tax take. (much lower now – sound like solid financial planning.) A guy from the UofC calculated that the total gain in federal corporate taxes would actually be around 1.8 billion. (After factoring in that corporations invest less when taxes go up.) The really funny thing about it is that the tax increase would also result in a 1.7 billion decrease Provincial tax revenue, and 200,000 fewer jobs. Result: 100 million extra, and up to 200,000 lost jobs. That is how the liberal plan to buy my vote? Sorry, it doesn't seem like they can figure out finances enough to get my vote, but it appears that their dodgy numbers has purchased yours. :(

      • I'd also like to know – and this is a sincere question – how a country like France manages to have one of the highest productivity rankings despite having a 33% (i think) corporate tax.

        • Much of the explanation is that the stat typically used is productivity per hour worked. France's hiring laws and welfare state do a superb job of keeping the less productive unemployed.

          Those aside, France's productivity would be lower than the top tier (US, UK), but still likely higher than Canada's significantly lower productivity.

          Canadians make up for this in part by working more, less productive, hours.

  37. I do agree if that's the only option we should stop the debate, but surely it's room for improvment, wouldn't you agree?

    Here in Alberta ER waiting times are crazy, not enough beds, long waiting lists for surgery, not enough family doctors. I realize the province handles most of it. A lot of polls that I've saw before the election it seemed to be one huge issue, so how the federal government can help?

  38. This must create a difficult dilemma for you AC? You've more or less trashed the libs economic platform, [ although your scepticism as to their seriousness is duly noted] as is your want. But at the same time you've trashed SH's frankly undemocratic disregard for parliament; part of which is not being forthcoming with what his plans are going to cost us. What's more, i'll predict that many of the libs ideas here, will, in due time make their way into a future SH platform…and without a trace of shame or irony. I think i'll still go with the original lbs, flawed though they may be; at least their promise don't come with a 5 year time delay.I like my bull fresh…like my coffee.

    Doesn't this leave you in a bit of a quandry?

  39. This must create a difficult dilemma for you AC? You've more or less trashed the libs economic platform, [ although your scepticism as to their seriousness is duly noted] as is your want. But at the same time you've trashed SH's frankly undemocratic disregard for parliament; part of which is not being forthcoming with what his plans are going to cost us. What's more, i'll predict that many of the libs ideas here, will, in due time make their way into a future SH platform…and without a trace of shame or irony. I think i'll still go with the original lbs, flawed though they may be; at least their promise don't come with a 5 year time delay.I like my bull fresh…like my coffee.

    Doesn't this leave you in a bit of a quandry?

    • "quandary".

      No, it doesn't leave him in a quandary, because Coyne (unlike most reporters) likes to tell it like it is (ie report the truth and analyze fairly). He doesn't need to alter his writing to turn it into propaganda.

      • Who's talking about propaganda? I just wondered if he sees a clash between his idealism and his economic instincts. Nothing else.

    • It's not a quandary, because he doesn't have to choose sides. He can trash them both, if he thinks they deserve trashing–that's his job as a journalist.

      It may be a quandary for him personally, when he comes time to vote, if he can't support either platform–is that what you mean?

      • I did mean your last point – well sort of. Coyne has also staked out the two positions [ of course he's fee to change his mind] and i was wondering how he's going to square that circle? What's more important to him [ as a thinker - not personally]…an economic direction he favours – or the health of out parliament. Looks like he could lose on either front [ plilosophically of course]

  40. We are very slowly turning you into a tory, muah haha, it has been our plan all along! : )

  41. When I posted my comment, it was going through my mind that my post would probably be misunderstood.

    I should have said: everytime when we want to debate healthcare reform we start off by comparing the changes to the American system only, and that's too bad. Precisely because we cannot seem to bypass the thinking that only the American system is the other option available when thinking healthcare reform, and that is, of course, not true.

    That is what I meant by saying that we need to be able to overcome such silly debates as scaremongering and only then can we look at other healthcare systems being available for comparison. I think some of the improved European models are interesting. I am most familiar with the Dutch reforms which have taken place over the past few years, but there are other European countries too which have adjusted their systems in advance of knowing that with a changing demographic, changes in healthcare provisions need to be made.

    I hope this is a better post than my last one. :)

  42. Canada seems to have one obstacle which tthe European countries don't have to deal with (or have to deal with in much lesser degree) and that would the provincial and federal boundaries to take into account. Most European countries are governed differently than Canada is. Most European countries do not have such strong boundaries existing between a national government and provincial governments. And so, yes, such strong boundaries set do pose an extra layer of complexity to our healthcare system.

  43. Andrew, in this piece you've gone from cranky to crackpot. The Liberal platform is squarely in line with the Chretien red books and the microcasting of the Clinton presidency. Those 1990s liberals attempted to target significant sub-elements of important problems with smaller amounts of money than their predecessors had spent, because at the same time they were trying to balance their budgets. Both of those governments were successful in doing this. So aside from the fact that you're off by twenty years, you don't appear to understand how positive, targeted government policy can work. Stop drinking the conservative kool-aid, my friend!

    • But didn't the libs back then ditch a similarly ambitious programme, once they had had it impressed on them just how severe our problems were getting to be? I wonder if this is part of AC's point now? [ why do i have to keep covering for Coyne...where is he? Sleeping or something? Wake up man! Don't you realise there's an election on? I need to sleep sometime too, you know! :) ]

    • The Liberal Red Book.

      Never implementable so it can be recycled at every election.

  44. Andrew, in this piece you've gone from cranky to crackpot. The Liberal platform is squarely in line with the Chretien red books and the microcasting of the Clinton presidency. Those 1990s liberals attempted to target significant sub-elements of important problems with smaller amounts of money than their predecessors had spent, because at the same time they were trying to balance their budgets. Both of those governments were successful in doing this. So aside from the fact that you're off by twenty years, you don't appear to understand how positive, targeted government policy can work. Stop drinking the conservative kool-aid, my friend!

  45. Not at all.:)

    I remember reading a reply that Trudeau once sent to Conrad Black after he had commiserated with him after he was turfed in 79, when it looked like the end of Trudeau's career in politics. They played around with the concept of Trudeau now playing the part of Duplessis to Clark's Trudeau [ or something like that...it was a great letter...i think it's in one of Peter Newman's tomes] Trudeau shot back that he wasn't worried about the future, since he was sure that any consevative worth his salt winds up becoming a liberal eventually anyway. Consolation for a liberal…for me too… and a damn fine joke on SH, if it happens to be true

  46. Why do people always speak about the west as if it were one giant united Alberta coalition? There are plenty of folks in AB with questions about the sustainability of the oil/tar sands. If your point is they will be worried about their future none the less – i i agree. However, i didn't see anything approaching NEP 2011 in the libs platform.

  47. …near the top…who's on the top?

  48. But didn't the libs back then ditch a similarly ambitious programme, once they had had it impressed on them just how severe our problems were getting to be? I wonder if this is part of AC's point now? [ why do i have to keep covering for Coyne...where is he? Sleeping or something? Wake up man! Don't you realise there's an election on? I need to sleep sometime too, you know! :) ]

  49. The new CBC Voter Compass Survey:

    "We need more national super highways."

    Strongly Disagree: You support Pol Pot
    Mildly Disagree: You support Mao Zedung
    Neither Agree or Disagree: You support Stalin.
    Mildly Agree: You support Andrew Coyne (so long as the highways are tollways).
    Strongly Agree: You support Adolf H.

    Someone needs to make an app or webpage for this survey.

    • Just to note: Andrew would make a very nice leader.

      • He's got my support! Will there be coloured shirts, do you think? Or just armbands?

  50. The new CBC Voter Compass Survey:

    "We need more national super highways."

    Strongly Disagree: You support Pol Pot
    Mildly Disagree: You support Mao Zedung
    Neither Agree or Disagree: You support Stalin.
    Mildly Agree: You support Andrew Coyne (so long as the highways are tollways).
    Strongly Agree: You support Adolf H.

    Someone needs to make an app or webpage for this survey.

  51. Anything spun positively sounds nice until you get a look a the bill. Much like a bad artificial sweetener, the after taste turns out bitter.
    So it's a race of what to overspend on.

  52. Anything spun positively sounds nice until you get a look a the bill. Much like a bad artificial sweetener, the after taste turns out bitter.
    So it's a race of what to overspend on.

  53. Just to note: Andrew would make a very nice leader.

  54. It's amazing how the Liberals have to answer for the deficit, and the media lets the Conservatives act as if it's something that just came down from high and sort of landed like a spaceship of unknown origin.
    The Conservatives remind me of the man who kills his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's now an orphan. While Liberals are pledging to repeal reckless tax cuts made by the Conservatives and the media says don't you know about the deficit?

  55. It's amazing how the Liberals have to answer for the deficit, and the media lets the Conservatives act as if it's something that just came down from high and sort of landed like a spaceship of unknown origin.
    The Conservatives remind me of the man who kills his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's now an orphan. While Liberals are pledging to repeal reckless tax cuts made by the Conservatives and the media says don't you know about the deficit?

  56. Monte Solberg? Lorrie Goldstein? Ezra Levant? Lorne Gunter? L. Ian Macdonald?

    So much to choose from.

