Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Obligatory Budget Post

Yesterday's budget details and the plethora of related reactions reminded me of Aesop's fable about the Man, the Boy and the Donkey - try to please all and you end up pleasing none.

It was a budget meant to appeal to a broad base of Canadians - a little something for everyone - and yet the nitpickers still weren't happy. Jack Layton's stance is that any number of government handouts will never be enough (unless he co-writes the document himself).

Stephane Dion stated, "I've never seen a government ... do so little with so much."

Gilles Duceppe had to check with PQ leader Andre Boisclair before making up his mind. Apparently the response was, 'Take the money and run'.

MSM on the right feel that the CPC is selling out its traditional base, while those on the left parrot Jack by saying that it wasn't enough. Most seem to bemoan the lack of discernible differences and choice between parties these days, as they all become more and more centrist (well maybe not Jack). Many Blogging Tories have reiterated that sentiment.

Since 2/3 of the spending went to resolve the fiscal imbalance, this amount of aggressive spending should hopefully be a 'one off'. And it will be so worth it if McGuinty stops his whining!

On a personal level, I was pleased to see the measures included such as the Disability Savings Plan, designed to aid parents of children with severe disabilities. My cousin Ted Kuntz in BC was interviewed by CTV (video clip available at right side of this link). His adult son suffered brain damage as an infant and now has the mental capacity of a two-year-old. This support is a huge boost on an emotional as well as a financial level to such families.

Politically, it remains to be seen where this is all going. I suspect that PMSH has a trick or two up his sleeve.

And I'll bet he won't be too worried about asking anyone how he should take that donkey to market.

* * * *

Update: Wow! Check out the 'Election Fever Meter' towards the right of the National Newswatch page. It was hovering around 90% or higher the last week or so, and now it's plunged to 18%!!

Reader Florence pointed out this great post at Backseat Blogger - On that hidden agenda thingy.

Sandy - It was a Canadian Budget -- Conservative AND Liberal.

Heard on CTV's Mike Duffy - Lawrence Martin suggests that there may be some dissent in the Liberal caucus about the budget. It seems that some Quebec MP's want to support it.

Dissension in the ranks for sure - Liberal Joe Comuzzi to support budget!

CBC - Dion opposed to budget before reading it: PM


PGP said...

This is a politicians budget!
A budget taking money from taxpayers and redistributing that money to bureaucrats for the most part and for the rest of it to placate goups and individuals whose business is collecting government handouts!
It is budget that is an insult to working Canadians and Harper has much to answer for!

Gabby in QC said...

Joanne, your assessment of all the opinions is right on!

Unfortunately, in the real world, politicians DO have to try to appeal to as many people as possible, otherwise they will not be in office very long.

Rather than criticize Mr. Harper for not being "conservative" enough, people should see that this budget confirms that PM Harper is NOT the "mean-spirited neo-con" bent on destroying Canadian values the left claims he is.

What he & Mr. Flaherty have done is spread the prosperity that our country currently enjoys because of its surpluses. Other countries would be *delighted* to have that kind of problem. Doesn't it show that our economy is still strong?

OK, so maybe there is more room for tax relief. Give PM Harper more time. I'm sure that is next on his "not secret" agenda.

Anonymous said...

I could talk about all the many things that are right in this budget--from help to low-income families, to parents, to the enivironment in a way that won't sewer the national economy and doesn't fixate on Kyoto alone, to great help for higher education,support for CSIS and the Forces, etc.--but I just want to say to all my feloow Tories in the blogosphere: get a grip you people. Honest to God... if you want to vote for the Party of carbon taxes, rights for terrorists, and more deferred and conditional sentencing, by all means have at it. Because that and somuch more is what ALL THE OTHER FEDERAL PARTIES have in the window, along with a philosophical antipathy to leaving monies in the hands of parents and other jurisdictions to do with asa they see best.

THis budget is truly historic and all the small-government hyperventilation is obscuring just how this is so: with it, in a fairly dramatic way, the CPC has become THE centrist party in Canada. The scary monsters tour is likely to be restaged but is now doomed, and a major step has been taken towards ending the LPC's status as the natural governing party. If this is insufficiently Utopian for you all, fair enough. Go restage the Reform schism, but then please SHUT the F*** UP, when we get another hegemony of the people who brought Bev Mclachlan, votes for Paul Bernarod, the gun registry, contempt for the religious, for families, not to mention the sponsorship scandal, the demonization and starvation of our own forces, etc..... Enjoy! THough I for one will be less than pleased...

Anonymous said...

I think that Canada must be one of the most difficult countries in the world to govern. No one is ever satisfied (is that the human condition?), and there are regional differences that will never be appeased.

