Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why Harper wants to play nice and why the opposition should not

According to Kory Teneckye here, Harper has retreated from his original plan to make his anti-crime initiatives a confidence vote (you know locking up 14 year olds for life and the like).
As Teneckye puts it the primary focus will be the economy and everything else is secondary and they are not willing to go to an election for secondary causes.
In typical Tory framing, Harper is looking to work co-operatively with the opposition and focus on the economy.
In other words Harper is looking for the opposition not to embarrass him by asking “What the fuck are you doing?”.

Harper has claimed that Canada didn’t have the same problem as the US and boasted that they had taken steps to prevent a financial meltdown.

Yet here is his finance minister buying $75 billion in mortgages from Canadian banks. Anyway you cut it, that is 10% of the $750 billion that the US is spending which looks like the same size problem to me.

Although it doesn’t appear that Harper and Flaherty need parliament’s consent to spend this $75 billion of taxpayer money, I believe we all need a better explanation than "we will do whatever it takes".

  • How will the government ensure that the banks will free up credit for Canadian small to medium sized businesses that are now starting to feel the credit squeeze?
  • Why are the banks holding up the long term rates on consumer mortgages?
  • Why are the interest rates on credit cards remaining high, when lower rates would relieve consumers and assist retailers by increasing purchases through the xmas season?
  • What steps is the government planning to assist the expected increasing number of unemployed? 
  • Will they extend the unemployment benefit period as they are planning in the US?

In other words we, the majority of Canadians who did not vote for this government and who haven't drank the cool aid, actually need some facts about how bad this impending recession will be and what our government has planned to assist Canadians through it.

And the role of our opposition is to ask those questions and get those answers.

As they say in the US,  the bail out just can’t be for Bay street it has to help Main street too.

Reference: Canwest News Service


Brad Dillman said...

Particularly, can government sell assets without consent of parliament? I'd like to see opposition to a fire sale when prices are depressed.

And let that contract for the JSS, too.

Beijing York said...

Both the privatization of Air Canada and Petro Canada required Acts of Parliament. I believe the same would apply for such crown assets as the CBC, Canada Post, AECL and CWB.

As for selling off properties held by the government, I think they have already been doing that for the past two years (some real sweetheart deals for downtown Ottawa developers) without needing an Act of Parliament.

If the Conservatives do go ahead with plans to privatize various crown assets as they have already suggested, I certainly hope that the opposition gets it together to stop such a mad fire sale.