I always thought fiscal conservatism meant cutting back on the size, scope and cost of big government.
But not so argues Professor Tom Flanagan.
Flanagan, who happens to be Prime Minister Harper's former chief of staff, tells the Canadian Press that conservatism actually means spending tax dollars with reckless abandon.
In fact, he suggests the federal government's spending spree of the past three years was part of a cunning Harper plan to gradually tighten "the screws on the federal government," making it harder for Ottawa to spend.
"They're boxing in the ability of the federal government to come up with new program ideas . . . The federal government is now more constrained, the provinces have more revenue, and conservatives should be happy," says Flanagan.
Why should conservatives be happy with a government which- apparently for political reasons-- spent away the surplus?
Yes the Tories have put the Liberals in a box, but what about the Canadian economy? Doesn't Canada need a government committed to cutting taxes and making government smaller and more efficient?
Anyway, apparently I was part of Harper's scheme. Check this Flanagan quote:
"Part of the execution of the plan was that there would be conservatives attacking him - like John Williamson (of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation), Gerry Nicholls," Flanagan said.
"That's extremely useful, to have that kind of pressure there, berating the prime minister for not doing enough."