  57. Andrew noted this about Michael Ignatieff:
    “And where it wants to take the country is back to the 1970s.”

    Well, Andrew, should we really be surprised?

    After all, the 1970′s is when Iggy last lived in Canada. It’s the only decade he remembers.

    • Oh come on people, let's not get all serious- that's good zinger.

      • It'is. It would be even better if he didn't actually believe it's the literal truth.

    • Well, isn't Ignatieff supposed to be PET for the 21st century? In that case, the retro platform makes perfect sense.

      • Could you possibly have done more damage to Ignatieff's chances than insult him that way?

  58. Andrew noted this about Michael Ignatieff:

    “And where it wants to take the country is back to the 1970s.”

    Well, Andrew, should we really be surprised?

    After all, the 1970′s is when Iggy last lived in Canada. It’s the only decade he remembers.

  59. One of the challenges of following the election is reading columnists like Coyne, who have assailed Harper for being an out-of-control spender and small-idea "not truly conservative" politician while in office, tell us today how the Conservatives are the only choice if we want prudent fiscal management and a strategy for the future.

    Also, let's be honest about the proposed corporate income tax increase. There have been 10 corporate tax cuts in the past decade. The Liberals want to raise it back to 10 points LOWER than it was in the 1990s and 8 points lower than it was is the early 2000s — when our economy was a juggernaut, when Canada's corporate profits posted 8 years of double-digit increases. It's not a massive shift for businesses to pay tax like they did 3 years ago.

    If the tax revenue is used to improve the very social infrastructure that attracts foreign companies to Canada, then it's not a problem for me to boost the rates to a point still far below those in the US. Companies like Honda don't build plants here solely because of tax breaks — they like the fact that health care costs are lower for them in Canada, too.

    • In Coyne's favour, he didn't say a damn thing about the conservatives in this article, positive or negative. You're having the same stupid obsession the CPC supporters do, just in reverse.

      When will people clue in that attacking one party's ideas, process, politics, is not necessarily saying any other party is better?

      This is why we've got to drill down past the parties and get back to evaluating candidates in our election, because when we start talking candidates, it's easier to ask the question "What are you going to do to improve your party?" without it instantly being thought that you're condoning the other guys.

    • Corporarions are also attracted by an educated work force.

  60. One of the challenges of following the election is reading columnists like Coyne, who have assailed Harper for being an out-of-control spender and small-idea "not truly conservative" politician while in office, tell us today how the Conservatives are the only choice if we want prudent fiscal management and a strategy for the future.

    Also, let's be honest about the proposed corporate income tax increase. There have been 10 corporate tax cuts in the past decade. The Liberals want to raise it back to 10 points LOWER than it was in the 1990s and 8 points lower than it was is the early 2000s — when our economy was a juggernaut, when Canada's corporate profits posted 8 years of double-digit increases. It's not a massive shift for businesses to pay tax like they did 3 years ago.

    If the tax revenue is used to improve the very social infrastructure that attracts foreign companies to Canada, then it's not a problem for me to boost the rates to a point still far below those in the US. Companies like Honda don't build plants here solely because of tax breaks — they like the fact that health care costs are lower for them in Canada, too.

  61. Out of curiosity, what initiatives were you expecting the Liberals to announce? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, I'm just curious.

    Personally, limiting foreign investment in Canada hit a nerve with me, particularly in relation to the telco sector. Unfortunately, the Tories aren't much better: While they auctioned off wireless spectrum to new entrants, this seems to be all that they're willing to do. A more forceful and less timid attempt at inviting competition and bringing costs down should be encouraged.

  62. Paul Wells? Although his blogging has been a little light so far. What's up with that?

    I remember back in '06, PW would blog like mad about the campaign. Nowadays, it's one post every few days or so.

  63. Believe that was correspondence between Mulroney and Black, not Trudeau and Black.

  64. Actually, the only "reckless tax cut" made by the Tories was reducing the GST by two points. But don't expect the Libs to even dare consider raising that reckless tax cut (or any other party, for that matter… but hey, maybe the NDP will surprise me and propose raising it back to 7%).

    That said, I don't think reducing the corp. tax rate is reckless. I think it's smart. What I disagree with is all these mini tax credits. The best idea the Libs have proposed is scrapping the two tax credits for students (for books or some such thing), and replacing them with a 1000$ cheque at the beginning of the school year. On that, I'll give the Libs credit for. On everything else, I'm not so keen.

    • (That was intended as a reply to W.B. above…)

    • Yes! I would honestly consider voting NDP if they — well, no, I wouldn't. You're right, though. Anyone who says he wants to raise the GST deserves respect from me, and so I salute you, sir!

      • This is my main beef with the libs platform; it's so not bold[ at least fiscally] If they had say gone with the CIT cuts , slowed it down, or explicitly promised to deal with it once the structural part of the deficit was wrestled down – but gone with an increase to the GST, i for one would have been cheering , rather then simply thinking…So! That's it! I definitely wanted brave and radical. There's so much potential for a visionary govt to sell consumption taxes as the way to go, while reducing income tax for the middle class and the entrepreneurial class. Missed opportunity. Still, i didn't hold out much hope for bold from MI in the first place. He's mistaken differentiation for bold and radical IMO.
        Oddly enough they wanted to steer clear of anything radical like Dion's green shift, which got ridiculously branded: "Insane! A tax on everything!" And chose instead to try and spin themselves as merely pushing a tax increase back. I suppose it was all they could do, given Harper's penchant for hysterical hyperpole?

  65. Actually, the only "reckless tax cut" made by the Tories was reducing the GST by two points. But don't expect the Libs to even dare consider raising that reckless tax cut (or any other party, for that matter… but hey, maybe the NDP will surprise me and propose raising it back to 7%).

    That said, I don't think reducing the corp. tax rate is reckless. I think it's smart. What I disagree with is all these mini tax credits. The best idea the Libs have proposed is scrapping the two tax credits for students (for books or some such thing), and replacing them with a 1000$ cheque at the beginning of the school year. On that, I'll give the Libs credit for. On everything else, I'm not so keen.

  66. (That was intended as a reply to W.B. above…)

  67. Isn't he travelling with Harper right now? There's some pushback from some Conservatives to allow a little bit more information flow, but I'm not sure if that is taking hold or not.

  68. Where is the money for the prisons and the planes coming from again?

  69. Well after reading the new Lib Platform, and knowing that if they get a chance to implement it with the requisite increased perks that will be demanded from the NDP and Bloc, then I think that shared experience you are talking about will be one of watching a stimulous deficit turn into a balooning structural deficit that will cripple our ability to have a growing economy.

  70. At last, an inkling of the return of the Liberal Party that made this country great. A return of a vision that wasn't written by Milton Friedman as channeled by Dick Cheney. I'd rather return to the 70's, a time when Canadians cared about their country; a time when ideals meant something; a time that made Canada one of the beacons in the world; a time that the needs of the citizens came before the needs of the oligarchy. A country concerned about the world environment and our place in it.

    Go get 'em Grits, and bring the NDP along with you. The future lies in a caring social democracy, not in some mean-spirited autocracy driven by pollsters, autocrats, demagogues and knuckle-draggers.

    • And you highlighted the historic importance of this election.
      Imagine four years of a Harper majority and what that would mean to every aspect of Canadian life, everything we have believed in both at home and in the world since the era of Pearson and Douglas.

      • Left-wing Craig's list trolls?

        • Well as a senior I could use any little crumbs that come my way. But alas just a nobody out in the boonies trying to do my little part to save the country I've known all my life. I suppose you could say a real, true conservative.

        • "Left-wing Craig's list trolls?"

          I don't know about that. But they do say it takes one to know one.

      • Oh don/t stop with Trudeau or Pearson or Douglas, do you remember the era of King and Laurier—-them were the days—-Why will that Harper character not let Liberals live in the past.

        • I think Mulroney understood the need to preserve the post war achievements of the progressive parties.
          But I have no doubt Harper if he gets a majority dismantle public services, continue the militarization of foreign policy, and return to a punitive judicial system.

    • Opportunities For Youth —- Yippie!

  71. At last, an inkling of the return of the Liberal Party that made this country great. A return of a vision that wasn't written by Milton Friedman as channeled by Dick Cheney. I'd rather return to the 70's, a time when Canadians cared about their country; a time when ideals meant something; a time that made Canada one of the beacons in the world; a time that the needs of the citizens came before the needs of the oligarchy. A country concerned about the world environment and our place in it.

    Go get 'em Grits, and bring the NDP along with you. The future lies in a caring social democracy, not in some mean-spirited autocracy driven by pollsters, autocrats, demagogues and knuckle-draggers.

  72. If you want Canada to be a more productive nation and have a less hostile investing environment, then you should not vote Liberal.

  73. The damage in our ability to fund Health Care that would be the result of implementing that Lib platform would guarantee severe cutbacks in Universal Health Care.

  74. And you highlighted the historic importance of this election.
    Imagine four years of a Harper majority and what that would mean to every aspect of Canadian life, everything we have believed in both at home and in the world since the era of Pearson and Douglas.

