Today's poll points to a feel-better budget - Macleans.ca
 

Today’s poll points to a feel-better budget


 

Initial reaction to today’s Ekos poll will be that the Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are paying a surprisingly heavy price for suspending Parliament. No doubt that’s a key part of the story.

But the Tory slide began before prorogation. Ekos President Frank Graves reported prolonged “downward pressure” on Tory numbers in the poll he released a week ago, noting then that the Afghan detainee issue hurt the Conservatives in the waning weeks of 2009. Today’s poll, showing the Conservatives and Liberals virtually tied, discovers that trend continuing with remarkable strength.

As is almost always the case, political fortunes appear to be turning, not on isolated smart moves or single missteps, but on combinations of events that reinforce and amplify impressions, good or bad.

Let’s say you’re a voter who was inclined to think the Conservatives maybe behaved a little shabbily in attacking Richard Colvin. It’s a complex story, but the government’s rough handling of the soft-spoken, evidently credible diplomat you saw on the TV news strikes you as heavy-handed.

And then, before you’ve had time to quite lose interest in that whole Colvin thing, you read that the Prime Minister has shut down the House without any good reason—perhaps he’s even trying to dodge that detainee controversy. It’s not hard to imagine that you might sour, at least temporarily, on the governing party.

If this is the sort of linkage that’s sinking Tory numbers, then it suggests Canadians are reacting to something they’ve long known about Harper—that his political persona is largely defined by his opportunistic, hard-hitting streak. In his better moments, these qualities can make him appear strong. At his worst, he comes off as mean and ruthless.

So what should we be watching for in the next couple of months? Since Harper has said he plans to “recalibrate” around economic policy, his aim will have to be to offset his recent rough play around Parliament with budget measures that show him, and his government, in a more sympathetic light.

Indeed, that’s what he signaled last week in New Brunswick. “I think Canadians recognize we’ve responded in a timely and effective manner to job losses across the country, including vastly increasing support for retraining and support for the employment insurance system,” Harper said. “But clearly more has to be done.”

In the context of creating jobs, “more” usually means more government spending. But that’s not what Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says is coming. He has repeatedly said that when the two-year stimulus package launched in last year’s budget runs out, the government will turn to restraining spending, in order to reduce the deficit.

Indeed, the worse the economy performs, the more stringent federal spending restraint will have to be, Flaherty said recently in Winnipeg. The problem is that when economy is weak, and thus not creating jobs, it also fails to generate tax revenues, which worsens the deficit. Flaherty’s deficit-cutting prescription, then: lower economic growth, lower federal spending.

It’s hard to see how the planned March 4 budget can be the deficit-reduction strategy Flaherty promises and, at the same time, the job-creation plan Harper suggests. If polls continue to show the Conservatives looking off-puttingly harsh to Canadian voters, the budget must shift in the direction of trying to soften that image.


 
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Today’s poll points to a feel-better budget

  1. Aside from the brilliant "Billy Joel" theory presented elsewhere, the messaging from Flaherty has not really helped the Conservatives. While standing pat on taxes and programs may or may not be good policy for the next few years, it sends a message that on the most important issue of the day the Conservative plan to do "nothing" to the voters.

    But really if SH wants to cure his current blues he needs to sing them on stage.

  2. it's not surprising at all. Do a bad thing and tell people they're too dumb to care about it, there's backlash.

  3. "It's hard to see how the planned March 4 budget can be the deficit-reduction strategy Flaherty promises and, at the same time, the job-creation plan Harper suggests."

    It is? Devil is in details, obviously, but if Flaherty were to remember that he is supposed to be conservative and did something about massive bureaucracy and their salaries, reduced taxes and the like then we would see some proper job creation.

    Harper/Cons are not creating jobs when they bankrupt even more people in private sector to pay for public sector work.

    • and did something about massive bureaucracy…

      What massive bureaucracy? Do you even know how many federal employees there are or what they do?

      …and their salaries…

      Right, because cutting the salaries of people who will then stop spending will certainly jumpstart our stalled economy. Do you even think before you regurgitate these asinine talking points?

      • You can begin educating yourself here, jolyon. The info is a little more than a year old but it will suffice.

        Number of federal employees: 403,000

        Department of Defence: 107,000 (62,000 regular, 23,000 reserve, 22,000 civilian)
        RCMP: 24,578
        Correctional Service of Canada: 10,000 (prison guards, parole officers, etc.)
        Department of Justice: 5,000 (judges, crown attorneys, clerks, etc.)
        Canada Border Services Agency: 12,000 (border guards, custom agents, etc.)

