Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's Not About Confidence - It's About Accountability

The Liberal response to the budget will not be about "confidence" as much as it will be about responsibility for the economy and accountability for leaving Canada in such a weak position to deal with the recession.  It is our duty to ensure that Harper does not slough off his responsibility for the lack of resilience of this economy.  His minions have already began denying responsibility.  They need to accept THEIR RESPONSIBILITY in things like "0 down, 40 year mortgages" - the primary cause of the worsening real estate conditions in this country.  Harper's hacks made it possible for people who should NOT have been buying homes to do so - at grossly inflated prices.  

I listen closely to financial experts and economists who claim this recession is going to get ugly (uglier than it is now).  What will the "government about nothing" do?  My bets are massive tax cuts, lip service to "incentives" (meaning infrastructure projects cities and provinces won't be able to claim), and talking up small numbers, convincing Canadians that 100 Million is a lot of money - when it barely covers one or two major projects.  In essence, a "remedy for nothing".

In these conditions, and in these times, I ask fellow Liberals:  Do we REALLY want to govern?  It will get worse before it gets better - no matter what we do.  Yes, we will help create the conditions for a quick recovery more effectively, but, we will have to go through the tough time.  

Why not let Harper wear it a little longer?  We know there is a legally mandated election set for October 2009.  Should we not see what happens with the economy over the next few months, then strike?  I'm not one to say we "sit on our hands" forever.  If we're not ready in a few months of SERIOUS fund-raising, then we'll never be ready and may as well shut down our party.  

We MUST "go" within 9 months.  It is imperative for the party.  If we choose not to vote down the budget now, and are asked "why", we simply need to answer, "because Steve has set an election for October 09 - let's see what this government intends to do to help Canadians".  If we do choose to defeat the government, it had better be about something that is hurting Canada (more than the Harper government already has).  

This thing isn't about confidence - it's about accountability.  Accountability of a government - a government about nothing - which believes governments have no role in governing.  A government that believes governments should be "hands off".  A government that won't own up to "boondoggling" away 25 BILLION since they took over from the Martin Liberals.  Time we hold them accountable.  Time we put their feet to the fire.  Defeat the government if necessary, but not necessarily "defeat the government".

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Chrystal Ocean said...

"They need to accept THEIR RESPONSIBILITY in things like "0 down, 40 year mortgages" - the primary cause of the worsening real estate conditions in this country. Harper's hacks made it possible for people who should NOT have been buying homes to do so - at grossly inflated prices."

Which leads me to ask: The Cons announced $200 billion to ease credit conditions and get businesses and consumers buying again. Isn't this precisely what we don't want to be doing?

The Mound of Sound said...

What makes you think Harper will abide by an October election? What if he chooses to ignore it, as he did in August? What if our leadership has no more stomach for an election in October than it has now? WG, I'm just tired of the LPC allowing itself to be cajoled onto the wrong side of issues out of fear or expedience. It seems to be habit forming.

WesternGrit said...

I was JUST about to comment on this too... What the HECK is Flaherty doing, cajoling even MORE young Canadians into taking on mortgages at a time of slumping home values??? Helping his friends in the real estate industry. Know how many REITs there are in Alberta, and Ontario. Having lived in Calgary very recently, I can say that the city is full of "flipping" condos - units people bought for the express purpose of "flipping" (speculation).

I am infuriated by the lack of judgment by these clowns... Giving people who can't afford homes another reason to buy is reason for disaster. I honestly think that the Cons believe we'll be out of the recession by next year!

Chrystal - you are 100% correct on what we shouldn't be doing. Now all we need to do is decide if these faults are enough to boot these clowns out, or if we let them "stew" a little longer. It may be at the expense of our economy...

Mound: I'm simply asking what we want. My preference: throw them out, and apply REAL stimulus to the economy - in the way of infrastructure megaprojects. Get people to WORK NOW. At least people can buy food and pay rent that way. Don't encourage them to go on a buying spree. I can just see the "conservative way": Young couple buys home with money they don't have (not even 25% down). They max their credit cards on new furniture and crap. Home values tank even further. They have 0 equity in the home and dump it for a "worry free" rental - or move back in with Mom and Dad...

I think we need to seriously consider defeating them on this budget. I don't, however, know all the details - particularly the political considerations.

The Mound of Sound said...

Chrystal, WG, the two of you chill out! As a former pillar of the bankrutpcy law community, this is a genuine stimulus package for trustees, receivers and lawyers to boot. And, with my stock portfolio bleeding in the gutter, I might just have to return to the fold.

WesternGrit said...

Again... I don't know all the details, but I'm going to read them when I get home tonight. There is a lot I don't like - but is it enough for us to decide it's "go time"???

I do laugh in the face of "conservatism" today... as it has ceased to exist. I think the strong fiscal conservatives in the Liberal caucus would have done much, much better in creating stimulus for the nation - at the appropriate places in the appropriate amounts. We would also have saved the tax cuts for better times, ensuring that the treasury has funds today (or, more accurately, less debt)...

WesternGrit said...

I would say that Harper's pulled a "Mulroney", and his supporters on the "Blogging Tories" dropping off shows that. I'm hoping that a lot of people provide the same reaction to the Cons (within their base).

They can't be conservative anymore during this tenure - and it may be a good 5-10 years before Canada sees a government taking any austerity measures which can be considered "conservative". It will likely be a majority Liberal government working to pull the deficit back under reign.