  75. Left-wing Craig's list trolls?

  76. fear and paranoia is definately what Harper is going for……seems to be working too

  77. Coyne's last sentence "And when, after the election, these two parties came to negotiating the terms on which the one would support the other, we may hazard a guess the resulting document will not be more pro-growth than this one."

    roughly translated, means this: if the Liberals and NDP were to form a coalition the spending would be out of this world, and were the BQ to be included in the coalition agreement (as in 2008), the province of Quebec would be able to set the federal spending limits.

    Perhaps Coyne should ask Ignatieff what exactly he signed in 2008.

    Coyme, have you asked Ignatieff what the "Permanent Consultation Mechanism" is all about?? Unless you do, we will never know what sort of spending spree this nation is about to undertake.

    • Just think of Iggy and Layton as a couple of amateur entrepeneurs coming up with new ways of spending what is left of their tax revenue. When they come up with a plan they go to Godfather Duceppe and beg for his approval.

    • Coyne's last sentence "And when, after the election, these two parties came to negotiating the terms on which the one would support the other, we may hazard a guess the resulting document will not be more pro-growth than this one."

      Talk about "reading in"? Why don't we let Mr Coyne parse his own sentences?

    • Great. Now we've got the Canadian equivalent to a Birther.

  78. Coyne's last sentence "And when, after the election, these two parties came to negotiating the terms on which the one would support the other, we may hazard a guess the resulting document will not be more pro-growth than this one."

    roughly translated, means this: if the Liberals and NDP were to form a coalition the spending would be out of this world, and were the BQ to be included in the coalition agreement (as in 2008), the province of Quebec would be able to set the federal spending limits.

    Perhaps Coyne should ask Ignatieff what exactly he signed in 2008.

    Coyme, have you asked Ignatieff what the "Permanent Consultation Mechanism" is all about?? Unless you do, we will never know what sort of spending spree this nation is about to undertake.

  79. Or the Liberals and media have focused on these faux scandals endlessly and voters just won't buy it.

  80. The Grits would not send us to poorhouse overnight. But their economic policies are not the kind that would tend to enhance our prospects either.

    That's a fair enough criticism. But it's not as if the Conservatives have produced an alternative platform that does enhance our prospects, have they? All they have done is promise to spend oodles of money on prisons and jets – and they haven't even bothered to tell us how much. (That was what that whole "contempt of Parliament" thing was all about, you may recall.) Presumably, producing a platform or cost estimates interferes with Harper's imperial prerogative to implement policy based on what seems to be his own personal whim.

    If any of the national parties had produced a platform that addressed the concerns that are raised in this article, I'd be more inclined to dismiss the Liberal platform. But there doesn't seem to be a better alternative out there.

    (And it should be mentioned that it was the Liberals who slayed the deficit dragon last time, for what it's worth.)

    • Regarding the costs of Prisons & Jets, the Conservatives did provide the costs. The coalition refused to accept them. The area of concern was with the possible costs to the provinces. In case you missed Ignatieff's speeches to the sheep, he wouldn't provide any provincial costs for his programs either. He still hasn't said how much we could expect to pay for replacement fighter craft or upgrades to prisons, unless he plans on using the fighter aircraft we have for another 40 years and letting all prisoners loose. With all the social spending promised, maybe we'll get lucky and people won't commit crimes anymore because the rest of us will pay for all that they want.

  81. You're going to vote for a party simply because they release their platform first, even though it doesn't appear to pay for itself and has some big holes in it? Unfortunately, I don't think there are many voters like you to attract with that kind of magnet.

  82. The Grits would not send us to poorhouse overnight. But their economic policies are not the kind that would tend to enhance our prospects either.

    That's a fair enough criticism. But it's not as if the Conservatives have produced an alternative platform that does enhance our prospects, have they? All they have done is promise to spend oodles of money on prisons and jets – and they haven't even bothered to tell us how much. (That was what that whole "contempt of Parliament" thing was all about, you may recall.) Presumably, producing a platform or cost estimates interferes with Harper's imperial prerogative to implement policy based on what seems to be his own personal whim.

    If any of the national parties had produced a platform that addressed the concerns that are raised in this article, I'd be more inclined to dismiss the Liberal platform. But there doesn't seem to be a better alternative out there.

    (And it should be mentioned that it was the Liberals who slayed the deficit dragon last time, for what it's worth.)

  83. Well as a senior I could use any little crumbs that come my way. But alas just a nobody out in the boonies trying to do my little part to save the country I've known all my life. I suppose you could say a real, true conservative.

  84. Ask not what the economy can do for you but what you can do for the economy.

  85. Ask not what the economy can do for you but what you can do for the economy.

  86. Oh don/t stop with Trudeau or Pearson or Douglas, do you remember the era of King and Laurier—-them were the days—-Why will that Harper character not let Liberals live in the past.

  87. "But their economic policies are not the kind that would tend to enhance our prospects either. And over the longer term, as the population ages and a massive increase in costs meets a shrinking labour force, we are going to need those sorts of policies, desperately. The only way the next generation will be able to afford this generation's dotage is if they are much wealthier than we are. And the only way that will happen is if we start now to generate much faster rates of annual productivity growth, and go on doing so, year after year, for the next several decades."

    Another "expert' predicting what will happen in 20 years:) babble, babble,babble…

    Considering the Conservatives had us in a deficit before the recession I have a hard time understanding where the author is coming from?

  88. I am all for bashing Liberals, so I enjoyed this Coyne post, but I also found not very satisfying because all of our major parties are socialist, just differ on how much.

    Our supposedly Con government has increased spending by more than 40% in five years in power. It is hard to imagine a 'left wing' alternative would have increased spending any quicker.

    And, at least, we expect left wing nonsense from Libs and NDP but Cons should act as bulwark. Instead, they have joined in the orgy of spending.

    Increasing taxes, increasing size of state, decreases growth and Cons know that, as do Libs, but no one seems to care.

    Schools specifically, and society in general, for decades have been teaching kids to focus on themselves, it is all about you. After decades of being told to enjoy themselves because that's all that is important in life, are the young 'uns really going to want to work even harder than they do now to pay for strangers in their dotage years?

  89. "But their economic policies are not the kind that would tend to enhance our prospects either. And over the longer term, as the population ages and a massive increase in costs meets a shrinking labour force, we are going to need those sorts of policies, desperately. The only way the next generation will be able to afford this generation's dotage is if they are much wealthier than we are. And the only way that will happen is if we start now to generate much faster rates of annual productivity growth, and go on doing so, year after year, for the next several decades."

    Another "expert' predicting what will happen in 20 years:) babble, babble,babble…

    Considering the Conservatives had us in a deficit before the recession I have a hard time understanding where the author is coming from?

  90. I am all for bashing Liberals, so I enjoyed this Coyne post, but I also found not very satisfying because all of our major parties are socialist, just differ on how much.

    Our supposedly Con government has increased spending by more than 40% in five years in power. It is hard to imagine a 'left wing' alternative would have increased spending any quicker.

    And, at least, we expect left wing nonsense from Libs and NDP but Cons should act as bulwark. Instead, they have joined in the orgy of spending.

    Increasing taxes, increasing size of state, decreases growth and Cons know that, as do Libs, but no one seems to care.

    Schools specifically, and society in general, for decades have been teaching kids to focus on themselves, it is all about you. After decades of being told to enjoy themselves because that's all that is important in life, are the young 'uns really going to want to work even harder than they do now to pay for strangers in their dotage years?

  91. In Coyne's favour, he didn't say a damn thing about the conservatives in this article, positive or negative. You're having the same stupid obsession the CPC supporters do, just in reverse.

    When will people clue in that attacking one party's ideas, process, politics, is not necessarily saying any other party is better?

    This is why we've got to drill down past the parties and get back to evaluating candidates in our election, because when we start talking candidates, it's easier to ask the question "What are you going to do to improve your party?" without it instantly being thought that you're condoning the other guys.

  92. Just think of Iggy and Layton as a couple of amateur entrepeneurs coming up with new ways of spending what is left of their tax revenue. When they come up with a plan they go to Godfather Duceppe and beg for his approval.

  93. I myself would like to take the country back to the 70's. What have we had since then? Declining living standards for all except the top 1%. Mr. Coyne would like to act as if the last 30 years haven't been all about lowering taxes for the wealthy and having absolutely none of the wealth "trickling down". Mr. Coyne would like to pretend that free trade has actually been good for this country instead of terrible. He would like to imagine that corporate takeovers haven't been a complete disaster for Canada. Perhaps we should go back to what actually works instead of pretending that conservative economic theory actually works.

  94. I myself would like to take the country back to the 70's. What have we had since then? Declining living standards for all except the top 1%. Mr. Coyne would like to act as if the last 30 years haven't been all about lowering taxes for the wealthy and having absolutely none of the wealth "trickling down". Mr. Coyne would like to pretend that free trade has actually been good for this country instead of terrible. He would like to imagine that corporate takeovers haven't been a complete disaster for Canada. Perhaps we should go back to what actually works instead of pretending that conservative economic theory actually works.

  95. I think Mulroney understood the need to preserve the post war achievements of the progressive parties.
    But I have no doubt Harper if he gets a majority dismantle public services, continue the militarization of foreign policy, and return to a punitive judicial system.

  96. "Another excellent piece …"? No, just tyical Andrew COyne not being happy because HIS ideas haven't been bought holus bolus by a political party.

