Monday, January 09, 2006
"However, let me just make two predictions. One is that Canada will be profoundly changed in the next five to ten years. I just don't believe the confederation we have today will look the same.
Whether Quebec separates or not, there are going to be very major changes.
The second thing is that Canada, in spite of its ongoing social democratic, welfare-state mentality, will continue to move to the right on fiscal, economic and social policy, with minor deviations, because that's the way the world is going.
When Canadians face the choice of either preserving their welfare state or adapting themselves to the world economy, they always, at times of crisis, choose to adapt themselves to the world economy."
-Stephen Harper speaking to American thinktank, Canadian Conservative leader, 1997
According to Mr. Harper, our great nation is in a perilous situation, despite the fact that the Liberals have gotten us budget surpluses for close to a decade:
"(Canada is) a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the
term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States.
In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance."
Do we really want this kook as our leader? America's recent experiments with neoconservativism should give us a hint. Admittedly, the Liberal Party ain't perfect, but at least they know how to balance the books and keep social spending at a reasonable level.
What are your thoughts on the election? Please comment below.