All right, so Canda has a budget. But a budget isn’t just a budget. It’s a political statement. Especially a few months before an election. It’s a statement of how the governing party sees the country, and where they want to take it. It should also give an idea of where future problems may be coming from, and how the governing party proposes to deal with them.
The Devil is in the Details
So now let’s take a look at this budget. What, exactly, does this party propose do for the good of the nation? Well…actually…nothing. About the First Nations? Nothing. About the Military? Nothing(at least, not right away). About youth unemployment? Oh, right. Something there. Enough money to allow about 1500 young people to move somewhere else to get a job. Great thinking, there, guys.
All the issues that have been in the news for the past six months have been completely ignored. Oh, yes, except for those terrible terrorists. Lots of money for chasing them.
The predicted huge dip in the economy? Nothing.
And check out the timeline. They look like they’re giving away a lot of money, and that makes the people who will get it very happy. Until they find out when it’s coming. First, a lot of it has already been given out – promised months ago. In other words, they’re trying to make political hay out of straw that was already harvested and threshed last year. Second, this budget, which we assume is a prediction of the coming year’s expenditure, actually talks about money that will be loosened up as late as 2019. If the economy can stand it.
But We Balanced the Budget!
But the Conservatives are enacting balanced-budget legislation, and they have delivered! This year. At a cost of doing nothing to solve anything. Oh, yes, after 7 straight years of deficit. The numbers are staggering. As usual, tailoring the legislation to fit the voters who are going to wear it for the next twenty years.
One Trick Pony
The problem with economics is that the cycles are too slow for the policies of any government to really show what they can do. So the surpluses that the Conservatives ran early in their mandate were the results of 8 years of Liberal governing. And the strength of the world economy. Then came the recession, which Canada got through, mainly because of the far-sightedness of earlier governing parties which restricted how stupidly banks were allowed to act. The Conservatives make a lot of political hay with that one. Just like they’re threshing tame oats madly with their balanced budget, the result of that quick recovery. And what do they propose to do to protect us against the next downswing? Oh, yes, that’s right. Nothing.
The problem with campaigning on the strength of your economic record is that smart voters know that it’s all a crock. Ah, but what’s the name of this blog? Hmm.
Vision? What Vision?
What do we see in this budget for the future of Canada? Well, from the point of view of a lot of folks, it looks like a place where the rich get richer and the poor get children, because the government is at least funding them. It looks like a social system that creates criminals and a justice system that stacks them three-deep in jails. It looks like industries continuing their habit of using our resources and leaving someone else to pay for the environmental damage. (I’m not mad at industry. That’s how they manage to compete. But government’s job is to make sure they clean up after themselves. Shouldn’t that extend to the whole Canadian system?)
Sorry folks, this budget may be balanced, but the party that wrote it is bankrupt, both in morals and ideas. The person who wins the next election should be someone who can come up with a dream for a better nation and sell it to the population. That’s right, sell it, because making a nation work properly costs money, and cutting taxes so that businessmen can make more money does nothing for the rest of us.
The Parable of the Talents
It’s all right. I’m not going all religious on you, but I’m quoting the Bible to show how long this sort of thing has been going on.
It seems there was a man who went away and left various amounts of money with three servants. I won’t bore you with the details, but the main crunch came when he returned and asked each one what he did with the money. The two smart ones proudly showed how much money they had earned through their various dealings. The loser proudly returned to his master exactly what his master had given him. His technique? He had buried it in the ground for safekeeping.
The present government hasn’t even done that well. Their “balanced budget” sleight-of-hand makes it sound like they have at least done nothing with the taxpayers’ money over the last eight or nine years, while in truth they have put us further in debt than any government in Canadian History. Thanks a lot, Honourable servants of the public.
Back to the Bible
So in the end the master took the money from the stupid servant and turned him out into the darkness, and handed the cash to the guy he had favoured in the first place by giving him the greatest original sum.
The Moral of the Story?
Here it is folks, straight from the Bible:
“To every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
I didn’t know Stephen Harper was such a religious man, but that pretty well sums up his party’s policies.
Where is the Alternative?
Justin Trudeau, where are you? Liberal Party, where are your ideas? The other side has laid their cards on the table, and their hand is pretty much a bust. It’s all up to you. We’re not expecting a flush, but a couple of aces would be good for voter confidence. Whatever you’ve got, I think it’s time you showed your hand. At least get in the game.