  97. "The document reveals throughout a vision of the economy as a thing, a lump of clay to be pushed, prodded, and massaged to the designs of its government makers — not an interconnected network of millions of individuals, each with their own agendas, values and interests, connected by prices and disciplined by competition, and vastly unknowable to any planner or architect."
    So what Andrew and his fellow-kool-aid-drinkers miss is that BOTH his descriptions are accurate (with perhaps the exception of "unknowable" – until the latest census nonsense) and it is this interplay of forces that made the middle years of the 20th century so prosperous, dynamic and progressive.

  98. "The document reveals throughout a vision of the economy as a thing, a lump of clay to be pushed, prodded, and massaged to the designs of its government makers — not an interconnected network of millions of individuals, each with their own agendas, values and interests, connected by prices and disciplined by competition, and vastly unknowable to any planner or architect."
    So what Andrew and his fellow-kool-aid-drinkers miss is that BOTH his descriptions are accurate (with perhaps the exception of "unknowable" – until the latest census nonsense) and it is this interplay of forces that made the middle years of the 20th century so prosperous, dynamic and progressive.

  99. He's got my support! Will there be coloured shirts, do you think? Or just armbands?

  100. Oh come on people, let's not get all serious- that's good zinger.

  101. Yes! I would honestly consider voting NDP if they — well, no, I wouldn't. You're right, though. Anyone who says he wants to raise the GST deserves respect from me, and so I salute you, sir!

  102. I never said I will vote for them. I just said that the fact they have a platform is enticing. Its already one step ahead of the other parties. If you didn't catch the slight bit of sarcasm and plain disappointment in my comment I apologize for not being clear enough.

  103. Andrew – last year, your articles on the prorogation and Mulroney scandals were exceptional, but for some reason, when it comes to economic policy, you never let facts get in the way of your ideological blinkers. Corporate Canada has not responded to lower corporate taxes by increasing investment (in 2000, corporate taxes were 28% and business investment was 12.4%, in 2009, corporate taxes were 18% and business investment was still 12.4%). Unfortunately, our big business leaders tend not to be particularly innovative or entrepreneurial, which is why they don't invest much in the technology that would bump up Canada's productivity numbers. Maybe we should quit appointing the same couple of dozen members of Canada's old boys club to all of our corporate boards of directors. That's one of Canada's biggest innovation problems.

    You're promotion of additional corporate tax cuts to solve Canada's productivity problem is akin to doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  104. Andrew – last year, your articles on the prorogation and Mulroney scandals were exceptional, but for some reason, when it comes to economic policy, you never let facts get in the way of your ideological blinkers. Corporate Canada has not responded to lower corporate taxes by increasing investment (in 2000, corporate taxes were 28% and business investment was 12.4%, in 2009, corporate taxes were 18% and business investment was still 12.4%). Unfortunately, our big business leaders tend not to be particularly innovative or entrepreneurial, which is why they don't invest much in the technology that would bump up Canada's productivity numbers. Maybe we should quit appointing the same couple of dozen members of Canada's old boys club to all of our corporate boards of directors. That's one of Canada's biggest innovation problems.

    You're promotion of additional corporate tax cuts to solve Canada's productivity problem is akin to doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  105. Well, your missed sarcasm aside, I think the timing of election platform releases have little impact on elections. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, Bob Rae didn't release his election platform until well late into the Ontario provincial election that saw him form an NDP majority, so I don't see it as the factor you do – again, putting all sarcasm and such aside.

  106. By balooning structural deficit I mean one that increases every year which would certainly be the result of the Liberal plans.

    The Conservative plan is much more careful with the economy, hence new spending is gradually implemented, and tax cuts encourage job growth and deficits decrease year after year.

  107. Opportunities For Youth —- Yippie!

  108. Flaherty has this special pixie dust. Don't worry, be happy vote for Harper. And stop asking those pesky questions will ya?

  109. Why are all the MSM ignoring the Cap and <s>Trade</s> Tax plank of their platform ?

    • Because they have been ignoring the Conservative Cap & Trade for 5 years?

    • Perhaps because the Conservatives are working on something very similar?
      http://www.ec.gc.ca/doc/virage-corner/2008-03/541

      "Canadians can therefore expect to bear costs under the regulatory framework that are not trivial. At the same time, these costs strike an appropriate balance between environmental results and manageable economic impacts."

      "Overall, the analysis indicates that the regulatory framework will have a measurable, negative impact on Canada's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level. This impact will begin at relatively marginal levels in the first five years, but gradually increase out to 2020. The assessment indicates that this impact will not exceed 0.5% of forecasted real GDP levels in any given year between 2010 and 2020. Real GDP will thus be modestly affected by the regulatory framework, but will continue to grow at a robust pace. "

    • Its like the elaphunt in the room, no one is saying anything but they realize it is dead but it hasnt started to smell yet. Harper has said he will do the same as the americans and if you havent noticed they are not going to do anything and hope to make it through the next election. Mr obama is if nothing else a survivor and he can see that the people have cought on to that SCAM and it will be luck if the EPA even survives intact. The world has cought on to the global warming scam and thats not going anywhere.

  110. Why are all the MSM ignoring the Cap and <s>Trade</s> Tax plank of their platform ?

  111. Corporarions are also attracted by an educated work force.

  112. What's the cost of the prisons? 2 billion over 5 years or something?

    And I missed the press conference where Ignatieff said he simply would buy no planes at all. Could you please link me to it?

    P.S. I'm not in favour of the prisons, but I'm even less in favour of misinformation.

  113. We have a very sick Parliamentary system, and our choices are appalling, and none of the possible choices are dealing with the most pressing concerns of this country or the globe.

    I enjoy Coyne, because he's equally up to blistering attacks on either the cons or the libs.
    They both deserve it.
    That's refreshing, and it's why I like to read his articles.

  114. We have a very sick Parliamentary system, and our choices are appalling, and none of the possible choices are dealing with the most pressing concerns of this country or the globe.

    I enjoy Coyne, because he's equally up to blistering attacks on either the cons or the libs.
    They both deserve it.
    That's refreshing, and it's why I like to read his articles.

  115. Yep, I heard the same thing. PW was trying to blog a couple days ago and Harper stomped up to him in an apparent rage, ripped PW's laptop away from him, threw it on the floor, and proceeded to stomp on it. When it became clear to SH that this was not having the desired damage impact, SH went outside the bus, placed PW's laptop under the front passenger wheel, and instructed the driver to slowly drive forward. When the driver refused, and took out his IPhone4, apparently to twitter about this, SH lunged forward and grabbed said mobile device from the driver's hand, and proceeded to shove it down the driver's throat, in order to make sure no ill advised tweets were sent. SH then got behind the wheel of the bus, and finished of PW's laptop for good. The evil laugh that followed was reported to have been heard at least 100 km away……oh no, SH is coming for me now….somebody please helj;fianfodnandfbndflkNV jldsk

  116. Harper's 'jets and jails' and his pandering to the corporate world will take Canada back to the 1950s.
    Andrew does not mind that this is so because his mindset is truly one of the 1950s. For such a young man this is especially curious but I guess the New Conservative Right are really back to the future devotees.
    Coyne does not mind the Harperites spending like drunken sailors on 'jets and jails' and deeper tax cuts to global corporations, corporation who no longer have any sense of behaving like good Canadian corporate citizens but simply blackmail states around the world to give them a free ride or they leave for greener pastures (pun intended) where ever far greater profits might be.
    Coyne despises the fact that a Liberal government might decide to spend on the priorities of Canadian citizens rather than on the priorities of the global corporations, corporations that have been transferring good paying jobs abroad for over three decades. In doing so, these corporations have forced many western states to create jobs in the public sector, jobs that are needed as much as those in the private sector.
    Unless of course Coyne, like Preston Manning, believes that nearly all public sector jobs can be privatized so that the corporations can make more profits while making public services far more expensive.

    • "Coyne despises the fact that a Liberal government might decide to spend on the priorities of Canadian citizens rather than on the priorities of the global corporations, corporations that have been transferring good paying jobs abroad for over three decades. In doing so, these corporations have forced many western states to create jobs in the public sector, jobs that are needed as much as those in the private sector."

      I wonder if the data would support such a contention…that as our good jobs have disappeared oversea, the govt has been forced to compensate by expanding the PS? If true it sure would help to make the case that the way we are going about globalization has been a huge fraud. What is there left for those who can't get a job in the higher paying resource industries?…i bagsie that last Walmart greeter position!

  117. Harper's 'jets and jails' and his pandering to the corporate world will take Canada back to the 1950s.
    Andrew does not mind that this is so because his mindset is truly one of the 1950s. For such a young man this is especially curious but I guess the New Conservative Right are really back to the future devotees.
    Coyne does not mind the Harperites spending like drunken sailors on 'jets and jails' and deeper tax cuts to global corporations, corporation who no longer have any sense of behaving like good Canadian corporate citizens but simply blackmail states around the world to give them a free ride or they leave for greener pastures (pun intended) where ever far greater profits might be.
    Coyne despises the fact that a Liberal government might decide to spend on the priorities of Canadian citizens rather than on the priorities of the global corporations, corporations that have been transferring good paying jobs abroad for over three decades. In doing so, these corporations have forced many western states to create jobs in the public sector, jobs that are needed as much as those in the private sector.
    Unless of course Coyne, like Preston Manning, believes that nearly all public sector jobs can be privatized so that the corporations can make more profits while making public services far more expensive.

