The Conservatives like to claim that they shrink government size and spending. Like with Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, spending soared and Canada crashed. Mulroney introduced the GST, but that was not enough to clean his mess. In the 1990s, the Liberals under Jean Chretien took the unpopular decision to make cuts and the way they did it turned out to be widely successful as it gave the Liberal Party 13 years of uninterrupted power. Now, the Conservatives are left with no choice but to try it for themselves – for the first time.
In a previous post, I analyzed the main talking points of the Conservatives and found that a basic logic behind their proposed cuts in spending increases for provincial healthcare transfers made sense. However, while the logic behind the plan was sound, the plan itself wasn’t. The lack of leadership and the misguided neglect of the system will lead to bigger problems in the future – at least, this is what the Parliamentary Budget Watchdog says.
Sometimes you have to wonder where the Conservatives find the money to afford their new initiatives while they preach austerity. The Conservatives are now making a Religious Freedom Office within Foreign Affairs at the expense of tax payers.
In the 1990s and up to 2004, Harper championed on being the small government, low tax advocate, among other more controversial stances. However, if we compare these positions to his current day actions, it appears that all of his past opposition was worth absolutely nothing.
As if the House of Commons and senate wasn’t enough, the Prime Minister’s Office is the biggest in history. This comes as the Canadian economy is crawling and austerity is coming to find $4 billion in savings. Harper called for small government back in the 90s and in 2004, however, that Harper is gone. In the first 5 years of Harper’s mandate since 2006, bureaucracy has grown 13%, contradicting these small government principles.
The Harper Government is quietly looking into a $3.7 billion purchase of new search-and-rescue planes. When the idea was pitched 6 years ago by the Conservatives, the cost was $3.1 billion, $600 million less than now. The project was put into a bureaucratic limbo a long time ago when Paul Martin first approved it and it never got done.
The Conservatives scrapped census and the gun registry under one principle: freedom and privacy. The Conservatives deemed their decisions were beneficial as the government got out of the affairs of Canadians. However, some Conservative supporters and MPs are making the push to re-open the debate on abortion laws in Canada and tell Canadian women what they can and cannot do with their body in the name of justice. Does that make sense?
When you think of healthcare funding, you will likely think that the money we spend goes directly to healthcare. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Instead, the money goes to hospital administrators and CEOs who have a tendency of treating themselves well and when cuts come along, they are never the first to get the front end. As the NDP scream that healthcare lacks funding, it is becoming more and more evident that healthcare is properly funded, but mismanaged, yet another strike against a political party that is already well known for being unrealistic.