I'm wondering... (and turning the channel, just a little bit...)
Wondering out loud today... Just what kind of Conservative will ever be able to stand up and say (with a straight face), "spend-thrift Liberals", or "tax and spend NDPers"?
After this budget - and the largest deficit in Canadian history - the most ruthlessly right wing conservatives in the land... the right wing neoCons of "Reformville" - have all but given up any semblance of fiscal conservative ideology. Sure we still hate them for being social conservatives, and about 100 years behind the modern world in their views on science. We will still dislike their two-faced approach to politics (and that's saying a lot, considering politics TENDS to be a "two-faced" bloodsport). BUT... BUT... never again will they be able to smirk, lean back, and call other parties in Parliament "spendthrifts".
This is a historical shift in Canadian politics - and I think only Andrew Coyne captured it accurately last night. The ones who called themselves the most principled conservatives in the land, have shed their principles for political expediency.
Canadian Conservatives have highlighted the worldwide "misnomer" of liberals as "spendthrifts". We have seen several regimes around the world - conservative regimes - who have spent their nations into oblivion. In Canada, the record of conservatives is equally bad. They whittle away at funds and government when they are in power in "good times", then have no clue how to escape from the bad times. They effectively destroy a nation's social support infrastructure and job-creation infrastructure by handing tax money back to "the people", not doing anything to support those people when times get bad - as they always will and always do.
What does this mean for Liberals? Whatever we come up with will appeal more to ordinary voting Canadians, than this Conservative budget. Canadians have now seen the most (self-named) conservative conservatives in Canadian history repeat what their conservative forebearers did - at a much larger scale. No Conservative can stand up and say they are fiscally more responsible. This will allow Liberals and liberals to push their ideas ahead - without the fear of the ideas being dubbed "pie-in-the-sky" spending schemes. This will pave the way for real ideas - grand ideas to come back into the public discourse.
Imagine a Canada where the politics of substance is back on the table. Imagine a Canada where politicians with great dreams can step forth. Where things like universal day-care and fully paid university educations are not just "pipe dreams"... Imagine.