Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Questions to ponder when casting budget judgement

Some things I'll be considering as I try to come to a verdict on this budget and, more importantly, what I think the Liberal response should be:

* While it's not the budget we'd bring in, how bad is it really? And can it be fixed?

* What do non-partisan Canadians think about the budget?

* Since the GG turning to the coalition is far from a guarantee, are we prepared to risk an election, and fight one, on this budget?

* Will public opinion support pulling the coalition trigger based on this budget?

* Imperfect as this budget is, would the delay in seeing some sort of at least semi-meaningful stimulus that would be triggered by either a) toppling the government, installing a coalition government, writing another better budget, and passing it (I'd say a month or so), or b) triggering an election, then recalling parliament, forming a government, throne speech and another budget (two months easy) really be the best course of action for the economy?

*Purely selfishly, but this is politics after all, is it in our strategic interests at this time to elevate the NDP?

*And finally, would we pay a political price with the public if we held our noses on this thing, with the resulting predictable attacks from the NDP, reprising the storyline of the last parliament?

I'm comfortable at this point at saying I have some significant issues with this budget. I think it fails in a number of areas. How badly? Can they be addressed by amendment, and would the Conservatives be open to such amendments? Those questions, and the above, are among the things I'm pondering this evening.

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susansmith said...

And if the Liberals support Harper, they are elevating him and the cons as "good stewards of the economy."
With the blessing of the Liberals, thus showing they are on the right side.

susansmith said...

but the banks and financial institutions will love you - they got 200 billion. Not bad for tanking the economy with their demands for deregulation, taxcuts, and privatization mantra.

Barcs said...

I think there probably places where amendments to the budget might be agreed upon.... there usually is.

But even without amendments I have little doubt that Iggy will support it (or atleast abstain). There is too much in it that he asked for. And I am pretty sure your 1 month suggestion for a coalition budget is pretty short. Consultations usually take 3... which can be shortened, but there is still atleast a couple weeks work setting up the cabinet, getting people up to speed and security checks on new gov members before a budget can even be though of.

As for the public opinion... I don't know, I think it will be fairly split down the 40-60% range. Not enough for eitehr Harper or Iggy to risk on.

But I am sure that several polling companies will be working overtime tonight and tomorrow phoning people who barely know we have a budget let alone having seen any of the coverage asking them about their opinions on it.

burlivespipe said...

Of no consequence, but typical canwest pap from global bc tv, with baldrey et al echoing the 'shovels in the ground' government meme without asking about how many communities have the funding set aside or the capacity to fund their portion of these P3 infrastructures. I'd love to push PoCo into building a 3,000 seat arena but I seriously doubt the council would be able or willing to jack up property tax more to meet the gov'ts requirements.

Greg said...

*And finally, would we pay a political price with the public if we held our noses on this thing, with the resulting predictable attacks from the NDP, reprising the storyline of the last parliament?

I am not sure you would, in the very short term. But, the question is, what happens if there are more confidence votes before your party is ready to have an election? That's when the damage will begin to accumulate, depending on the issues. I guess what I am saying is it all depends on how spooked Harper is by all of this. If he is really spooked, you might be ok. If he is emboldened, expect a rough go. Are you feeling lucky, punk?