With oil prices in free fall and oil companies scaling back production and a recession looking more and more imminent, the rosy $1.9 billion surplus the Conservatives wanted to campaign on has vanished and is now projected become a $2.3 billion deficit.
The new year will be an election year, that may oddly enough, mirror the past. Prime Minister Stephen Harper can only look back to the glory days in 2006 as he fights for his political life after throwing his Reform principles under the bus upon creating the new Conservative Party that will have been in power for nine years come May.
The business audience Prime Minister Stephen Harper was talking to in New York wasn’t the only thing that was lacking. He has failed to act on his harsh words during the Ukraine crisis and he has lied about Canada’s involvement in Iraq. It is clear Harper has not only lost credibility at home, but more disturbingly, abroad.
In the month of July, only 200 net jobs were created. Despite Conservative rhetoric putting the Canadian economy on top of the G7 pack, our job creation record lags behind and remains unstable. It is noteworthy that the majority of lost full-time jobs have at best been replaced with temporary part-time jobs. The Conservatives can no longer afford to kick the can down the road and tell Canadians their opponents can’t handle the economy.
It is no secret the Conservatives are heading for confrontation with the Supreme Court over its reckless and irresponsible notion that unconstitutional legislation should be passed. From the spat between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin to Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s reluctance to consult the courts and public on legislation that is predictably going to be shot down, it is clear the Conservatives will try to break the system to get their unconstitutional legislation passed – particularly in the domain of Law and Order.
The Harper government is being praised for its extra $3.5 billion investment in international maternal health but a UN report finds aboriginal communities are in a state of crisis. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Harper government has dedicated an extra $4 million in advertising veterans programs that they can’t be bothered to fund – leading to the wife of a veteran with PTSD’s plea, “we’re nothing to you.”
The Conservatives successfully rammed their amended Fair Elections Act through the House of Commons today by a vote of 146 to 123. The election reforms are set to make voting more difficult in 2015, requiring voters show a photo ID containing an address (which is limited in scope). Bill C23, as initially introduced seemed to be an attempt to rig the next election but while some of the more radical changes have been crossed out, the alarm bells ring at the nature of the amended legislation and the motives behind it.
The Supreme Court has unanimously shot down Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plans to reform or abolish the senate and in response Harper has dropped the ball. The man who promised an elected senate since as far back as 2006 is now saying there’s nothing he can do and is closing the door.