        Of the 403,000 federal employees, nearly 170,000 (42%) of them are employed to protect the public's safety.

      • Calm down he's simply being cynic, there's nothing new there.

        There's a recent Need to Know post about Increased Depression amongst Public Servants. I suggest you read it to get an idea just how inflated the public service is.

        You're right when you say that public servants reinvest their salary in the economy so their salary is not a net economy loss. However there's a case to be made about whether investing in their salary is more efficient than any other measures.

        Some of the corporate tax cuts Harper made has brought back Tim Hortons' headquarters in Canada, that's a lot of jobs.

        • "However there's a case to be made…"

          I think Robert's overall challenge is for somebody – anybody – to actually make such a case, rather than just spouting right-wing dogma.

          • Yup. And not surprisingly nobody has or likely ever will pick up the gauntlet.

          • Without even using actual figures just consider the following: You spend 10 million on public servants, you'll get about 22% back directly, 5% will be lost in the CPP, 15.2% will go to Ontario(assuming Ottawa positions, then there's PST & GST, and god knows how much will be lost in the RRSP. Of the 7.8 million you actually invest in the economy(because 22% comes back), 2.02 million is lost to the Province and CPP, 500 thousand comes back with the GST and 800 thousand is lost to the PST. That leaves 4.48 million invested in the economy, out of 10, before RRSPs.

            Now spend that 10 million to attract more companies to operate in the country. You'll get your 10 million invested in the economy and then some because the tax break represents a small portion of their actual taxes paid, which is at least 29.5% of their net income, which is a small portion of their revenue. The amount of revenue spent on wages is usually greater than the net income, so logically, a company spend more in wages than it costs in tax breaks to bring that company to Canada.

            I'll grant you Tim Hortons was a bad example but that doesn't make the case untrue. Unless you really do think I'm just spouting Conservative propaganda, then all of this will fly right over your head.

        • Firstly, the only thing that came back to Canada was a piece of paper from a lawyers office in Delaware or wherever. Tim Hortons’ HQ was always in Oakville, and all or nearly all its jobs were there. So, it’s not correct to say income tax cuts resulted in jobs in this case.

        • Some of the corporate tax cuts Harper made has brought back Tim Hortons' headquarters in Canada, that's a lot of jobs.

          Only if you use the Pierre Poilievre definition of "a lot".. that is, a mover for the file cabinet and a law clerk.

        • I seem to recall from my economics & Public Finance classes that the economy loses about $.07 on every dollar of tax collected, due to costs in the collection & spending that don't find their way back into the economy.

          On the other side, taking (in reasonable amounts) money from people who have lots of it and giving it to people who have less helps the economy, because poorer people spend their money faster than richer people, and the basic definition of the size of the economy is the number of dollars times the number of times they're spent.

          Two other points: given the percentage of foreign ownership of Canadian corporations, taxes stay in Canada, while a good chunk of profits leave the country. Secondly, any revenue that a corporation uses to create jobs or invest in future growth doesn't get taxed.

          If a government really wanted to increase economic activity, they'd lower individual income taxes, not corporate income tax. This would be the opposite of Canadian tax policy since Mulroney.

          • Ordinarily, I'd agree that personal income taxes would be better to fall than corporate taxes.

            But the situation right now is a bit different. Corporate tax cuts offer two advantages that are important right now. First, since corporate taxes account for so much less government revenue than income taxes, meaningful cuts can be made without expanding the federal deficit by as much. Secondly, while people don't respond to small changes to their long-term income, businesses often do. What it all adds up to is that corporations will respond faster to a tax cut than people do, so we get more bang for our buck when we need it – which is now.

            That said, while I think the corporate tax cut is one of the best possible tax cuts available, I don't think tax cuts are the right way to go here – too slow to act even in the best of cases, the extra money is often banked, and leads to structural deficits. That $.07 isn't lost money, it's just money that doesn't immediately change hands (and what is being taxed matters greatly). Since confidence is still rather low, even in recovery, there's little expectation that money left in the economy by tax cuts will be exchanged much faster, so the economic advantages of a tax cut over an equivalent spending increase are considerably lessened.

          • I agree that the timing determines whether personal or corporate tax cuts should be used to promote the economy. I also strongly believe in infrastructure spendings for the same goal. I just don't agree that increasing spending in the public service is more efficient than those two methods as a means to promote the economy.

