|National party leaders (today). Left to right: Stephen Harper, Conservative;|
Elizabeth May, Green; Justin Trudeau, Liberal; Tom Mulcair, NDP
Change (Doesn't matter if it's good or bad)
The theme for this election campaign has been 'change'. Both the Liberals and the NDP convinced Canadians that change was needed. They had the assistance in this endeavour of the CBC - Conservative Bashing Corporation - Canada's public broadcaster whose budget was frequently a victim of Conservative budget cuts. But it wasn't just the CBC who were tired of Harper, Canada's 2 other national TV networks also wearied of the distance Harper put between them and himself, making it difficult to get interviews or inside information. Harper deemed this necessary to control the message, but it certainly did not win him any friends in the national broadcasters.
There are, at least, a dozen other areas where Stephen Harper could be soundly and justifiably criticized, and perhaps twice that many. So 'change' would certainly be a good thing in the minds of most Canadians. The environment, indigenous missing women, smothering scientific research by government researchers, First Nations, etc., etc., are all areas where it would not be difficult to improve on Stephen Harper's record. And while these are all important issues, are they worth 'change' in other areas?
Canada survives 2 global downturns
Canada survived the 2008 economic crash better than any major economy. We were the envy of the G7 and received many accolades because of it. It may have been Stephen Harper's destiny that the crash in oil prices happened when it did. The resultant downturn in employment and investment in the oil fields threw Canada into a brief and very limited recession from which it is already emerging.
The Liberals and the NDP, however, blame Harper for every aspect of that downturn, as if he controlled global oil prices. They also blamed him for all the effects of the 2008 downturn caused completely by American recklessness in mortgage and banking areas. I thank God a Liberal or NDP government was not in control for either of those downturns or this country would have been bankrupt long ago.
So prudent financing, if it were to suffer change would become reckless spending resulting in increased taxes. Canadians pay fewer taxes than we have for many years, but that is also liable to 'change'. A Liberal government would leave us at the mercy of foreign whims and failures even more so than now.
Election results 3 possible scenarios (none of which are good)
The most likely scenario for election results is a minority Liberal government. The Liberals and the NDP are both left-leaning parties and should have little difficulty working together for a couple years. A Harper minority is also possible. That would be an interesting situation since all the other political parties are left-leaning, so it would be a great challenge for Harper to work with any of them. In that case, either another election would be called, or the Governor General may turn to one of the other leaders and ask him to try and form a government.
Trudeaumania 2.0 (God save us)
There is also the possibility of a Liberal majority government. In spite of polls have all three major parties in nearly a statistical dead-heat for most of the campaign, the Liberals and their leader, Justin Trudeau, have been surging in the past two weeks to move very clearly ahead of the others. The surge is almost completely based on the popularity of Trudeau. This, should it continue today, could be called Trudeaumania 2.0.
Being old enough to remember Trudeaumania 1.0, I have to tell you that this is very disconcerting. TM 1.0 was the wave that Justin's father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, rode to become Prime Minister, some 50 years ago. He was, almost certainly, Canada's first rock star. He became more popular than the Beatles.
Keynesian lunacy (or loonacy)
Trudeau, the senior, however, was a disaster for Canada. His Keynesian economics has left Canada in a position where it may never be able to pay off the debt he incurred. Canada's national debt is nearly $613 billion dollars and increases by 2 million dollars per day. Why is it increasing if the budget has been balanced? Because we are paying $86 million per day in interest on the debt. That's $31 billion per year. What a spectacular waste of money, and Trudeau wants to increase that considerably over the next 3 years, by the end of which we will likely be paying $100 million per day in interest. What could we do with an extra $36.5 billion dollars in our yearly budget?
Trudeau, the junior, seems to have adopted his father's economic philosophy. Keynesian economics is basically spending the money you expect to make next year because of the growing economy. It's kind of like running out and buying a new truck on payments because you are expecting to get a raise. It's all good if the raise come through, but if it doesn't, you're in trouble. You could end up selling the truck at a loss because you can't afford the payments, and then have to make payment on a debt with no truck to show for it.
NEP (Father of the Reform Party)
Keynesian economics makes no provision for possible downturns in the economy. The raise has to come through or our debt just gets bigger and bigger. Trudeau, the senior, used this same idiotic logic when he sent Marc Lalonde, his right-hand man, to negotiate the National Energy Program with Alberta. The policy laid out how much Ottawa would get out of the Alberta oil revenues. The amount was set on an ever-increasing scale with no provision for a drop in oil prices. Astonishing stupidity! So when oil prices dropped, Ottawa was collecting most of the profits from Alberta oil. It was estimated that the program cost Alberta between 50 and 100 billion dollars in the 6 years that it ran.
So, go out and vote Canada. But please, vote with your head, not your heart. Selecting a Prime Minister is not a romantic adventure, nor is it an entry-level job. God bless, and help, Canada.