Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Conservatives Good News on the Economy Was All Smoke and Mirrors

The two big campaign highlights for Harper were going to be the "reckless coalition" and his handling of the economy. But alas, after just five days, those plans are going up in smoke.

As Jim Stanford says in the Globe: Not exactly an economic gold medal
The Conservatives’ drive for a majority is premised on positioning themselves as the best economic managers. After all, they say, Canada got through the recession much better than other countries. The government accepts no responsibility for the recession itself – which, they remind us, was “global.” But they happily take credit for Canada’s performance since.

In reality, however, the claim that things may be tough here, but they’re better than anywhere else, has never been statistically valid. And it’s getting increasingly inaccurate, the more it is regurgitated on the hustings.
- In real GDP growth, Canada tied for 10th in 2009, falling to 13th in 2010.

- As for the unemployment rate, Canada ranked a gloomy 21st in 2009, tying for 18th by 2010.

- The International Monetary Fund ranks is 25th out of 53 countries for performance

- Canada ranked 28th in employment rates

And while we continue to hear that we replaced all the jobs lost since the recession began, the truth is that more than a million young people have now entered the arena, so we are not doing well on that score either.

Just because the conservatives are touting their handling of the economy, as a success story, doesn't make it so.

We cannot give these guys another mandate. When Jim Flaherty was finance minister in the Ontario government, he hid a six billion dollar deficit, claiming that he'd balanced the books. I shudder to think what we'll find when we finally get them out of office.

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