Having read Andrew Coyne's most recent article
, I've become convinced. The Canadian Tories are taking a page out of the George W. Bush school of conservatism. To get elected (which is all that matters), make sure to spend more money than any other party, uhm, ever
In the history of Canadian politics, no federal government has promised to spend as much as this batch. In the history of American politics, no federal government has spent more than Bush II.
The trick is not to change what you spend the money on, or changing this downwards--the trick is all in the focus. Bush (I'm tempted to say "the dumber" but I'll stick with "the second") and Harper both are spending gobs of money on all the things the Democrats and Liberals would like. But they don't really talk about that, except to say, "see? are you finally happy now? We're doing what you want! Of course we're not doing it gladly, I mean, we're conservative
. It's just that, you know, it's all real politik over here, and, well, we're doing this to prove a point, you see: you liberals are just never
satisfied, are you?"
The issue then becomes whether or not liberals are ever satisfied, and not how many boatloads of dollar bills get sent out the door. Really, though: who cares about what would satisfy liberals?
Who cares whether or not spending more or less will make them happy? What matters, if we are to judge the sincerity and motivation of the government, is whether or not it sticks to whatever it is it claims to most care about. Judging by this standard, both the Tories and the GOP are giant failures.
A second change in focus is in what you talk about when it comes to what you have spent. The Republicans and Tories can talk about tax cuts, military missions, soldiers, family, fighting the stupid war on drugs, and police. It doesn't matter if they are spending the same, less, or more than non-conservative governments. It's all in how much
you talk about it, not how much you spend on it. Shine a light on these things. The Democrats and Liberals (and NDP) can talk about social assistance, the working poor, unionized labour, and social programs. It makes no difference whether or not their conservative counterparts spent more on each of these things. What matters is in how much they talk about it.
I guess you can tell I'm pretty miffed about the Budget. It's shit.
If both parties get sent out on their ass in the next election, I won't shed a tear. Maybe then we'll get a smaller government.