    • Gee, and all this time I thought it was "private sector" bankers and traders that got us into this economic mess. Thanks for setting me straight, Jolyon.

  4. It looks like key Tory strategists are placing a lot of chips on the Olympics as a way to distract Canadians from what's going on in Ottawa. It's a big gamble, considering their current position – but if Own the Podium works, guess who will take all the credit, and point to it as a government-sponsored program that produced results?

    At this point, I'm not sure it matters that Own the Podium first saw the light of day in 2002, and was in back-changeroom discussions since about 1998…

    • Tory strategists NEVER place all of their chips in one basket.
      Those are media talking points.

      With polls like this will 'Harper's time be up'…?

      • Which is why they always stand on both sides of any issue.. the side they talk about, and the side they do.

      • I didn't say all of their chips, I said a lot of their chips. It's a big gamble, and at the moment, Canadians seem to be calling their bluff (if we're going to continue with that metaphor). How long this continues, and whether the Conservatives will win, lose, or draw after the budget-that-this-prorogation-stalled-consultations-for is read in the house, only time will tell.

  5. The question that most voters must ask .Has most of this great burst of hate against the government been orchestrated by the left. How many are hitting face book and blogging for the sake of agitating.Will Canadians be willing to throw the government out and take on an unknown leader to feel good about our great democracy.Ytou know the one that has a separatist party in parliament for 20 years bent on our destruction and would likely be part of a coalition, Harper will still maintain 35 % forcing an arrangement on the left.When will we see the outrage of our university professors against a separatist party sitting in our parliament or is proroguing much more serious.. It would be nice to see a really non baaed article on the trouble this will eventually cause when the west starts demanding its fair share.

    • Have you ever thought that the people who are electing the separatists, and then voting no on the referendums, might have reason for doing so?

      • They have some good MP's who do solid work for their constituents. Its no wonder they keep getting voted back in.

        • And who participate respectfully in parliament, trying to improve legislation rather than focussing on trying to win every debate.

      • I sure coulda used your help on this issue yesterday :)

  6. "Has most of this great burst of hate against the government been orchestrated by the left. How many are hitting face book and blogging for the sake of agitating."

    That's right – those who disagree with Haper (you assume they make up the "Left") are not Real Canadians, so all this organization and outrage doesn't count.

    • Don't be so stupid.who said anything about real Canadians. I know a country that has a party in parliament bent on breaking up the country I would not consider real Canadians. I think we are all reasonably realistic and this great rage against Harper will run its course before the Olympics is over. He will come in with a reasonable budget and Iffy will make a lot of noise along with Jack but it will pass.They are well aware of the new senate makeup after this month.They are well aware that Harper has agreed to a term of eight years and that this does not require a constitutional change..We are also aware that the majority of Canadians are always silent until election day.When we see the results of all this the end will be nothing will change.The tragedy in Haiti has over taken the hysteria of prorogation and most of us are counting our blessings that proroguing is not the big a deal in a rich prosperous country and will want it to remain so. .

      • "Don't be so stupid."

        Ironically, you completely missed my point.

        I think LynnTO is right – trolls should be ignored whether they believe their claptrap or not.

        • Trolls? Is this a Liberal blog?
          Here I thought Macleans was a national media outlook….

    • I wonder if it's worth our energy to try to contradict posts like gar's; I propose the rest of us adopt a policy of "don't feed the trolls".

      • By definition, they're not trolls if they actually believe in what they're saying…

        ..just stupid.

  7. It was widely felt that Stephen Harper is shirking his responsibilities to avoid difficult questions regarding the Afghan detainees,

    "Canadians clearly see the anti-democratic nature of this crass political move to dodge accountability on several fronts: worsening economic news and torture inquiries. They clearly see Harper's pattern of contempt for parliament and its committees; when the going gets tough [last year, this year], Harper prorogues parliament. This much we can count on. He has reneged on EVERY political principle and promise he promoted as a Reform / Alliance leader. His only goal is power and he is willing to sacrifice everything to get it, including fundamental respect for our democracy"." "I certainly have no love for the Liberals but the thought of Dictator Harper getting a majority terrifies me.:: I'm no big fan of the Liberals but, I'll be glad to see the Conservatives gone."

    • absolutely 100% agreement on this statement !

    • I guess when the Liberals Prorogue is due to their love of Democracy??? I am always amused when I hear the words "a conservative majority scares me",what a joke…

      • partisanship is for idiots. Politicians are the citizen's, and the country's enemy. Term-limits and proportional rep are the only lasting solutions.

