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Harper looks to dismantle federal spending power thru ruse of fixing “fiscal imbalance”

I like to highlight posts at Prog Blog that dont get a lot of front-page blogtime (sometimes due to the time they get posted at the site when a lot of people aren’t reading there) and this one by Jonathan Ross at TDH Strategies should be read. Basically, his argument is that Harper will attempt to gut the federal spending power in Canada by trying to fool people and provinces into thinking he’s solved the fiscal imbalance, thus trying to prevent forever any more federal national programs/initiatives like medicare or such (which I’ve already blogged about once here)

If this is what Harper proposes, and he tries to introduce it in the Budget with or without provincial approval (I dont expect it to be accepted by the provinces), the government needs to be voted down on non-confidence, and the Budget defeated and we go to an election.

Quite frankly, my prediction is the”fiscal imbalance” would be then a 2nd-tier issue in the resulting election campaign against other factors (environment, gun registry, Wheat Board, spending cuts, etc), but its a dangerous enough proposal that it shouldn’t be passed.

UPDATE: Here’s another good analysis – this one from a Quebec Liberal blogger.

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6 comments to Harper looks to dismantle federal spending power thru ruse of fixing “fiscal imbalance”

  • lrC

    Besides, Harper isn’t limiting a thing. The federal government is free to raise or lower tax rates in the future, and to decrease or increase spending. The “fiscal imbalance” is just “provincial tax cowardice”. There is only one taxpayer, and pushing the responsibility for collection to the point of expenditure will help the taxpayer to understand how responsible or irresponsible the people running the municipality, district, province, or nation are.

  • lrC

    Cutting taxes is a transfer of tax points. It’s up to the provinces to raise their taxes or not.

  • It is well known that he favours a strict interpretation of the Constitution Act that would have the Feds not spending in the Province’s area. There has been some recent news (Nov-Dec) along the lines of deeps cuts being made in those areas and translated to tax cuts. If he’s going to do that (where’s the mandate?) he at least better transfer tax points to the provinces instead of just cutting taxes. The Provinces are having enough difficulty dealing with infrastruture deficits as it is.

  • Bob

    Harper, who increased spending 6.9% in his first year in office, now proposes to hand over billions more to the provinces.

    For this, you claim he is trying to “dismantle federal spending”. By massively increasing spending.

    Seriously, give up writing about politics, you’re not very good at it.

  • I knew that Harper would try this, but I sometimes wonder if the people would understand this. Harper will undoubtedly deny this. Many people do not have any idea that this is not a Conservative Government, as under Sir John A MacDonald. but more of a Reform- Alliance , under the guise of Conservative. No Progressive Conservative would do that to our Country. What a mess the voters have put us in!

  • […] For example, Jonathan at THD Strategies (via Scott Tribe, who also subscribes to the notion), first admits that he is more than a tad confused by the “fiscal imbalance” debate, then feels qualified to provide the following assessment: One thing I do know, however, is that Stephen Harper is going to use his fix, whatever that might be, as a means to eliminate the federal spending power. Sensing the historical implications of such a proposal, however, such a plan is receiving stiff resistance from provinces other than Quebec, some of whom fear that the country will balkanized as a result. […]

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