I confess that I was surprised to read the Tonda MacCharles article in the Star this morning. It was as if she was speaking to adults for a change and expanding a bit on the standard fare that we normally read about the PM.
She actually tells us that Harper's economic hero is Friedrich Hayek. If you've made it a point to know Harper you may already know this, but more often than not, especially during the election, he was simply introduced as a 'trained economist'. That introduction of course was designed to infer that he'd be the steady hand we needed in these troubled times. There was never any mention of what economic doctrine he adhered to and what that really meant for the future of this country.
It's of course fair to assume that most people don't know who Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes are. I certainly didn't until a few years ago when I took an interest in who Harper was and what he had in mind for this country. That said, it's interesting to note that this is one of the first times I've seen his economic philosophy mentioned in the MSM.
The article is superficial and suggests that Harper is having a temporary change of heart, which I do not buy for a minute. I don't even buy the soft soap claim that he's being 'pragmatic'. I think he's being as opportunistic as he was during the election and in doing so, he and Flaherty are tripping all over each other as they attempt to present something that will not compromise their philosophy, while keeping the masses at bay.
So, what will tomorrow's update contain? Robert Fife has already reported that the government intends to cut perks, which is fine, but is nothing more than a symbolic gesture. Additionally though, we now learn that funding to political parties will be cut. That translates to $7.7 million for the Liberal party of Canada. Does anyone really think this is simply a gesture to show Canadians that the government is seriously concerned about the real pain they are feeling? Of course it isn't. It is precisely what many of us have been saying for some time now, just another step to do damage to the Liberal party. Isn't it convenient that he has the recession (one he vowed would never occur), to hide behind?
Not only is he sneaking his ideology in the through the back door, he's distracting from what really needs to be done and that is provide a stimulus package as the rest of the world is doing.
The Conservatives have crafted quite a plan here. It's one that will be difficult for the opposition, specifically the Liberals, to thwart but I certainly hope smarter minds than mine are working on how to do just that.