      • I'm quite frightened by a government of any stripe that justifies any controversial action by saying "well so-and-so did it first!"; even more so that you aren't.

    • so will I

  8. I read this somewhere.
    Progation is to the Harper government as a hospital gown is to a cold but; it doesn't provide the necessary coverage, eh?

  9. This kind of governing by bullying and dismissial of the Canadian public is not what I voted for. I have voted Conservative in the past even though I don't like Harpers heavy handed tactics and broken promises. But this prorogating stinks of dictatorship and plain spoiled brat behavior. It brings to mind Harper with tears running down his face ,stamping his feet , having a hissy fit and stating if I can't have it my way then NO ONE gets to play. so nya nya a boobie

  10. <sigh> That was supposed to be a teaching moment, guys.. and now you've ruined it by giving him the answers.

    • Sorry, but here's one more: And whose current leader consistently out-performs the other leaders in election debates. While the other leaders were trying to score cheap shots on each other on military spending, Duceppe calmly proposed that we come to a decision about what we want our forces to do, and fund them to do it. Most rational thing I've heard in an election debate.

      • Not only the election debates…

        Most (every?) evening during the last election campaign CPAC used to compile some (most , all?) of the footage of the leaders from that day, the speeches and the Q&As. Duceppe routinely outperformed the other leaders.

        Surely the other parties must have access to people with similar capabilities, so is the problem that those people won't run for the other parties or that the party members don't pick them?

        • I think it's more endemic of a problem that happens when you're concerned with politics as opposed to government.

          • No disagreement with the politics as opposed to government idea, but still curious about how this translates to the current party leaders. For example Harper: did the CPC party members reject other leadership candidates who would have focussed more on governing and less on politicizing, or were all the available candidates fundamentally not so interested in governing?

          • Oh, I guess I wasn't clear. Duceppe has no illusions about becoming PM. He simply knows he won't. As such, there's very little incentive for him to play politics, which leaves him free to get on with governance. I actually think all the party leaders have the capability in them.. even Harper. It's just it's not at all what they're concerned with.

          • Ahhh, yes, I can certainly agree with that theory to describe Duceppe's better performance. A month or two ago, somewhere else on this site, a similar arguement was made (possibly by yourself); I still like it.

            So then the question becomes why do leaders – such as Harper, who we suspect has the ability to govern as well as to politicize – choose the latter? The basic answer to that question, I suppose, is that the preceived rewards for politicizing are greater than for governing, and that is our (the voters) fault.

          • I think you are over-rating Harper's ability to govern – at least in the way that the non-CPC majority would want to be governed. So the relentless pursuit of the majority.

            I could not agree more on the assessment of Duceppe above, and I think that the judgement that he is superior because of not entertaining hopes of being PM is insightful and correct. It seems to me that it follows then, that we would see more of this type of leadership under Proportional Representation. Thoughts?

          • Wrt Harper and govern or politicize, I'm giving Harper the benefit of the doubt, at least for this thread.

            And I'm using govern in the sense of propose and implement policy with less regard for political implications, while allowing that it is equally possible to govern towards the right or govern towards the left. Agreed that Harper is less able once you add in the criteria to govern in the direction favoured by the majority.

            Wrt PR, I'm reasonably sure we would get 'better' leaders, confident enough that I would love to try a PR system. I also wonder if having party MPs elect the PM would push the balance towards govern and away from politicize, although I'm less certain about that idea.

  11. One of the best things Flaherty could include in the next budget, is a plan to freeze MP salary and benefits for 2 years (and any other non-unionized government workers, like Senators). Then, I think he could also sell – at least to the voters, scrapping of the $1.95 per vote political party welfare. The opposition of course would have a hissy fit (fully supported by most of the anti – everything-Harper MSM of course), but I really think Canadians – you know, the ones that actually ELECT people, support the scrapping of welfare for political parties.

    • Agreed! They should also announce that they're going to review 100% of government spending to see where efficiencies, savings, and cuts can be made. I'd love to hear Iggy say he'll look at where to cut government spending.

    • Casual O
      How much do you suppose taxpayers are on the hook for the Conservative war chest? You realize every dollar a tax deduction (unlike registered charities) and there is no ceiling on how much they collect nor any accountability. So, we don't really know how much it costs us but it is a bad bargain and guaranteed more than $1.95.

