Andrew Coyne reveals who he will vote for


Here are some short snippets, the whole thing is worth reading.

On the Liberals and the economy

The Liberal platform, on the other hand, is more consistent, at least in economic policy terms: it is wrong-headed in every respect—higher spending, higher taxing, more meddlesome generally. Its saving grace is that it is only half-heartedly so. The Liberals would raise corporate taxes, but more for show than anything else: lifting rates back to the 18 per cent they were last year is the wrong way to go, but hardly the apocalypse. They aren’t going to get anything like the $6 billion in revenue they claim from these, but neither do they need it. The $5.5 billion in extra spending they propose is barely two per cent of program spending, and would not on its own threaten the country’s fiscal position.

And that’s what it would take to really worry about what the Liberals would do to the economy in the short term. When it comes to taxes or regulations, it takes a long time for even the stupidest government policy—for example, the Liberals’ proposal to shower selected “Canadian Champion Sectors” with subsidies—to really harm the economy. It’s macroeconomic policy that can really run you onto the rocks: running massive deficits, or letting inflation get out of hand. Call me naive, but I do not think the Liberals would do either—even in combination with the NDP. If anything, I suspect they would be at pains to prove their fiscal-conservative credentials, for fear of financial markets’ wrath.

On the Conservatives and democracy

So that’s the economy. And on democracy? Here the choice is starker—not because I invest any great hopes in the Liberals, but because the Tory record is so dreadful. To be sure, they introduced the Accountability Act on taking office: incomplete, loophole filled, but progress nonetheless. And they have made fitful efforts to reform the Senate, when not packing it with their own strategists, fundraisers and toadies.

But the long train of offences against democratic and parliamentary principle—from proroguing Parliament, twice, to evade Parliament’s reach; to withholding documents essential to parliamentary oversight, even in defiance of Parliament’s explicit demands; to intimidating parliamentary officers and politicizing the bureaucracy; to such breaches of trust as the Emerson and Fortier appointments, the taxation of income trusts, and the evisceration of their own law on fixed election dates—are simply unforgivable.

Add to that the coarse, vicious brand of politics, the mindless partisanship for which the Tories have become known: equal parts terrorizing their own MPs and demonizing their opponents. And add to that the extreme centralization of power in the Prime Minister’s Office, the trivialization of even cabinet posts as sources of independent authority, never mind the barracking of committees . . . Enough.

But much of this went on when the Liberals were in office, too, didn’t it? Yes. That’s just the point. To compare the Harper Tories to the Chrétien Liberals, and to the Mulroney Tories before them, and to the Trudeau Liberals before them, is hardly to excuse them: quite the opposite. The decline of democratic politics may have begun under the Liberals, but it has continued under the Tories. And it will accelerate if there is no price to be paid at the ballot box for such behaviour.

Go find out who he decides to vote for!

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