  118. You see, that is IF they release a platform. Which the conservatives didn't last election.

  119. "There are plenty of folks in AB with questions about the sustainability of the oil/tar sands."

    Albertans are certainly no less concerned about environmental issues than other Canadians. However, because the economic lifeblood of this province – and by extension this country – flows largely from the oilsands (which aren't "sustainable" by anybody's definition, by the way), environmental concerns are weighed against economic impacts to a greater degree out here. Not surprisingly, parties with agendas focused on the former, with little or no substance on how to minimize the corresponding effects on the latter, tend not to do well electorally out here.

  120. How totally unexpected.

  121. LOL! I was going to reply to Catherine that Harper's 5 question rule would not prevent PW from blogging, but you seem to have done it in a more imaginative way…

  122. Yeah, but to be fair, the Tories are the incumbents. They're going to campaign on the budget that was released before they were defeated, as well as defend their track record in office.

    It would be suicide for an opposition party to not release a platform during a campaign (except for the Bloc, I guess), whereas it's somewhat forgivable for any incumbent government not to do so.

  123. No. You can find the letter in the section of Newman's latest[?]book, dealing with CB. The theme of the book is great Canadian maverick/characters…something like that.

  124. I see little difference between the Conservative platform and the Liberal platforms – just a matter of timing.

    The Conservtives cut CIT now – the Libs when the books are balanced.

    The Conservatives have a bunch of boutique tax credits when the books are balanced, the Libs now.

    I wish some of these "economists who've looked at the question don't believe the 3 percentage points the Liberals would tack onto corporate taxes, reversing the cuts the Tories are in the process of enacting, would raise anything like the $5- to $6-billion the Liberals are claiming" had some business training/curiosity. Yes, AC, we all know who you are referring to. Just check your twitter feed. How many times can Macleans refer to one economist, in print, blog, twitter etc?

    Last night on BBC (CBC rebroadcast) Global Business (thinking on thinking) Roger Martin from the Uof T's Rotmen School was talking about some of the interesting initiatives he is undertaking. Worth listening to if you can think outside the LSE box: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fvjym

    Here's how one individual at BBC summarized the discussion:

    I've just had another seminar on thinking, this time with Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, and Hilary Austen, a professor there. You can hear it in this week's Global Business.

    For some years Roger Martin has been working to turn Rotman into a centre of what he calls Integrative Thinking. Confronted by so many business schools teaching routine approaches to routine problems, he says most decisions involve a choice between two alternatives.

    What nonsense this procedure is. The real world is full of shaded choices, says Roger Martin. Business people need to embrace the chaos of the surrounding world, not try to stifle it with traditional rationalisations. They need to choose not between two opposing models, but to integrate the best features of both, to learn to cope with opposing ideas, and relish them.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/2011/0

    • A true thinking person's post.

      Bravo! Keep the info coming.

    • For some years Roger Martin has been working to turn Rotman into a centre of what he calls Integrative Thinking. Confronted by so many business schools teaching routine approaches to routine problems, he says most decisions involve a choice between two alternatives.

      Great post Dot. Isn't this more or less what we get anyway, whether we put in a liberal or Tory govt? They both try to demonize each other when they want our sole contribution to the process – our vote – and during QP muppet theatre time. But once they face the realities of governing they start to back peddle, dissemble – whatever you want to call it [ it's not strictly lying] and borrow shamelessly from each others tool box anyway. Of course the poor voters are left to wonder what all the fuss was about, and just whether that $300 mil was a good investment or not.
      This dividing of everything into two more less stark choices is indeed often bull. Another one that bugs me is the counterintuitive notion that someone has only one possible motive for a chosen course of action…it's just nonesense as Martin says.

  125. I see little difference between the Conservative platform and the Liberal platforms – just a matter of timing.

    The Conservtives cut CIT now – the Libs when the books are balanced.

    The Conservatives have a bunch of boutique tax credits when the books are balanced, the Libs now.

    I wish some of these "economists who've looked at the question don't believe the 3 percentage points the Liberals would tack onto corporate taxes, reversing the cuts the Tories are in the process of enacting, would raise anything like the $5- to $6-billion the Liberals are claiming" had some business training/curiosity. Yes, AC, we all know who you are referring to. Just check your twitter feed. How many times can Macleans refer to one economist, in print, blog, twitter etc?

    Last night on BBC (CBC rebroadcast) Global Business (thinking on thinking) Roger Martin from the Uof T's Rotmen School was talking about some of the interesting initiatives he is undertaking. Worth listening to if you can think outside the LSE box: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fvjym

    Here's how one individual at BBC summarized the discussion:

    I've just had another seminar on thinking, this time with Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, and Hilary Austen, a professor there. You can hear it in this week's Global Business.

    For some years Roger Martin has been working to turn Rotman into a centre of what he calls Integrative Thinking. Confronted by so many business schools teaching routine approaches to routine problems, he says most decisions involve a choice between two alternatives.

    What nonsense this procedure is. The real world is full of shaded choices, says Roger Martin. Business people need to embrace the chaos of the surrounding world, not try to stifle it with traditional rationalisations. They need to choose not between two opposing models, but to integrate the best features of both, to learn to cope with opposing ideas, and relish them.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/2011/0

  126. This doesn't make sense to me. If the conservatives want a majority they shouldn't be campaigning on a budget they released as leaders of a minority government… Essentially created to please the NDP.

  127. It'is. It would be even better if he didn't actually believe it's the literal truth.

  128. The question is how to manage the costs. Spending more isn't an intelligent answer, as health care costs tend to increase at a rate 3-5x the rate of economic growth. The problem is that people tend to think of health care in irrational terms (HOW CAN YOU PUT A PRICE ON A HUMAN LIFE?!!!, etc.) You won't get elected by proposing rational but difficult solutions bound to trigger an emotional response.

  129. A true thinking person's post.

    Bravo! Keep the info coming.

    Otherwise it is back to the 1950s with Andrew Coyne and his followers.

  130. Atlas Shrugged opens on April 15th. You should watch it and learn a few things.

  131. This is my main beef with the libs platform; it's so not bold[ at least fiscally] If they had say gone with the CIT cuts , slowed it down, or explicitly promised to deal with it once the structural part of the deficit was wrestled down – but gone with an increase to the GST, i for one would have been cheering , rather then simply thinking…So! That's it! I definitely wanted brave and radical. There's so much potential for a visionary govt to sell consumption taxes as the way to go, while reducing income tax for the middle class and the entrepreneurial class. Missed opportunity. Still, i didn't hold out much hope for bold from MI in the first place. He's mistaken differentiation for bold and radical IMO.
    Oddly enough they wanted to steer clear of anything radical like Dion's green shift, which got ridiculously branded: "Insane! A tax on everything!" And chose instead to try and spin themselves as merely pushing a tax increase back. I suppose it was all they could do, given Harper's penchant for hysterical hyperpole?

  132. How exactly is it clear? You provide zero details, kinda like harper on his prison costs.

  133. "Left-wing Craig's list trolls?"

    I don't know about that. But they do say it takes one to know one.

  134. "quandary".

    No, it doesn't leave him in a quandary, because Coyne (unlike most reporters) likes to tell it like it is (ie report the truth and analyze fairly). He doesn't need to alter his writing to turn it into propaganda.

  135. Coyne's last sentence "And when, after the election, these two parties came to negotiating the terms on which the one would support the other, we may hazard a guess the resulting document will not be more pro-growth than this one."

    Talk about "reading in"? Why don't we let Mr Coyne parse his own sentences?

  136. Deja vu. Since 1963 liberals in power for approx 32 years, the Tories approx 15 years. The 1st deficit was in 1975 – John Turner as Finance Minister and Trudeau as PM. The liberal deficit ballooned to plus $30B /yr when the Tories – Mulroney came to power. Mike Wilson – the Finance minister targeted deficit with a GST, which grew gov revenues from 14B$ in 1990 to $35B in 2005 and the Chretien/Martin Liberals where the benefactors. The back to the 70's phenotypic characterization of the current liberals is appropriate – the same non – economic policy as Trudeau liberals and it will achieve the same result – more red ink and less prosperity for average working canadians – at least the average that are not on the gov teat.

  137. Deja vu. Since 1963 liberals in power for approx 32 years, the Tories approx 15 years. The 1st deficit was in 1975 – John Turner as Finance Minister and Trudeau as PM. The liberal deficit ballooned to plus $30B /yr when the Tories – Mulroney came to power. Mike Wilson – the Finance minister targeted deficit with a GST, which grew gov revenues from 14B$ in 1990 to $35B in 2005 and the Chretien/Martin Liberals where the benefactors. The back to the 70's phenotypic characterization of the current liberals is appropriate – the same non – economic policy as Trudeau liberals and it will achieve the same result – more red ink and less prosperity for average working canadians – at least the average that are not on the gov teat.

    • It's strange that you received negative votes for your comment. Why would someone want to thumbs-down the truth? It's all readily available information if someone is willing to take the time to look for the supporting info.

