Isn't this the guy who said that we would not go into deficit? Didn't he assure all Canadians, along with hop-a-long Flaherty, that the economy was strong and that Canada would be fine? Didn't he tell you to go out and buy stocks only to see them take a dive the following day?
How, pray tell, did this man and his government get the reputation of being good fiscal managers? It was obvious before the election that they were not as they had spent more than any government in history. It was made more obvious during the election, yet the myth persisted. The media helpfully gave weight to this myth in a myriad of ways, not the least of which was citing that Harper is an economist at every opportunity. Well, news flash people! Not all economists are created equal.
So, in spite of all his bravado during the election, Harper is apparently prepared to go into deficit. He's been slowly changing his tune in recent days. After stating that Dion was panicking by issuing a 5 point plan during the debates, Harper has of course adopted most of it. He's gone on to leave the door open to a deficit, as has Flaherty, by using very precise language such as, 'we do not foresee a deficit this year'.
Of course, everything this man does, he does with an eye to what it means for him politically. Not just in the classic sense. No, he doesn't simply look to minimise reaction to unpopular decisions, he searches for ways to corner the opposition, to make them culpable for his choices. Even our economy is a big political game to him.
"We're going to have a deficit next year," a government official predicted.
"(Harper) will be able to have a deficit and take no criticism for it.
Who's going to criticize him for going into deficit when you get their buy-in first?"
A Conservative MP made it clear what political tack the government would take if forced back into the red. When asked whether he expected a deficit the MP smiled and replied: "Only if the opposition agrees."
Meaning that once again the Conservatives are consumed with setting traps to cover their own bumbling. I dare say that the Liberals have enough financial acumen, let alone political skill on their benches to avoid such stratagem.
Oh and if you think that I'm being unfair in assigning a rather cavalier (and devious) attitude to Harper and his gang, maybe hearing it from one of his top strategists will be more palatable, (go to about 6:10 on the clip).
Yes indeed. Geoff Norquay when asked whether or not the government will go into deficit replies with, "Who knows? Who cares?"
Most of us do Geoff, including, I'm sure, some Canadians who voted for your boss.