Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tories and Incrementalism

In case anybody missed it, I had a column yesterday in the National Post.

It's my post-election advice to the Conservative government: Drop the incremental stuff and start acting like real conservatives.


Iain G. Foulds said...

... An excelent article. As Mr. Flanagan wrote to you "Keep up the pressure".
... Exciting steps in Saskatchewan with the serious tax-cuts. Mr. Wall is Canada's only true, courageous conservative leader.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't buy this approach for a second. I do not think it would work. It is a certain recipe to be on the outside looking in again - watching Liberals build up government with their Green Shifts, Kelowna Accords, "investments" in losing industries, day care programs, and so on.

To suggest that Harper's approach is too slow is nonsense. It totally ignores the reality of the situation.

Harper has cut taxes significantly and paid down a large amount of debt while meeting the majority of his election promises.

Ahh, but government spending has gone up, you say.

Well, consider the magnitude of the surpluses that the government was reeling in. Politically, it was not acceptable to the country to turn all of those surpluses into tax cuts. There were too many needs, realistic or imagined, to only cut taxes. There was a need to be responsive to the general public.

Under the circumstances, Harper found an appropriate balance between tax cuts and spending increases without creating huge new bureacracies as the Liberals would have done.

It isn't enough to simply look at how much taxes were cut versus how much we could have afforded. Consider instead where we are now compared to where we would have been if the Liberals had maintained power under Martin ... or worse, won under Dion ... or still worse, governed under a Dion-led coalition of the NDP and Libs.

The tax cutting glass is way more than half full from this Conservative's perspective.

JC Kelan

gimbol said...


This is no time to listen to the free advise being offered by liberals.
No deficits. The problem isn't loss government revenues, because governments don't earn money they take it.
The problem is spending.
Harper has a defacto majority for the next six months, he needs to do whats right, not what liberal Dalton and Charest tell him.
Deficits mean higher taxes, which means less productivity, which leads to higher deficits, which leads to higher taxes.
Didn't we learn this lesson back in 1993?
Rather than waste grease on the "squeaky wheels" change out the bearing so the wheel can't squeal anymore.
For example: the CBC recieves close to a billion a year in tax dollars. What do we get for that billion other than a partisan POV. If the CBC wants to produce this kind of programming they can do so without the benefit of a federal subsidy.
Just tell them (the CBC) they need to make the sacrifice so other programs more important than "This Hour has 22 Minutes" can be preserved.

nbt said...

I agree, they must move back to the right on a few issues. However, I still think libertarian/fiscal conservative policies can be implemented incrementally while keeping the status quo on a few things.

When you've been out of power as long as we have, it's better to move a few piles of dirt one shovel at a time, then to try to blow up the entire mountain. Why? Doing the latter not only brings too much attention b/c of the abrupt manner in which you are making them, there's a good bet you won't be around to relish in your work because of it.