Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Budget Day

Leave comments here, as the fun happens. Updates will follow

Yeah, yeah, most of the juicy details have already been leaked. And, sure, the Liberals will probably let it pass. But, there are still a few things worth tuning in for:

1. Tax cuts? This appears to be the only issue that could cause the Liberals to vote it down - despite the leaks, we still don't know how big the tax cuts will be.

2. The coalition response. Not their response to the Tories - we know what to expect there. But their response to the Liberals if they decide to support the budget. I'm curious as to just how strongly Layton and Duceppe will lash out at Ignatieff if he supports the budget.

3. The coalition dies? Will the coalition parties keep the threat alive, or will they finally just admit that the idea is as dead as the days of balanced budgets.

4. The budget. Not as a political document, but as a policy one. In all the hoopla, it's easy to forget that this is the most important budget in 14 years. Just how effective will it be at stimulating the economy?

5. Ignatieff takes the stage. The question is not so much what he'll do - the question is how he'll do it, and how he'll look and sound in the process. This is his first big test as leader, and it's not easy to look good while rolling over with the whole country watching.


UPDATE: I'll more thorough analysis later but, until then, here are the Globe, CBC, ITQ, CTV, and Canwest recaps.

Labels:

19 Comments:

  • One more day of Bush was one too many days.

    To think that we could be rid of Canada's Bush, and you to suggest that it will not happen.

    First it is the economy, now it is this. Sad, sooo, sooo sad.

    After 4 years of Bush, the American people blinded to his incompetence and relected him.

    After 3 years of Canada's Bush, you are suggesting that Ignatieff will give new life to Canada's Bush. That would mean we have no Canadian Obama. Just a pretender.

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 8:33 AM  

  • How will Ignatieff handle it without backing down? Easy. By taking credit for it.

    By Anonymous john g, at 9:27 AM  

  • I'm curious as to just how strongly Layton and Duceppe will lash out at Ignatieff if he supports the budget.

    If they are smart, they will respond more in sorrow than anger.

    By Blogger Greg, at 9:44 AM  

  • Why do you say that Greg?

    This is all déjà vu.

    Last year, same month, Liberals were faced with an excellent opportunity to do the right thing and vote down the Afghanistan Extension. Instead, they propped up the Conservatives, and in the end lost a lot of seats in the election that followed in the fall.

    This year, same month, Liberals are faced with an excellent opportunity to do the right thing and vote down this budget because it does not create enough jobs and does not make enough EI changes. If the pundits are correct, they will again prop up the Conservatives, and will most surely lose even more seats if another election is held this fall.

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 10:06 AM  

  • Well, Layton/Duceppe can either spin it as:

    1. Ignatieff broke his word, can't be trusted.

    2. Liberals are too weak to stand up to Harper.

    3. Ignatieff and Harper are both right wing so it's not surprising they agree.

    For each of those, they can make a big deal about it, or not. And they can be angry, sorrowful (as Greg suggests), or, I guess, any other emotion they want.

    So they have options.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:39 AM  

  • Peter - Perhaps. But the counter argument to that is that you might be setting up a lengthy "presidency" for "Canada's Bush" if you miscalculate here.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:40 AM  

  • This budget will have exactly zero effect on the economy. If the reccession is to be solved by getting consumers to spend like they did up to a year ago this will not do it.

    The budget is simply a wealth transfer to be paid for by your future taxes.

    The credit bubble burst and all thats left is the taxing powers of the government.

    The Liberals are in a sweet position. They cajoled Harper to do what he did not want to do, run a deficit. Now they will be able to watch it blunder and the next election there will be a change.

    By Blogger Generation Jones, at 11:03 AM  

  • "The Liberals are in a sweet position. They cajoled Harper to do what he did not want to do, run a deficit. Now they will be able to watch it blunder and the next election there will be a change."

    The bank of Canada predicts 2% growth in the third quarter and 3.5% (with negative growth in the first two quarters) in the fourth quarter of this year - whether or not the budget DOES actually make a difference (Global Insight predicted it could make a difference of only maybe .5% to growth), Harper can and will take credit for a recovery that is essentially automatic (because Canada has no risk of bank failures).

    Moreover the budget contains a lot of treats for key constituencies - the Liberals can complain about deficits all they like, but taking away the toys of say, taxpayers making <80,000. The deficit is a public bad that effects everybody negatively just a bit. Money for natives, forestry, the auto sector, etc. are private goods that help influential voter blocs a lot. It is far easier to mobilize concentrated interests than diffuse ones (like say those negatively impacted by the deficit).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 11:23 AM  

  • "After 3 years of Canada's Bush, you are suggesting that Ignatieff will give new life to Canada's Bush. That would mean we have no Canadian Obama. Just a pretender."

    Ah, so Peter, how is life in Canada's New York suburbs? Did you have some Canada's Canadian bacon for breakfast this morning? I woke up and saluted Canada's stars and stripes, before reading Canada's New York Times.

    Stop living in an analogy and think for yourself.

    PS: Harper is Canada's Nixon, not Bush.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 11:27 AM  

  • CalgaryGrit,

    I agree.

    We may be "setting up a lengthy "presidency" for "Canada's Bush" if you miscalculate here."

    Propping up Harper for 10 months last year resulted in the Liberals losing dozens of seats. Propping him up for another 10 months may just result in dozens more.

    Propping up Harper for 10 months last year, without the Bloc's resurgence in the dying days of the election, we would have four more years of "Canada's Bush" or "Canada's Nixon".

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 11:57 AM  

  • Peter - Any chance you can spare us hysterical comparisons to former US presidents?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:21 PM  

  • Anon 12:21

    It's the flavour of the day.

    I will stop tomorrow.

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 12:30 PM  

  • Canada has over 60 billion dollars of energy projects lined up, such as hydro dams in Quebec. The size of the economy has doubled since 1993, so the projected deficits are smaller than what deficits used to be to the economy.
    We may have an inflation problem more than a recession problem.
    Are the Conservatives overestimating the size of deficits, as the Liberals used to underestimate the surplus, for political reasons?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:39 PM  

  • Do you think a map will accompany the budget too ... just like the one for the "workie" photo op today?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:07 PM  

  • Propping up Harper for 10 months last year resulted in the Liberals losing dozens of seats.

    I think there was a whole lot more at work in the worst electoral showing in decades than "propping up Harper".

    By Blogger Rob, at 2:37 PM  

  • Rob,

    It did not help.

    And if an election had been called on Liberal terms instead of those of the Conservatives, we would have had a better shot of preventing another Harper-led government.

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 3:53 PM  

  • It's also possible that an election before the economy collapsed would have meant a Harper majority (ie. had we made the GST or a relatively popular 2008 budget our hill to die on).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:31 PM  

  • CG, good questions. That's some good food-for-thought.

    Peter, are you suggesting that Ignatieff is Canada's Obama? Because that's a very dangerous analogy. Many Liberals are staying far, far away from making such a comparison.

    By Blogger Mike514, at 6:48 PM  

  • Ah Grit ? When did you join the LOL clusterwhatevers.Budget deficits = Bush/Harper,guess I'll have to go to Jasons to get commentary about the budget.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:55 PM  

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