Saturday, December 4, 2010

Harper Using Our Money in Hopes of Buying Next Election

With our economy in a mess, the Afghan war a disaster and our cupboards bare, Stephen Harper is hoping to take that to the next election.

Flawed logic and lowered expectations.

Thomas Walkom has an excellent column today:

Stephen Harper’s decision to extend federal economic stimulus spending another seven months is a blatant pre-election bribe. That’s obvious but trivial. The more interesting question is why this spending has done such a poor job of kickstarting the Canadian economy.

The Prime Minster’s decision to announce his good news in Mississauga was not accidental. The 905 region around Toronto — the region that gave former Ontario premier Mike Harris his majority — promises to be a key battleground for an election expected in the spring. Conservatives hold 14 of the 905’s 24 seats. To break Ottawa’s current parliamentary deadlock they need virtually all of them.

So that’s the politics of the equation. Ontario accounts for the lion’s share of the $7 billion that the federal government promised to spend through four infrastructure programs between January 2009 and March 2011. Yet some 166 Ontario projects won’t be finished by that March deadline.

Alberta should be happy. This goes against absolutely everything he promised them. Fiscal conservatism and no special favours for central Canada.

Maybe the West will want back out.

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