      I would much prefer we eliminate fundraising all together. Instead of costly attack ads, they can get free air time on cbc for potential cabinet ministers to debate actual issues.

      • Harper will put forward massive cuts to the civil service just as the Liberals did (or Trudeau's wage and price controls) with Martin's deficit reduction. And he will go for program cuts because the Conservatives have created a structural defecit by cutting the GST. There will be no job creation, just more proproganda (the stimulus package didn't even try to identify if the money created jobs), since Conservatives can't walk and chew gum at the same time . The Liberals will not support the budget . Jack will support the government because the NDP have a $4 million debt and can't afford an election and the Bloc will do what is good for Quebec (being more principled than the Conservatives ever thought of being).

    • "Then, I think he could also sell – at least to the voters, scrapping of the $1.95 per vote political party welfare. " This measure was introduced as part of a reform package, supported by the Conservatives, to eliminate the reliance of political parties on large donors who might influence government policy. Harper wants to eliminate the opposition, since he doesn't believe in Parliamentary Democracy" and this is one measure to do it. Public funding of political parties is a halmark of every industrialized democracy. However, this is moot, since Harper will not dare face a vote of non-confidence with poll numbers so close and an electorate who are more engaged than in the last 4 years.

  12. "That's right – those who disagree with Harper (you assume they make up the "Left") are not Real Canadians, so all this organization and outrage doesn't count."

    First off, that kind of sarcasm was uncalled for. Gar was merely pointing out that most people are focusing, like the media, on one small issue, prorogation, while ignoring the larger picture. He was NOT saying Left leaning voters are not "Real Canadians".

    Secondly, he is right. True, Harper should not have prorogued Parliament, I don't know why he did, but frankly I don't care. I just disagree with the move because he did it once before and this hurts his image, so I don't think it was a politically smart move. So they are not in Parliament, big deal, they are still working from their offices, not on vacation like the Liberals would claim. Of more interest to me is the fact that the Opposition has in the past few months tried to usurp government with the aid of separatists, force an election nobody wanted because they felt they were becoming irrelevant,made grand claims of what things they would do without explaining at all where the money would come from to do it, and flip-flop on a daily basis on what they are for or against.

    Lastly, if you are so against prorogation you may want to remember that when Chretien left, in the middle of the adscam where the Liberals stole billions of dollars which are still unaccounted for by the way, Parliament was prorogued for months! not the few weeks Harper has prorogued for.

    • First: You don't care why Harper prorogued? His reasoning is one of the central issues in this debate.

      Second: Classifying the Bloc solely as "Separatists" is over-simplistic and isn't reflective of their total contribution to government over the past several years. They represent federalists as well as pequistes.

      Third: "in the past few months tried to usurp government". Twelve is not a few, and furthermore, a coalition government comprised of a majority of MPs can constitutionally seek power. They didn't – arguably, they were never going to – so get over it. This idea that anyone who disagrees with the Conservative catechism is trying to usurp power is complete bunk, and reminiscent of a style of governance Canadians long ago rejected.

      Fourth: Whatever Chretien's decision six years ago, it does not justify Harper's decision on December 31. "He started it!" is a schoolyard defense and has no place in government.

    • but frankly I don't care.

      Really? You don't care that Harper would rather prorogue parliament then turn over documents which could clear up whether our government left our troops having to decide between committing war crimes or disobeying orders?

      • Committing War crimes? Ha. Since when is it a war crime to turn over Afghan citizens to the local authorities? And no, I don't believe they should be forced to make top-secret military information to the general public while it could put soldiers who are in active service in a situation where a target is being painted on their forehead. Jjust so some Liberal can confirm that the soldiers turned the detainee over to local authorities, realized he had been beaten and then retrieved the detainee upon discovery of this fact, as has been shown in documents weeks before the pro-rogue happened. In my mind the Afghan issue is a non-issue to begin with, and a resolved issue long ago.

        I also see no problem in Pro-roguing, as it has no effect on the current status of this issue. Just because Parliament is closed a little longer does not mean the issue is dead. It can, and will, be brought up again as soon as Parliament reconvenes with literally the stroke of a pen.

        And lastly 12 months may not be " a few" but it doesn't change the fact that it has all happened in the last year, and what are people gripping about, 2 pro-rogues in a year, instead of all the crap the Liberals have pulled over the same year.

        • It's a war crime when it's known that turning them over exposes them to a significant risk of torture. It's spelled right out in the Geneva conventions if you'd care to actually employ brain instead of echo-chamber.

