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Thoughts on Mulcair and Dutch Disease, etc

So if you’ve been following politics (oh, I hope everyone had a good Victoria Day weekend, by the way),  you know there’s been a bit of a brouhaha over NDP leader Thomas Mulcair saying that the tar-sands has artificially caused the Canadian dollar to be higher then it would be under normal circumstances, which leads to our manufacturing base  – which is mostly in central and eastern Canada) to suffer as a result. Some additional comments were made that the tarsands has been given a free ride by Harper’s government, and that an NDP government would ensure that development was done environmentally responsibly.

A lot of ink was spilled in the last week from the conservative media and even some of the mainstream ones condemning Mulcair and predicting he’d lose support if he stuck to that analysis (something Ontario Premier Dalton Mcguinty said a few months ago with a lot less of an effect, media wise). Others, like Paul Wells of Macleans, wasn’t so sure, noting on Twitter that it would make Mulcair less popular amongst the people that already weren’t going to vote for him anyhow, and that he didn’t want their votes.

I’m of the opinion that the 2nd analysis is probably correct… particularly since opinion polls taken right after that don’t show any major drop nationally in NDP support. I think a lot of people know that Harper is trying to develop the tarsands at all costs (I would go so far to say given his position on their development, as well as the hatchet job he’s done in the Budget on anything remotely environmentally friendly, he leads the most anti-environment government in Canada’s history), and they don’t like it.. and I think there are plenty of people willing to give Mulcair an ear on the manufacturing base going down the drain, because they can see it happening.



3 comments to Thoughts on Mulcair and Dutch Disease, etc

  • Al

    I agree. Just what is the problem with extracting oil in a environmentally manner.

  • That is a good post Scott because Mulcair has been lambasted by many Liberals as much as Cons., and I think Liberals are (at least strategically) wrong to go after Mulcair in this case. I believe Mulcair is partly correct in his analysis – but more importantly from the point of view of voters outside of Alberta and Sask. the optics are quite good for Mulcair and the NDP. It is no secret that I think that the failure of the LPC is a result of them moving too far to the right, but perhaps more importantly, the Liberals have not created the impression of standing up strongly against the Harpercons. Now, rightly or wrongly, this is, I believe the impression of many Canadians and Mulcair’s efforts in this case (particularly the fact that he didn’t simply backdown on a controversial issue) is creating the impression that he is a powerful opposition leader. Some Liberal attacks on Mulcair in the past couple of weeks are, I think, only further weakening the Liberal “brand.”

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