Monday, January 12, 2009

Of Opportunity Cost

Douglas Bell nails it in the Globe:
Hereabouts, and for all that, the Liberals need to ask themselves whether there's an opportunity cost in propping up a Conservative party that's forced to hold its ideological nose in order to pursue an agenda of economic reform. On Saturday, the Globe reported on the Conservatives' internal tensions:

It's a tough sell. The former Reform Party activists and veterans of Mike Harris's conservative revolution in Ontario that make up the government's caucus believe deeply that deficits are nothing but trouble, and even now, amid the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, they question the wisdom of spending more money than the government brings in.

"Party members will not like this," said Monte Solberg, a minister in Mr. Harper's cabinet who quit politics ahead of last year's election. "Reformers, my heritage, do not like this.”

In short, while the dictates of political expediency ensure the Tories will present a budget in line with the current spirit of reform. can they be trusted to administer it without equivocation?
The answer to that last question is definitely no. The Tories will present a beautiful budget (think Stalin's 1936 Constitution), full of beautiful promises and wads of cash, never to be seen or heard from again (until the next election when they will be reannounced).
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