          Nobody said they should make top-secret military information available to the general public. Just to the MPCC.. a group of people who all have Top Secret clearance.

          The problem with the proroguement is that it can't just be brought up again, because the committee looking into it was dissolved and needs to be restruck — which.. assuming the conservatives even do so — means it will probably have to go through the entire learning process yet again. Wasting yet more taxpayer dollars on having to redo work that was already done.

          This is what you're supporting.

  13. This analysis does not square with what we are seeing regionally – large declines in the Tory fortunes in Alberta and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (and to a lesser degree, Ontario). The reaction is surprisingly large because many democratic reformers, who are an integral part of Harper's base (and, I should add, who are very okay with a leader that is seen as being mean) have been disillusioned by the party.

    Of course it is always easier to continue with the same story you guys have been writing about Harper since day one, instead of looking at the numbers and figuring things out.

  14. "So what should we be watching for in the next couple of months? Since Harper has said he plans to “recalibrate” around economic policy, his aim will have to be to offset his recent rough play around Parliament with budget measures that show him, and his government, in a more sympathetic light."

    I'm glad that conservative pundits know what Canadians should be watching for how Harper polishes his image as opposed to what he knew about detainee abuse in Afghanistan . To Conservatives, the more you can deflect away from the substance of the issue, the better you are. At least they're out in the open about it and we can view what the PM does for the next two months as a calculated exercise in image construction and spin.

    Clearly, that's not what Canadians are want. They want their Prime Minister to be accountable to the MP's they elect in Parliament. You don't get democratic accountability by drafting press releases in back rooms and collecting photo opportunities behind expensive security guards far removed from the Canadian people.

    But i invite the Conservatives to continue tell Canadians that they are not intersted in how their government works and the how their Prime Minister exercises power. My bet is that Canadians do, and that they'll pay for their arrogance.

    This isn't about how the Prime Minister can dodge the issue by changing his image. What they will really be watching for is how the Prime Minister can answer questions about why he shut down Parliament for two months, why he won't answer questions on detainee abuse, why he's shut down public access to all information about it, and why he smeared Colvin for telling the truth. I know Conservative pundits don't care because to them their guy can do no wrong, but ordinary Canadians do care about democracy. Ignore this fact at your peril.

    to the Prme Minister has to do better than this. You cannot prorogue Parliament and hide from democratic accountability just to polish your image. I'm glad to know that this is what Conservatie pundits want you think.

    instead of listening to what Canadians are saying.

    • Everybody knows democratic accountability can only be achieved through Facebook groups.

  15. Oh dear! What if the Olympics were washed out?
    Quick Dimitri – who can we blame for that catastrophe?
    The Vancouver Mayor? The BC Premier… get to work – find me a Plan 9!

    • After watching the Governments response to the Haiti disaster,
      you still think that the Harper government doesn't already have a plan?

  16. a series of mismanagement over 4 years by the Conservatives has come to enough is enough on a"simple prorogue" ie no substantive reason like the government falling. Incivility and combative Conservatives lead by this P.M. who has been dubbed "hidden agenda" by his behaviour has resulted in disdain by Canadians who are fair minded ( we respect our troops after 50 years of peace keeping our flag is proud throughout this planet for example).

  17. Paul Martin tried to bring in corporate tax cuts but the NDP wouldn't support it and harper wouldn't support the Liberals – Paul Martin did get a chance to cut income tax but Harper pulled the plug before it could make it thru the house. Our First GST cut was paid for by reversing the Martin income tax cut – Good for high earners – not so for the middle class. Harper complained about Liberal Spending and then outspent them – said we would not have a recession – a deficit – a technical deficit – a structural deficit – a tax and spend budget (if we elected Liberals apparently) – tax increases or spending cuts – Now Harper is saying we need more economic action but no tax increase (Don't count the extra $44 EI payments for many Canadians) Flaherty was saying no spending cuts or tax increases and now he is talking spending cuts – What is next? A Carbon tax?

  18. Think about all this– the Liberals prorgued for months–stole billions– still unaccounted for(our moneys) do U want this again!!! Follow Iggy & it will get U nowhere–he has this "grandeuos "picture of himself being the king-but has nothing to offer !!! What has he said so far "nothing" ! As far as war goes- war is war–troops are doing their job.Taliban don't even believe in the geneva convention–they are lawless–no rules–sometimes –fight –fire with fire– is the only answer.