Saturday, August 15, 2015

Why I will NOT vote for Harper:Part 8 (Economic Record)

Harper's Economic Record

Eighth  in a series of mini-blogs on Canada's federal election to be held 19 Oct. 2015. 
DaBa, pen name of a Guest Blogger, wrote the blogs. 
My comments follow the  blog

Harper's Conservatives like to promote themselves as good managers of Canada's economy. The reality is quite different.

In 2006-07, the Conservatives inherited a surplus of $13.8 billion  which they turned into a deficit of $5.8 billion within two years. Subsequently, they have been in deficit each and every year. Since Harper was elected, the federal debt has increased by over $150 billion. 

Economic growth

Canada's economy declined in every year since 2010 and averaged only 1.7 per cent per year. In the previous nine years, economic growth averaged 3.4 per cent annually.

Jobs and unemployment

In 2014, only 120,000 new jobs were created — less than in 2013. 
At the end of 2014 compared to 2008:
  • Employment rate (percentage of adult population employed) was lower;
  • Labour force participation rate was lower;
  • Youth unemployment rate was higher;
  • Share of total employment made up of full-time jobs was less
  • Quality of jobs had sunk to its lowest level in a quarter of a century.
Harper's economic record in a nutshell:

Harper, like most politicians, likes to take credit for good economic times and blame bad times on the global economy, forces beyond his control. And  he's correct that global forces play an important role in how Canada's economy performs.  For example:
  • Strength of Canadian $ compared to US $ 
    • Affects all nations with weak or strong currencies, e.g., Swiss strong currency negatively affects its drug manufacturing companies; 
    • Weak CDN $ good for exports, bad for firms who must buy US goods to manufacture products.
  • China's economy slows so it buys fewer of Canada's exports (applies to all exporting nations). 
  • China devaluates its currency, the yuan, and takes commodities-linked currencies like Canada's down because China is a huge importer of our commodities. 
Harper links Canada's economic record  - good and bad under his watch to -  two major events:

1. Global financial crisis of 2007-8
Harper claims credit because we did better than others, conveniently omitting to mention that

  • Liberal government left economy in great shape; 
  • Our existing bank laws prevented the greedy excesses of US financial institutions.
Bottom line: We did well not because of anything Harper did but because of prior Liberal government policies and Canada's strong banking laws.

2. Plummeting oil prices tanked Canada's economy
Fall in oil prices  - caused by Saudi flooding the market to retain market share - effects all Canada's oil producing provinces, most notably Alberta, and the entire Canadian economy.

After long denying the 'R' word, Harper claims the current recession (if it is that) is not his fault AND our economy is strong.

As DaBa's blog explains, Harper's economic record is terrible. To claim otherwise is to try to bamboozle Canadian voters. Harper thinks we are stupid. Harper cannot take credit for Canada's relative strong performance after the 2008 recession.

Canada would not be in the economic trouble it is today if Harper and his conservative pals in Alberta did not bank most everything on oil versus promoting sustainable energy, a more diversified economy, and investing in infrastructure.


  • Harper's brand as strong on the economy is fiction using any economic indicator, whether deficits, growth, job quality, unemployment;
  • His policies have left Canada weak, susceptible and powerless to global oil prices.

Like his environmental record, Harper's economic record is a massive FAIL. He does not deserve our vote

As always, comments are most welcome. 

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