      • Yes, agree, I have to assume its party loyalty – but that applies to a certain %age across all parties…or maybe the truth hurts?

  138. It's almost as if the public isn't paying much attention to PPG coverage!

  139. Because they have been ignoring the Conservative Cap & Trade for 5 years?

  140. As opposed to what? Steve Harper's pining for the '50s? (And I don't mean the 1950's — I'm thinking 50 AD — the time of Nero).

  141. As opposed to what? Steve Harper's pining for the '50s? (And I don't mean the 1950's — I'm thinking 50 AD — the time of Nero).

    • He doesn't fiddle…. he plays the piano:)

      • Not very well.

  142. "Coyne despises the fact that a Liberal government might decide to spend on the priorities of Canadian citizens rather than on the priorities of the global corporations, corporations that have been transferring good paying jobs abroad for over three decades. In doing so, these corporations have forced many western states to create jobs in the public sector, jobs that are needed as much as those in the private sector."

    I wonder if the data would support such a contention…that as our good jobs have disappeared oversea, the govt has been forced to compensate by expanding the PS? If true it sure would help to make the case that the way we are going about globalization has been a huge fraud. What is there left for those who can't get a job in the higher paying resource industries?…i bagsie that last Walmart greeter position!

  143. education and health care are provincial matters. i get a kick out of Liberals lecturing about "parliament" and "rules" and they don't even understand the separation of powers.

  144. the Liberals proposed the tax cuts, and voted for the budget with them in it.

    next?

  145. It did help thanks, isn't that what Harper wants to do? Minimize the boundaries between Ottawa and the provincial goverments.

  146. Uh, this is Ignatieff's platform, or am I missing something?

  147. For some years Roger Martin has been working to turn Rotman into a centre of what he calls Integrative Thinking. Confronted by so many business schools teaching routine approaches to routine problems, he says most decisions involve a choice between two alternatives.

    Great post Dot. Isn't this more or less what we get anyway, whether we put in a liberal or Tory govt? They both try to demonize each other when they want our sole contribution to the process – our vote – and during QP muppet theatre time. But once they face the realities of governing they start to back peddle, dissemble – whatever you want to call it [ it's not strictly lying] and borrow shamelessly from each others tool box anyway. Of course the poor voters are left to wonder what all the fuss was about, and just whether that $300 mil was a good investment or not.
    This dividing of everything into two more less stark choices is indeed often bull. Another one that bugs me is the counterintuitive notion that someone has only one possible motive for a chosen course of action…it's just nonesense as Martin says.

  148. Rand would have voted for Ignatieff. After all, he's only in it for himself.

  149. Geez, now you are just being difficult : )

  150. You/re right, it is a good zinger and I should have acknowledged it when I firsr read it—I/ll give you credit for recognizing it although I see you have received most of the thumbers for it. I never bother with that thumbthing but for today I/ll give the Haligonian a plusser.

  151. Great. Now we've got the Canadian equivalent to a Birther.

  152. LOL
    I guess that's true. Either that, or they can see right through it. You're probably right though, they probably pay little attention.

    On the front page of Devoir, picture posted at Spector's site, it says "Harper hits a wall", and then below you see: Cons 37%, Libs 26, Layton 18, Duceppe 10.

    Now, I would have to say most people would like at the headline, look at the numbers, and then have a diminished view of the newspaper.

  153. Or made up their mind long time ago!

  154. The only difference between Andrew Coyne's article here at Macleans and Conrad Black's recent article in the National Post is that Black wrote from his current place of incarceration, whereas Andrew appears to be on the loose. Otherwise both articles are full of low tax economic theory that was thoroughly debunked under the the slogan "trickle down economics" when introduced by Ronald Reagan. Didn't work then and it doesn't work now. The only impact from this idea is that the rich get richer and everybody else suffers.

  155. Regarding the costs of Prisons & Jets, the Conservatives did provide the costs. The coalition refused to accept them. The area of concern was with the possible costs to the provinces. In case you missed Ignatieff's speeches to the sheep, he wouldn't provide any provincial costs for his programs either. He still hasn't said how much we could expect to pay for replacement fighter craft or upgrades to prisons, unless he plans on using the fighter aircraft we have for another 40 years and letting all prisoners loose. With all the social spending promised, maybe we'll get lucky and people won't commit crimes anymore because the rest of us will pay for all that they want.

  156. The only difference between Andrew Coyne's article here at Macleans and Conrad Black's recent article in the National Post is that Black wrote from his current place of incarceration, whereas Andrew appears to be on the loose. Otherwise both articles are full of low tax economic theory that was thoroughly debunked under the the slogan "trickle down economics" when introduced by Ronald Reagan. Didn't work then and it doesn't work now. The only impact from this idea is that the rich get richer and everybody else suffers.

  157. I think Harper would like to clarify the bounderies existing between the provinces and the federal government.

    But really, Claudia, what can Harper say? What must Harper do to get his own word out there? The media no longer reports Harper's words; Harper's words are now merely interpreted, at best, or else completely distorted. And to whose benefit? To no one's benefit. Discussions are being shut down, whether they be on healthcare reform or anything else, and Canada will have to live with such obstructions of debates.

    I know why healthcare reform in the Netherlands was possible. Because an open debate was possible, as always. It is not right to shoot the messenger when trying to solve problems in this country. What is right is that each and every leader must be able to speak openly to the Canadian voters without being branded 'evil'. In Canada, I don't think it is possible. But times may change. Some day Canadian taxpayers will wake up, like they did in Europe, when real changes to the healthcare system need to be made because the tax burden had simpy become unbearable. We will wait untill then.

  158. Well it's only fair isn't it?…considering he'll be the guy defending it shortly after the election.

  159. Funny, I'm from the West, and I think at lot of BCers would be thrilled with more environmental controls.

  160. It's not a quandary, because he doesn't have to choose sides. He can trash them both, if he thinks they deserve trashing–that's his job as a journalist.

    It may be a quandary for him personally, when he comes time to vote, if he can't support either platform–is that what you mean?

  161. Well, isn't Ignatieff supposed to be PET for the 21st century? In that case, the retro platform makes perfect sense.

  162. Sorry…I know this offends a lot of people…but IMO but our national psyche is just too insecure to have an honest and open discussion about health care.

    It's too tied into our list of what separates us from Americans and "makes us Canadians" So we're not really talking about efficient health care delivery, people really see it as threatening our national identity.

  163. Makes one wonder what the Liberal platform is going to look like after Ignatieff when a real Trudeau is once again leader of the party.

  164. It's strange that you received negative votes for your comment. Why would someone want to thumbs-down the truth? It's all readily available information if someone is willing to take the time to look for the supporting info.

  165. Their platform says that they will cancel the purchase of the planes, but may revisit the issue at a future date.

    I believe the cost of the prisons is currently estimated at 2 billion PER YEAR for each of the next 5 years.

  166. Perhaps because the Conservatives are working on something very similar?
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/doc/virage-corner/2008-03/541

    "Canadians can therefore expect to bear costs under the regulatory framework that are not trivial. At the same time, these costs strike an appropriate balance between environmental results and manageable economic impacts."

    "Overall, the analysis indicates that the regulatory framework will have a measurable, negative impact on Canada's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level. This impact will begin at relatively marginal levels in the first five years, but gradually increase out to 2020. The assessment indicates that this impact will not exceed 0.5% of forecasted real GDP levels in any given year between 2010 and 2020. Real GDP will thus be modestly affected by the regulatory framework, but will continue to grow at a robust pace. "

  167. Bioshock is out now. You should play it and learn a few more.

  168. Small tax cuts don't encourage job growth, and do encourage deficit growth. The stats are in on those, and you're wrong on both assumption.

    Now, it's true that the deficit doesn't grow by as much as the simple tax cuts, there is some additional business activity that comes along but it is typically very minor. Job growth doesn't happen just because companies have more money. That goes primary to the executive via bonuses, and some small amounts to shareholders. Job growth only comes through additional demand, and that doesn't happen because the richest 10% of our population gets richer as the taxes drop.

    That happens when the bulk of our society, the middle and lower class, get more money so that they can start purchasing the things they need.

    Demand causes job growth, not supply. I really don't understand what makes supply-siders like yourself think it can be any other way than a refusal to acknowledge that the capitalists are less important to a functioning economy than the consumers.

  169. He doesn't fiddle…. he plays the piano:)

  170. I'll look up that – apologies for the error!

  171. Transfer payments? No? Never heard of this stuff?

  172. Accents. Stéphane. Chrétien.

  173. I did mean your last point – well sort of. Coyne has also staked out the two positions [ of course he's fee to change his mind] and i was wondering how he's going to square that circle? What's more important to him [ as a thinker - not personally]…an economic direction he favours – or the health of out parliament. Looks like he could lose on either front [ plilosophically of course]

  174. Who's talking about propaganda? I just wondered if he sees a clash between his idealism and his economic instincts. Nothing else.

