December 02, 2008

...And Here My Troubles Began

(Apologies to Art Spiegelman's brilliant work)

Well, this does look interesting...

After a year and a half of governing as a minority, and a year of that campaigning for an unnecessary and ultimately useless $300 million election, the first act of the newly minted Team Blue minority government was to try screwing the other parties by reversing something put in place as a means for smaller parties to have financial support (yes, kiddies: your votes do count). The excuse was to 'save' Canadians $28 million - but the reason was to quickly kneecap the other parties when their political war chests were at their lowest.

Surprisingly, this backfired. I say surprisingly because for the first year of the last run, the Perpetual Party had done nothing but whine about how "Canadians don't want an election". That ended up being true, of course, but it's a bad excuse for not doing your job, and the electorate responded accordingly.

There were rumours of an overthrow, so Plastic Man's chief of staff Guy Giorno promptly sent out a Talking Points Memo of their very own, including magic phrases for folks to use on television, radio, and the immortal 'Letters to the Editor'. How many have you heard? Don't worry, you'll hear them a whole lot more in the coming months...

In any case, Plastic Man quickly melted (one day has got to be a record) and backtracked on that 'promise', as he did his insistence that federal employees be forbidden to strike for three years. Or did you miss that? Yeah, somehow that was going to save us millions, too. No details, but trust them, it woulda fer shuuuure.

Weirdly, when Harper was in opposition, his strength was supposed to be finances, and his reputation was as an in-the-trenches political fighter. On the other hand, the latest incarnation of what it means to be a Conservative seems to include an astounding amount of pollyannaish thinking about, well, everything: nothing will ever, ever go wrong, so we don't need to plan for the future. These are people who still think the Laffer Curve exists.

The two percent reduction in the sales tax has been kind of like trading off your raincoat for a cold beer in August. It feels good, but wasn't exactly a long-term consideration. Frankly, I bought a truck after taxes were reduced, and it saved me $80. Can't say that the reduction has even been noticeable for any other purchase I've made since.

In exchange for that, I'll take eleven consecutive years of budget balancing, and nine of surplus. If the option is a federal party that pulls a Plaxico Burress, it will be the best $80 I've ever spent.

We'll take a look the strangely hysterical criticism tomorrow.


posted by Thursday at 7:48 pm


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