Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why Stephen Harper's Economic Record Needs to Be Put on Trial

Stephen Harper hasn't been seen in public now for almost a month, and almost nobody knows where he is hiding.

Some say he's still in Las Vegas, others say he's been spotted in Mexico.

But he might as well have never left.

Because his ghastly legacy has come back to haunt us. 

The shock from the relentless slide in oil prices is spreading ever further into Canada’s economy and financial markets, with the dollar, the stock market and bond yields all descending to new lows in what was an ugly end to a volatile week.

Canada’s distinct vulnerability to the global commodity bust is reflected not just in equity carnage, but also in the plunging value of the Canadian dollar, which sunk to below the 69-cent mark for the first time since April, 2003.

It's getting dark out there, millions of Canadians are much poorer than they were just a week ago. Their confidence has been shaken.

“Many Canadians view the exchange rate as a temperature gauge on the country’s economic well-being,” he said. “The unprecedented pace of its decline risks an even larger hit to growth by shocking household confidence.”

And to make matters worse the Cons and the Con media are trying to blame the catastrophic situation on Justin Trudeau...

The comment pages of the country's newspapers are crawling with Con trolls, trying to blame Trudeau for what's happening.

While the ghastly wannabe Trump Kevin O'Leary tries to blame the disaster in Alberta on Rachel Notley.

And although that might sound absurd, it can be dangerous.

For as Don Pittis points out, in times like these it's only too easy to find political scapegoats. 

Now that Rachel Notley's NDP has taken power in Alberta, things have gone off the rails. And Trudeau! Surely everyone knows his dad's National Energy Program was the reason for the last oil crash. 

Absurd as those statements may appear to those who understand the workings of global markets, there are already signs that right-leaning supporters of the oil and gas industry are busy seeking political scapegoats. It may be in vain, but Canada's current political leaders must tread carefully if they wish to avoid taking the blame.

So it's absolutely essential that we remind Canadians who is really to blame for the economic situation.

And that it is all Stephen Harper's fault.

Who by placing all our eggs in one oily basket, tied the loonie to the price of oil so tightly that when one goes down so does the other...

No matter what the Cons and their fellow oil pimps say.

Conservatives in the oil industry are watching for any opportunity to point fingers at policy by Notley or Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the reason for the dire troubles the sector is currently suffering. If nothing else, their scrutiny diverts attention from their own failure to foresee the crash in oil prices, now so obvious to everyone.

And who by having allowed the loonie to rise too high for too many years killed off our manufacturing sector to the point that even a lower dollar can't revive it.

And has left our economy in ruins...

Whatever him and his Cons might claim.

With many poor Canadians now struggling to pay for the soaring price of food. 

Many seniors having to choose between eating or taking their medication.

While Harper the millionaire enjoys himself in Las Vegas or Mexico.

Sunny places many Canadians can no longer afford to visit,

And Kevin O'Leary enjoys a $13 thousand dollar dinner.

Which couldn't be more disgusting, but does suggest a way to make the Cons pay for what they have done.

Before the myths they are peddling become embedded in the heads of the uninformed or the terminally dumb.

Portray them as the ghastly Con hogs who fiddled while our country burned...

And let the flames of a people's anger.

Finish them off once and for all....

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  1. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Couldn't agree more with this post, Simon. It's time for some accountability.

    1. hi anon...yes I 'm afraid that some people are so stupid that if they are not reminded how we got to this moment, they may actually believe that the Liberals are responsible for the mess the Cons left. We need to hammer home the message that it was Harper's fault....

  2. Anonymous10:52 AM

    So, what are the Liberals going to do differently? Seriously, how do their economic policies differ from the Conservatives' economic policies? List the differences.

    1. Anonymous2:53 PM

      Steve's an arsehole, Justin isn't.

    2. Anonymous7:01 PM

      Yup, Justin is just a phoney.

    3. Anonymous8:34 PM

      The major difference between the 2 parties will be the liberals actually understand economics unlike the CPC and little stevie harper. That means we will not be suffering through the denial of recession when even the most economically illiterate person can see it happening like in 2007 and 2008.

      The Liberals understand that just because natural resources are booming there remains a need to keep manufacturing, mainly based in Ontario and Quebec, running so monetary policy would be tweaked to keep the dollar lower to avoid dutch disease when necessary, which the cons and their faith based approach to economics completely missed and then denied

      The Liberals also tend to understand that the proper use of debt to fund infrastructure upgrades will be a net benefit to the country as a whole instead of a faux concern about debt in the year leading up to an election.

      The Liberals also aren't butthurt little children whining about past perceived slights so they aren't going to mock Alberta for the myriad of poor economic choices by the PC party but rather help out the province, as they have time and time again, until oil rises and gets them back on their feet. You aren't going to hear them tell investors to not invest in Alberta like we heard the whiny little babies in the CPC tell investors to stay away from Ontario.

      Those are some big differences between the cons laughable faith based economics and the Liberals economic policy. You can choose to ignore them, but it is simply reality.

    4. hi anon 10:52...The difference between the Cons and the Liberals is like the difference between night and day. If you can't see it you must be blind. As for their specific policies, give them another six months and then come back and ask me...

