Sunday, March 15, 2009

Want The Truth On Canada's Economy? Ignore Harper and The Conservatives...

If the Conservatives are looking for a campaign theme song during the next election, I would strongly suggest "Three Blind Mice". Stephen Harper bills himself and his party as Canada's best choice to lead the nation during these troubling economic times...with Jim "Mr. Magoo" Flaherty as Minister of Finance. Yeah right!!! Enron Jim went before a Senate Finance Committee recently and told the assembled that "nobody" saw this recession coming...and he did it with a straight face. It was almost as convincing a performance as when Stephen Harper said a Conservative government would "never, NEVER" tax Income Trusts.

I want to believe Stephen Harper when he says Canada's economy is going to rebound strongly, I really do. I want to believe our PM when he says that our financial sector is better insulated from the credit crunch than our American friends. About the only thing I know with certainty is what an effective spin master Stephen Harper has proven himself to be. Harper could see his government defeated at any time, which means he's already in election mode...telling people what they want to hear, at the expense of the truth.

Back in August, September and October leading economists were forecasting a recession. How did Canada's freshly elected government react? Our finance minister went before parliament in November with an Economic statement that didn't even belong on a cocktail napkin. Now he's telling Canadians that "nobody" saw this coming? And he expects us to believe him???

Stephen Harper is touring the country telling Canadians that the lending practices of our financial institutions will buffer us from the worst of the global crisis. In the meantime the Globe & Mail is reporting on Canada's Dirty Subprime Secret, which talks about "a burgeoning subprime mortgage problem that many, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have insisted does not exist in Canada". Federal Conservatives are touting their handling of the economy, at a time when our job loss numbers are proportionally higher this year than what's happened in the United States according to the Canadian Press: U.S. vs Canada: One's Economic Slide is Longer, The Other's Deeper.

About the only thing that is clear is that Canada is badly in need of effective and honest leadership. Sadly the Liberals appear content under Michael Ignatieff to allow Stephen and his gang to drive the Canadian economy off a cliff before acting. The next election could very well see Harper and Ignatieff fighting over control of a car that's had its engine gutted.

Canadians don't need politicians to solve all our problems, we can do a lot of that on our own. What we do need are elected officials who can see the forest for the trees, and who aren't afraid to paint an accurate picture...even if it is ugly. Its hard to make informed decisions based on spin and outright lies.

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