  175. No need. I only came on it by chance myself.

  176. TimesArrow isn't difficult…it just is! :)

  177. TimesArrow isn't difficult…it just is! :)

  178. OMG this was soooooooo funny,The dreaded red bok, I almost LOL.he stole the NDP's platform and threw the best of the conservatives budget in for good measure.I still remember when old man Chretein had that red book, and they joked as he rubber stamped it with Conservative! .No new ideas, the same national daycare plan, this guy is so out of touch.*shuddering*

  179. OMG this was soooooooo funny,The dreaded red bok, I almost LOL.he stole the NDP's platform and threw the best of the conservatives budget in for good measure.I still remember when old man Chretein had that red book, and they joked as he rubber stamped it with Conservative! .No new ideas, the same national daycare plan, this guy is so out of touch.*shuddering*

  180. He's Been set-Up and Hung Out to Dry

    Iggy wasn't in Canada when the little guy was campaigning with RED BOOK in hand. So how could he know that the RED Book is now synonymous with a big pack of lies? Those of us who got took remember the lies-get rid of the GST, renegotiate NAFTA, wrestle CO2 emissions to the ground etc. We remember Shela Copps resigning because of the lies. so who set him up?

    This is a major problem with the liberals. Iggy may be a decent enough guy, in fact I'm sure he is, but what of the rest of them? It seems far too frequent that a fellow liberal sneaks up behind him and sticks a shim in his back.

  181. He's Been set-Up and Hung Out to Dry

    Iggy wasn't in Canada when the little guy was campaigning with RED BOOK in hand. So how could he know that the RED Book is now synonymous with a big pack of lies? Those of us who got took remember the lies-get rid of the GST, renegotiate NAFTA, wrestle CO2 emissions to the ground etc. We remember Shela Copps resigning because of the lies. so who set him up?

    This is a major problem with the liberals. Iggy may be a decent enough guy, in fact I'm sure he is, but what of the rest of them? It seems far too frequent that a fellow liberal sneaks up behind him and sticks a shim in his back.

    • Copps didn't even really resign because of the lies, remember? First she refused to resign, then she got badgered into doing so, but Copps' interpretation of "resign" was to step down but immediately run again in her uber-safe riding, in which they had been electing Liberals since Methuselah was a boy. Most normal people think "resign" means go away and don't come back. Copps' interpretation of the word was creative, to say the least. Weasel.

    • This has been a $300M Liberal Leadership Convention. It's the only way they could dump Ignatieff without looking like total goofs.Shame on them!! Bob Rae etc

    • I wondered as well. Given the failure of the last two Red Books why would they even make the association, unless the knives are out for Iggy and have been from the start? Where o where is Bobby Rae?

  182. Please provide facts if you want to state things like this. How many, and which, OECD countries does Canada trail behind? Please define 'hostile investing environments' (15.5% vs. 18% corporate tax?). After looking at what the Liberals propose, how can you say that they are a better choice? Ah, I see it; they will 'create a progressive and competitive Canada.' I can't see how they will do it, but they have obviously sold you on the idea that they will. Keep those blinders on. :)

  183. Mike,

    I kind of agree with what you say, but I am betting a majority PC government would be best suited to handle the demographic shift that is coming. The other two parties would just spend until the sky fell.

  184. Sadly, it is a matter of demographics. The only choices are fix it now, or destroy it later. To fix it, we will have to come up with an affordable funding system (public or private) and ration it to some degree (crazy to think that someone can go to the Dr twice a month, for years, without paying a penny.) These ideas may seem harsh, but if not implemented, UHC will be gone. The rationing will then be a necessity, and it will be brutal. Not saying I like these options, but people have to be blind to think that this isn't inevitable. UHC was envisioned when people lived, on average, to 70?

  185. Sorry, no matter who you vote for, there are no assurances of UCH. It is out-dated, and will eventually die without massive modifications. Any party that says otherwise is lying to you. In order for some of it to be saved, all the political parties need to get their heads out of the sand. Ten years from now will be too late.

  186. Copps didn't even really resign because of the lies, remember? First she refused to resign, then she got badgered into doing so, but Copps' interpretation of "resign" was to step down but immediately run again in her uber-safe riding, in which they had been electing Liberals since Methuselah was a boy. Most normal people think "resign" means go away and don't come back. Copps' interpretation of the word was creative, to say the least. Weasel.

  187. Oh I agree, I guees it became more apparent from the moment Iggy said he wasn't going to support the budget, people started to get restless.

  188. The liberals plan to get their money by raising the corporate tax rate from 15% (which they voted for) to 18%. They claim that this will increase Federal Government revenues by 6 billion. They base their projections on the 2007 corporate tax take. (much lower now – sound like solid financial planning.) A guy from the UofC calculated that the total gain in federal corporate taxes would actually be around 1.8 billion. (After factoring in that corporations invest less when taxes go up.) The really funny thing about it is that the tax increase would also result in a 1.7 billion decrease Provincial tax revenue. Result: 100 million extra, and up to 200,000 lost jobs. That is how the liberal plan to buy my vote? Sorry, it doesn't seem like they can figure out finances enough to get my vote, but it appears that their dodgy numbers has purchased yours. :(

  189. that was funny :)

  190. I've been labouring under the impression for a few years now that the Conservatives want to transfer more taxation power to the provinces, and gradually eliminate federal programmes which intrude on provincial jurisdiction (healthcare, education, etc.); perhaps gradually phasing-out the equalization programme so the federal government can concern itself with its core responsibilities: defence, external affairs, trade and the economic union, citizenship, and monetary policy. I've been hoping that the Conservatives are waiting for a majority before engaging in such a large reorganization of federal-provincial responsibilities.

    Perhaps the elimination of federal spending in healthcare and education will coincide with a revised Canada Health Act which allows the provinces to pursue funding-models which are the more sustainable over time whilst still providing health care to those who can't afford it. At least, this is what I hope will happen. If it does, the provinces will have the tax room and the legislative freedom necessary to ensure their programmes and policies are tailored to suit their specific needs.

  191. Yes, agree, I have to assume its party loyalty – but that applies to a certain %age across all parties…or maybe the truth hurts?

  192. Oh, what a refreshing voice you have, Anders.

    Yes, I agree with most of what you state within your post. I have no idea why or when the federal and provincial bounderies came so hopelessly entangled. Before we can unleash any progressive potential in this country, and one of them being sustainable healthcare reform for
    all, we need to look at where the bounderies between the provincial power and the federal power be delineated. That task in itself would not be an easy one, but certainly not when trying to tackle that task during minority governments. Strange really, because in the Netherlands, where coalition governments are the rule most often, a lot of things get accomplished, actually. But Canada is such a large and diverse country, that there is a need for a clear federal role to be played and the need for a clear provincial role to be played.

    I believe that healthcare delivery, and its needed changes, are best looked after by the provinces because the provincial governments operate in closer contact with specific needs within such bounds. What may work well here, may not work as well overthere. Many aspects play a role when looking at reform of our healthcare system.

    Even parts of the New Zealand healthcare system could be interesting to look at. But the attitude in Canada seems to be that every spot in Canada needs to offer exactly the same healthcare services, or specified quality thereof. In other words, such unreasonable demand – unreasonable because nothing organized from a central place so far away will ever be in tune with what actually works on the ground – can never be met. It's time we start talking about a fair minimum standard across this country and let ideas for improvement flow from there. Aim for a reasonable, fair minimum standard which the National government could spell out, and above that, let the provinces go at 'r.

  193. Very true – among the 'big parties'. Time to take a look at the 'fringe', where there are REAL conservatives, like CHP Canada.

  194. This has been a $300M Liberal Leadership Convention. It's the only way they could dump Ignatieff without looking like total goofs.Shame on them!! Bob Rae etc

  195. They put out a platform, but a bad one. The liberals plan to get their money by raising the corporate tax rate from 15% (which they voted for) to 18%. They claim that this will increase Federal Government revenues by 6 billion. They base their projections on the 2007 corporate tax take. (much lower now – sound like solid financial planning.) A guy from the UofC calculated that the total gain in federal corporate taxes would actually be around 1.8 billion. (After factoring in that corporations invest less when taxes go up.) The really funny thing about it is that the tax increase would also result in a 1.7 billion decrease Provincial tax revenue, and 200,000 fewer jobs. Result: 100 million extra, and up to 200,000 lost jobs. That is how the liberal plan to buy my vote? Sorry, it doesn't seem like they can figure out finances enough to get my vote, but it appears that their dodgy numbers has purchased yours. :(

  196. Liberals are stuck in a time warp alright… When American Iggo left Canada back in the 70's, Fancy Pants Pierre was in the middle of his secret agenda to destroy Canada, casting adrift the majority of the population from it's history and traditions, and imposing his warped tribalist ideology. Fancy pants Pierre was indoctrinated as a young man, and the Russian Count is still indoctrinated as an old man. Iggo and the Liberals proving once again that they are Trudeauvian cultists, rather then Canadians. Liberals/Separatists/NDP, old cultists with old ideologies.

  197. Liberals are stuck in a time warp alright… When American Iggo left Canada back in the 70's, Fancy Pants Pierre was in the middle of his secret agenda to destroy Canada, casting adrift the majority of the population from it's history and traditions, and imposing his warped tribalist ideology. Fancy pants Pierre was indoctrinated as a young man, and the Russian Count is still indoctrinated as an old man. Iggo and the Liberals proving once again that they are Trudeauvian cultists, rather then Canadians. Liberals/Separatists/NDP, old cultists with old ideologies.