    5. Anonymous11:39 AM

      In all that spin, I didn't see any difference in actual economic policies, just differences in the tone of their public relations. Harper's economic legacy is also the Liberals' economic legacy, since the Liberals supported, and voted for, Harper's economic policies. The Liberals have promised to not reverse those policies. Talk of sunny ways and building the economy from the heart are not policies.

    6. Anonymous8:15 PM

      Anon 11:39, your "story" is a bunch of random ideas put together in a haphazard way. They make no sense, and are not based in reality. I guess details are too much work to incorporate into your "story".



  3. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Harper needs to be held accountable. Most Canadians did not benefit like bandits from Alberta oil, but we are all paying the price now.

    On an aside, I'm not really sure you can call Harper an economist. He has Bachelor and Masters in economics from University of Oil-Calgary. From what I read, the Masters was part time, and he got it at age 40. He also got married and moved to Ottawa at age 40. Other than his political chinanigans, and his unsuccessful attempts at getting hired as an economist in the civil service, I don't believe that he ever worked as an economist. So, when I hear or read that Stephen Harper is an economist, I scratch my head and feel empathy for the real economists. John Macallum former Chief Economist for the a Royal Bank, for example, is a real economist.

    End of rant.

    Cheers Simon

    1. hi TS....yes he does need to be accountable. It seems ridiculous to have to say that but we do have short memories in this country, and when I see all the comments in the newspapers claiming that the Liberals are to blame for our economic problems I can't help but worry. I know many of them are paid Con trolls. I went through the profile of one at the Globe and he/she had posted 50 comments in one day on the same subject. But I had to wonder who were the rest of them? And could people really be THAT dumb? So the more we hammer home the message the better...

  4. This is the Con economy.

    What Harper did is also typical of the worst of CEO/executive behavior. Send the company/division into a path that creates short term gain for long term pain. Bail out or get fired. Blame the disaster on successor.

    Of course, if Harper had won then he and his MSM minions would still blame the Liberals and NDP for everything.

    1. hi is the Con economy. Short term gain for long term pain and to hell with the planet. What really drives it home for me is how the loonie is now joined at the hip to the price of oil, and travelling together in perfect formation. Such gross incompetence needs to exposed, and the Cons must pay the price...

  5. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Let the Cons blame everyone else for our economy's downturn, it may work for the base but informed Canadians know better. That's why we sent "El Harpo" packing. We will not be fooled by their smoke and mirrors and their outlandish claims. They are no different than before the election which proves that you can cut the head off the chicken, but what remains can still run afoul.

    1. hi JD...the problem is that while informed Canadians won't be fooled, a lot of the less informed or the terminally dumb might fall for what the Cons are saying. So we need to educate them and remind them how we got to this place. The good news being that if we can educate them, the new/nouveau Cons will end up paying for Harper's mistakes....

  6. e.a.f.8:12 PM

    Harper and his economic policies are partly to blame for the problem Canada is now having. However, I would suggest the citizens of Canada re to blame. they voted Harper and his cons into office not just once, but three times. it wasn't as if there weren't articles out there about the "dutch disease", but every one was "hungry" for those high Canadian %$s so they could go on vacation and buy more stuff. Well the chickens have come home to roost.

    Some economists have suggested it will take Canada's manufacturing sector approx. 2 years to get up and running again. lets hope the federal Liberals help them do this and change the E.I./U.I. act so people can get benefits for a longer time period. It certainly would help Alberta and NFLD. if E.I. were extended at this time to at least a year, as it once was. For specific regions it ought to be extended for an additional 6 months. It would ensure people could remain in their homes and not have to turn to welfare.

    If we can not provide jobs for Canadians then at least these Canadians need to be provided with an income, so their children don't go hungry and E.I./U.I. is much more preferable to welfare.

    1. hi e.a.f...yes it's true that the people of Canada were to blame for voting in Harper and allowing him to stay for so long. But remember how ignorant people were back then, when the Dutch Disease was widely dismissed, and Mulcair was mocked for even mentioning it. And you're right we need to make sure that the victims are taken care of, and something is done to loosen the controls on our useless E.I. system...

  7. Is Harper going to show up for work on Jan. 25? (House of Commons)

    1. Hi will be interesting to see. After all he's not exactly killing himself, only appearing in the House to vote, and then disappearing again. My guess now is that he's sticking around to make sure that he can influence the Con leadership race up close. But we'll see, if he doesn't resign soon, that will be the only explanation...

    2. In the long shot of the House of Commons on the CPAC channel, Harper will be easy to spot--if he shows up. His seat is the closest to the House Speaker (on the right, of course!) His silver/grey hair stands out. Someone should create a webpage called "Harper Watch" and document which days he shows up.

  8. Harper and his fellow Cons campaigned against going into deficit to stimulate the economy.

    So imagine if they had won again. With the Canadian dollar and the price of oil continuing to slide, what would they have done to stimulate the economy, if not go into deficit?

    1. hi David...I'd rather not imagine what the Cons might have done. Because they almost surely would have used the dire economic situation to make more massive cuts to government, and there would have been blood all over the place. We really dodged a bullet...

    2. Yes, more cuts it would have been! Maybe they would raised the old age security pension to only start at 75 years! 8-D

  9. "Most Canadians did not benefit like bandits from Alberta oil" funniest comment ever! lol