A final pre-election comment

Like most of my colleagues, I went into this election cycle a little curious. I never did buy the notion that the Conservative’s approach to regional development would involve sucking every talented resource out to Fort McMurray, consolidating three governments into one and saying “stand on your own two feet”. (although some of my more impatient colleagues actually agree with this model, but I digress)

At the same time, I have never bought into the notion that the Liberals have brought great prosperity to Atlantic Canada. In fact, I am not sure that even the Liberals believe this.

So, I looked closely for any hint of economic development strategy and have concluded the following:

The Liberals, if re-elected, will continue to do mostly the same in Atlantic Canada. ‘Innovation’, small businesses and ‘community building’. Paul Martin stumped through Atl. Canada basically telling us how good we have had it under the Libs.

The Conservatives have not said much about Atl. Canada and economic development. Harper won’t scrap ACOA. Harper is ‘committed to helping Atlantic Canada reach its potential’. Well, that’s easy to say during a campaign but don’t forget this region has been ‘declining’ relative to the rest of Canada since before Harper’s oft mentioned relatives settled in New Brunswick.

So having said all that, I would have liked to had heard one of the parties talk about a ‘revolution’ in Atl. Canada. An Irish-style transformation where Canada (like the EU in Europe) invests billions into infrastructure, industry development, etc. into this region over a 25 year time frame. Where if Microsoft sets up a 1,500 person facility in Halifax, the rest of Canada cheers not complains. Where if hundreds of US firms turn their gaze onto this region, the rest of Canada cheers not complains. This was exactly the case in Ireland. As that country boomed in the late 1990s, the EU kept the funds flowing (remember that Germany, France, et. al have economic challenges of their own).

Imagine that.

So, I won’t shed too many tears if the Libs lose today. There won’t be dire consequences (although I understand the Liberal strategy to scare voters as a tactic). The economy will limp along. And maybe, just maybe, a fresh set of eyes on this thing may end up being good for the region.

And if Harper slashes EI and pays people to move to Fort McMurray?

Ask me if/when he does it.

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0 Responses to A final pre-election comment

  1. scott says:

    For all the pollsters, pundits and naysayers out there who think this will be a minority, well, think again.

    Here is the list of minority governments that went down to defeat as a result of a non-confidence motion:

    July 1, 1926 Arthur Meighen (Cons.)
    February 5, 1963 John G. Diefenbaker (PC)
    May 8, 1974 Pierre E. Trudeau (Lib.)
    December 13, 1979 Joseph Clark (PC)
    November 28, 2005 Paul Martin (Lib.)

    Each time, with the exception of Dief’s loss(Pearson was 4 seats short), there was a Majority government returned to the house after the ensuing election.

    In my opinion, Martin will receive the same fate as Conservative Art Meighen. Similar to the situation last spring, there was a bit of constitutional rangling back in 1925, as well he[Meighen] thought he had the right to govern without the consent of the people. Consequently, King was sent back to the PM’s chair with 128 seats, ending Meighen parliamentary career.

    It sound a bit like Dithers, the only difference being his governor generals knew nothing about constitutional affairs, unlike Lord Byng.

    Harper in a walk folks. Dithers will lose his own seat, much like Meighen did.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dude, didn’t you see 60 Minutes last night? A 22 year old in Fort MacMurray makes 120,000! And they said they need 100,000 more workers! My guess is the bags are already being packed around the province-the government doesn’t have to pay them!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So much for the above projection:)

  4. David Campbell says:

    Scott,

    Never underestimate the power of negativity. John Manley once said you can get a 5 point bump in the polls just by knocking the US. Add in the supression of ‘basic human rights’ and ‘martial law’ inferences and you get last night’s results.

  5. David Campbell says:

    Wow on the Fort McMurray thing. I have a friend who started a law firm out there and now has ten staff and is booming. The only teeny weeny downside is that it is more expensive to live there than in Toronto. While FM is an extreme case, the reality is that fast growing economies lead to heated up labour markets which leads to upward pressure on wages. When you add in a high margin industry like O&G you have an ideal recipe for this type of wildly escalating wages.