  198. Good lord did you take the time to read my comment? I know, i know the content of the platform is really freaking lousy. Thanks for the numbers to prove it!Nonetheless, having absolutely ZERO expectations from any of these parties, frankly just having a platform sounds great. Especially one that doesn't promise things five years from now…But apparently since my cynicism was lost on everyone I have to go on large rants like this one. Grrrrr

  199. I'd also like to know – and this is a sincere question – how a country like France manages to have one of the highest productivity rankings despite having a 33% (i think) corporate tax.

  200. Its like the elaphunt in the room, no one is saying anything but they realize it is dead but it hasnt started to smell yet. Harper has said he will do the same as the americans and if you havent noticed they are not going to do anything and hope to make it through the next election. Mr obama is if nothing else a survivor and he can see that the people have cought on to that SCAM and it will be luck if the EPA even survives intact. The world has cought on to the global warming scam and thats not going anywhere.

  201. Saying it's a Trudeau-ish budget shows how cynical Mr Coyne is.

    It's gone one tax increase and the proposes spending the money the CPC would on jails and jets on social programs. You can disagree with it, I don't fully endorse it either. But saying it's a "regressive" budget isn't being honest.

  202. Saying it's a Trudeau-ish budget shows how cynical Mr Coyne is.

    It's gone one tax increase and the proposes spending the money the CPC would on jails and jets on social programs. You can disagree with it, I don't fully endorse it either. But saying it's a "regressive" budget isn't being honest.

  203. Much of the explanation is that the stat typically used is productivity per hour worked. France's hiring laws and welfare state do a superb job of keeping the less productive unemployed.

    Those aside, France's productivity would be lower than the top tier (US, UK), but still likely higher than Canada's significantly lower productivity.

    Canadians make up for this in part by working more, less productive, hours.

  204. Cute enough for a +1.

  205. You want assurance? You can be assured that Universal Health Care will continue to consume our wealth outside of any proportional ability of our society to pay for it.

    See Commons, Tragedy of the.

  206. Could you possibly have done more damage to Ignatieff's chances than insult him that way?

  207. We could only wish we had it so good today as we had in the 70′s. Probably impossible to do, but if someone could bring us that kind of society again I’d vote for it.

  208. We could only wish we had it so good today as we had in the 70′s. Probably impossible to do, but if someone could bring us that kind of society again I’d vote for it.

  209. AC, you need to get on board with the Con agenda. You say cancelling the corporate tax cuts will not result in the expected increased taxes. But the Cons say the tax cuts will be so significant as to spur massive investment and job growth. They say it is the most important tax measure the country can take. Are you now saying the Cons are lying? Harper lying? Again?

  210. AC, you need to get on board with the Con agenda. You say cancelling the corporate tax cuts will not result in the expected increased taxes. But the Cons say the tax cuts will be so significant as to spur massive investment and job growth. They say it is the most important tax measure the country can take. Are you now saying the Cons are lying? Harper lying? Again?

  211. If LIEberal Loser Iggy formed a government Iggy would put Canada into such an economic/financial/monetary disaster, that the Great Depression of the 1930's would seem like the greatest industrious, prosperous boom in recorded history!
    (NDP Joke Layton's political platform would have same consequence!)

  212. If LIEberal Loser Iggy formed a government Iggy would put Canada into such an economic/financial/monetary disaster, that the Great Depression of the 1930's would seem like the greatest industrious, prosperous boom in recorded history!
    (NDP Joke Layton's political platform would have same consequence!)

  213. Second FVerhoeven sentiment, Anders well said. I think that's Harper's goal.

  214. Given the failure of the last two Red Books why would they even make the association, unless the knives are out for Iggy and have been from the start? Where o where is Bobby Rae?

  215. Given the failure of the last two Red Books why would they even make the association, unless the knives are out for Iggy and have been from the start? Where o where is Bobby Rae?

  216. I wondered as well. Given the failure of the last two Red Books why would they even make the association, unless the knives are out for Iggy and have been from the start? Where o where is Bobby Rae?

  217. The Liberal Red Book.

    Never implementable so it can be recycled at every election.

  218. The F-35 plan is a rather joke since it won't cancel but merely delay the inevitable (with predictions, its easy to do that with the Liberals in the defense realm). A contradiction appears when they have a picture of Mr Leblanc and Sen. Dallaire together. The former wants to kill the F-35 while the latter thinks they they should buy more than the agreed number.

    Meanwhile, he's basically cut himself out of the west with maybe a few seats still in Vancouver. It seems that the Martin and Chretien years, which many Liberals want to go back to, seems to have never happened in the mind of Iggy. Even Ontario (at least outside the 416) seems to have tired of the continuous Liberal proposals that will never see the light of day.

    If anyone remembers the UK Labour platform of 1983, it seems to have been written by the same kinds that wrote this current one. Will Red Book VII be Canada "longest political suicide note"?

  219. The F-35 plan is a rather joke since it won't cancel but merely delay the inevitable (with predictions, its easy to do that with the Liberals in the defense realm). A contradiction appears when they have a picture of Mr Leblanc and Sen. Dallaire together. The former wants to kill the F-35 while the latter thinks they they should buy more than the agreed number.

    Meanwhile, he's basically cut himself out of the west with maybe a few seats still in Vancouver. It seems that the Martin and Chretien years, which many Liberals want to go back to, seems to have never happened in the mind of Iggy. Even Ontario (at least outside the 416) seems to have tired of the continuous Liberal proposals that will never see the light of day.

    If anyone remembers the UK Labour platform of 1983, it seems to have been written by the same kinds that wrote this current one. Will Red Book VII be Canada "longest political suicide note"?

  220. Coyne, if you think Canada should "generate much faster rates of annual productivity growth" without redistributing the wealth among ALL Canadians, especially when that wealth is created in large part by incentives paid for with taxpayer dollars or comes straight from the natural ressources which belong to ALL Canadians, then you and I live in different countries and it's time you crossed the border to the South to go fraternize with American Republicans who wake up extra early in the morning to figure out ways to best steal the working man's hard earned cash.

  221. Uh, why shouldn't all of Canada grow equally, rather than tinkering with redistribution?

  222. What puzzles me by some of these comments is that most people forget that Canada always does better under a centre-left goverment than under a right wing government or comletely left wing government. History as shown that time and time again. The Liberals are and have always been the only party that can come close to balancing both our economy and social responsibilities. That's a fact. It's not me being biased. We all know tax credits do not work, they never have unless you're extremely rich. The last personal tax cut saved me $96!! Wow!!! That's not even a week's groceries.

    It scares me when people think that Harper is the guy for the economy and the guy who will work for the common man. He won't, he never was and never will be. All he cares about are the elites and their corporations. So like I said, unless you are one of the elites, extremely rich people or run a large corporation, you have no reason to vote for Harper. Actually, if you, you are hurting yourself and the majority of Canadians.

  223. What puzzles me by some of these comments is that most people forget that Canada always does better under a centre-left goverment than under a right wing government or comletely left wing government. History as shown that time and time again. The Liberals are and have always been the only party that can come close to balancing both our economy and social responsibilities. That's a fact. It's not me being biased. We all know tax credits do not work, they never have unless you're extremely rich. The last personal tax cut saved me $96!! Wow!!! That's not even a week's groceries.

    It scares me when people think that Harper is the guy for the economy and the guy who will work for the common man. He won't, he never was and never will be. All he cares about are the elites and their corporations. So like I said, unless you are one of the elites, extremely rich people or run a large corporation, you have no reason to vote for Harper. Actually, if you, you are hurting yourself and the majority of Canadians.

  224. Not very well.

  225. Are all Canadians the same (in terms of age, qualifications,
    economic background, values, culture and language)?

    Are all Canadian provinces and territories the same in terms
    of the ressources available and access to waterways and/or
    ports or proximity to large US markets?

    Obviously not. That's what we have a federation for. So that the sum of
    all the different parts makes something greater than each individual piece.

    Just cause Alberta and N&L struck it rich recently doesn't change all that.
    Unless you'd like to admit right here that the real separatists are actually
    the Harper Cons from Alberta! lolz

  226. So you're vision of Canada is a country that only produces wealth from Oil extraction? A country that's only stays together because it can extort money from some? I'm glad I don't live in the same country as you do!

    I also find it curious that you'd suggest the "real separatists are actually the Harper Cons from Alberta". Alberta's never had a referendum. Quebec has. Alberta doesn't leverage it's independence and threat of leaving the country to extort absurd sums of money from the federal government. Quebec does. And all this while Alberta has legitimate problems with the federal government, while Quebec's only problem is that not enough Alberta oil money flows east (while the politicians there shame Alberta for producing that money in the first place).

  227. Fair enough, but I didn't make the rules. All I'm saying is Harper Cons aim to weaken the fed. gov. in the long term so that provinces like Alberta and N&L can dictate their terms now that Confederation is no longer their cup of tea on account that they've struck gold.

    And why don't you complain about Ontario? Last I heard,
    they were also on the receiving end of equalization payments.

    Here's a song written by a fellow Montrealer. Listen hard to the lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo_S13SYeZw

  228. The Liberals putting out another "Red Book" is just a constant reminder of past lies and deceit, and broken promises.

  229. The Liberals putting out another "Red Book" is just a constant reminder of past lies and deceit, and broken promises.

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