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’.