I'm disappointed in all of those who jump on the bandwagon to stick it to PM Harper, even Lorrie Goldstein in his column. For him to state that the sponsorship scandal is only a "yet" for the Conservatives is an awful comparison for him to make.

I, like you Joanne, think that this fiscal imbalance spending is a "one-off", and those who criticize the 7% of spending of this budget neglect to point that out.

I never expect any human being to be more than human, but I sure do like this government 100% better than having the Liberal party in power. Thus I will probably support this Harper led government unless I have a really, really good reason not to. What would anyone do if they had to govern and pander to a multitude of people who are split along lines of east/west, french/english, immigrant/non-immigrant, etc....it seems to have always been that way in my lifetime, and I doubt very much if it will change until my time is up.

Your choice of the Aesop's fable was brilliant. Thanks, and let's remember what the option could be, less we criticize too much and create the very thing we were so glad to get rid of in January 2006.


davey said...

Absolutely right. If this minority gov't does not meet the needs (or wants) of the majority, how can we expect to remain in gov't.
I would have liked to see spending kept a bit lower, but otherwise pretty much what I expected. -
- support for families with kids
- environmental objecitves
- incentive and penalty for cars s/b pretty revenue neutral but will ring with average Cdns.
- money to provinces for provincial issues shows long term desire to stay out of provincial realm. I expect more on this file as Harper garners more support.

vicki said...

One of favourite Aesop's fables. Who knows what that 'peer pressure' feels like more than the PM>
This is not a fiscally consevative budget, but it is a 'For the people' budget.If that is the kind of surplus that Ottawa has been handed, by all means spend it on projects that help instaed wasting it (HRDC,guncontrol, and ads...for those that need reminding)
I'm delighted with infrastructure tags on the provincial trnsfers because that means EMPLOYMENT!and better roads.We put in lots of miles on bad roads up here and have been paying the extra tax that was promised for infrastructure years ago.
The Trans-Canada in northern Ontario is THE worst, and city streets are neglected too.There is hope for the repairs now.
I'm dissappointed with the SWC designation, unless it is practical frontline projects ...not thrones and beaurocracy and special interest anti-family(anti-man) promotions.
Tax cuts will come with THE MAJORITY!!
Can't get over some of the comment in the Sun:..or are they misquoted?
"Three hundred isn't much...I want more"
Did anyone get quoted saying 'Thanks'?

JR said...

I too am ambivalent about this budget. Though there's something in it for me as a conservative I can't help feeling disappointed.

But then this is what minority government brings - a happy-faced hodge-podge of spending and a tax code manual that grows 8 inches thicker. The sooner we get a Tory majority the better.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Joanne let cooler heads prevail
Have you checked out Backseat Blogger .com on that hidden agenda thingy
spot on
best Prime Minister.
I hope he is around for a log time


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Your choice of the Aesop's fable was brilliant. Thanks, and let's remember what the option could be, less we criticize too much and create the very thing we were so glad to get rid of in January 2006.

Raz, thanks for that. When I use a metaphor it's always gratifying to see that it's appropriate; that I've hit the mark, so to speak.

I was very disappointed by Lorrie Goldsteins' column this morning. I'm not sure what's going on; perhaps he's trying to paint himself as non-partisan, but I think he went way over the top today.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Vicki - I'm dissappointed with the SWC designation, unless it is practical frontline projects ...not thrones and beaurocracy and special interest anti-family(anti-man) promotions.

Yeah, what's up with that? But I do think that you are exactly right - the money is concentrated more at the grassroots needs rather than the cumbersome, tax-sucking, union jobs that feed like parasites off the system.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

JR - The sooner we get a Tory majority the better.

Amen to that. (Oops! Is that politically correct?)

Florence, thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.

Roy Eappen said...

I gave the budget a B grade. I would have liked deeper taxes, but I am glad the provinces got more money. We are moving back to the real federalism envisioned by our found fathers. I think it was a political masterstroke. He has again made people see that we are not extreme. he robs the grits of all of their ammo.

Anonymous said...

I watched part of Question Period today, and PM Harper was right on the money when he said that Dion was planning to oppose the budget before he even read it.

Same with Jack Layton....his "ads" came on only an hour or so later. What a fool to think that people in Canada actually thought that he had time to read the budget, think it through, and then design/shoot/appear in an ad that opposed the budget.

This was the plan all along from our two opposition parties who claim they want to do what's best for Canadians.


Anonymous said...

Globe and Mail is now reporting Dion had indeed decided to vote against the budget yesterday before even seeing it.

Brian in Calgary said...

Comuzzi has apparently been expelled from the Liberal caucus, and will sit as an Independent.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Brian, that's HUGE!!!!

Thank you.