You likely will not hear it here first (it’s been said by others) but I am going to say it out loud again anyway: Harper knows nothing about the economy. But neither does Trudeau, Mulcair or even Elizabeth May(my fave) but she may come the closest. Their only defense is that it doesn’t matter much what they know given the way they see the economy and the way they are playing at it. Let me explain….
Canada does well economically for awhile and Harper (or Mulcair/Trudeau had they been in power) strut about touting their acumen and wisdom. “We are the best managers!”
Canada then does poorly and they quickly reply, “Well, it’s not our fault. The world economy is on the ropes and we are weathering it the best we can! We are still the best managers.”
Wrong. Totally, completely, embarrassingly wrong, wrong, wrong. The way they have it set up, they manage nothing. They are not even puppets on the strings, they are barely the shoes on the puppets.
The US or China’s economy hiccups and small-country economies (and especially those resource based) go into paroxysms and spasms like epileptics having a seizure. China and the US drive our economy – plain and simple. Canada’s population of under 35 million is not even as populace as China’s largest municipality. We simply don’t swing any weight internationally except as purveyors of natural resources NONE OF WHICH THE AVERAGE CANADIAN OWNS OR BENEFITS FROM!
It does not have to be that way.
If Harper/Mulcair/Trudeau had any economic sense they would instead say, “Well, internationally, we are completely vulnerable to just about everyone and everything. We can’t manage the part of the economy that has international buyers and sellers. They manage it. We just react. All we can really do is help manage the domestic economy and that means investing in infrastructure, education and making sure the provinces and the north can deal easily and reasonably with one another. That’s a big task in itself given the size of our country and we have not done that. In fact, we have neglected that. But now we will. We promise. We will make the trains run on time and inexpensively. We will repair the roads. We will take care of the people. We will also support, nurture and initiate local economic development right down to the municipal level. That means transportation, loans, grants, local economic policies and initiatives. We may be small potatoes but we can at least help grow them!”
Put another way: our leaders should stop posing as economic leaders. They are not. They are currently simply leeches on the economy. They should get their snouts out of the trough and help re-build Canada for Canadians. They could do a lot more if they thought like the 100 mile diet people, the small-is-beautiful people, the buy-local people, the everyday Canadians that, internally, domestically, we are.
If some thug (Petronas/CNOOC) comes looking for Liquid Natural Gas or Tar Sands, then maybe dabble in that. A bit. Maybe. But put your energies, your resources your management energies into your own country first. Clean up your own backyard. It’s called ‘management by walking around’.
Out of the park, a grand slam. The strongest evidence is the claim as you say that only they created the foundation for a sound economy. I’m reminded of Chantecler the cockerel, who just before dawn each day would hop up on a dung heap and begin crowing. As the sun rose he would strut around the barn yard and claim that he had made the sun rise. Hubris. Who refused to deregulate Canadian banks? What happened to countries with deregulated their banks?
I am reminded of Switzerland. No ports. No natural resources to export. But still one of the highest standards of living in the world and NOT in debt. OK, banking, chocolate and watches are now off our option list but Finland does remarkably well and they seemed to get to their security on Nokia. The point: WE CAN DO STUFF. We do NOT have to sell natural resources. They should be the secondary economy, not one our fortunes rise and fall on.
Natural resources must be exploited! This is the mantra but as you point out not so. When an aspiring MP suggested that perhaps some of the tarsands might properly be left in the ground it was met with snickering. Perhaps cutting down the rain forest is a perilous course of action but many will disagree and keep on harvesting. You are correct Canada is more than a hinterland and needs value added industries.
“…..Canada should be more than a hinterland and needs value added industries”.
Blackberry has the best cellphone encryption software. Canadian made and good enough for Obama.
So, if you are 5’9″ and a natural athlete, do you take on LeBron James and Michael Jordan in a game of pick-up? No. Of course not. Different league.
You might play with Steve Nash and will still lose but at least it is a level playing floor. So who are we pretending for? Really…who? Who does Harper think he is fooling? That dickhead is like an angry Chihuahua, noisy, but who cares? Canada…? A flock of Chickadees, a school of fry, a gaggle of baby Canada geese. We need to get over ourselves and deal with what is our real place on this planet – the true north, strong and free. That means: independent. I hope.
Avoid the international posing. Harpers’ jingoistic chest thumping..Its an embarrassment
However…..God forbid that you tell the average “Joe Sixpack” that Canada is irrelevant on the global scale of things( California has a bigger population and bigger economy. Didnt you know? “Canada Kicks Ass” T-shirts are all the rage. Exactly who ‘s ass we kick is another story for bedtime….I think we have Venezuela pretty intimidated these days since we charged SNC Lavalin with corruption and they cant finish building their “Utopian Society” without SNC’s expertise……..
The politicians here( and everywhere else for that matter) have learned that the average voter loves having their ego stroked….even when the unwitting schlepps(insert voters here) are paying for it.
Yeah…..what the hell is wrong with being small potatoes? As long as we are ‘sovereign’ (and we are not except on maps), why strut what you DON’T have?
And……hard question here……why is it that only you, me and my readers are smart when everyone else is so stupid? My guess is that we can all throw a ball, parallel park and eventually figure out the remote control….so why are the idiots running the show?
Why are the idiots running the show?
Harper said, “Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status, led by a second-world strongman appropriately suited for the task.” Prophetic ain’t it. National Post on December 8, 2000.
Prophetic and self fulfilling. The man is manifesting his own insult. The difference – we are no longer boasting about anything because of him. But we are led by a second world strongman appropriately suited for the task. What a dickhead!