LETTER: On the prime minister’s so-called strengths

The things Stephen Harper is often credited for do not stand up to closer scrutiny, Merriene Duncan writes.

On the economy:

Any student of economics should tell you — it’s not rocket science — that bringing back the home reno tax credit in a couple of years, once the economy has improved and tax revenues are increasing, will (a) be too late for any stimulus during the downturn, (b) add to inflationary pressures during the upturn, and (c) only help a few people, but not the people who need it the most. So not any real economic benefit, just pure politics, like the multitude of Stephen Harper’s boutique tax cuts and election-time funding for local projects being splashed around. But what else can you expect from someone who single-mindedly cuts the budget during a “downturn”?

On security:

The deadly attacks in Canada have been carried out by lone wolf, mentally unbalanced guys with a bone to pick with the government for joining in the US-led attacks in foreign countries. To combat that, Harper brought in legislation — and now promises additional measures — to massively beef up the appearance of security, but which will have very doubtful effectiveness. (Maybe more trials for other pitiful mental health cases like the BC couple entrapped by the RCMP?) So, pure politics, not so much for Canadians’ safety. But what else can you expect from a politician with an election to fight and not much else to run on?

Steady hand on the tiller:

More like set in concrete, Harper’s policies are singularly designed to appeal to his base, so seem crafted purely for fundraising, especially since they repeatedly fail the test of being legal. This is not good governance for all Canadians, so this is not a good kind of “steadiness”! But what else can you expect from someone who governs from ideology, not from the facts, and who repeatedly replaces facts with spin?

So, four more years of Harperland, where handing out baubles is good but dealing with recession is not, spying on all of us is essential, and only 30 per cent of the population are counted as “real Canadians”? Or?

Alternatives to the Harper Government?

If you prefer to vote Conservative, what a pity there isn’t a Progressive Conservative — remember them? — to consider. One could wish Conservatives would just take back their party.

But for now, keep in mind that the NDP proved to be good stewards of the economy in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as have the Liberals federally. And if you also long for a return to Government of Canada days, I really believe it would come true under both the Liberals and the NDP. (Voting Green is voting for principles, not for a government — sorry folks, just a fact.)

Harper has given us time to consider the alternatives in this long, expensive election, time to make a reasoned choice. In the words of Brian Mulroney, we do have options.

Merriene Duncan, Nelson

 

 

 

 

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