Interesting week, it has been. There is the bail-out down south that went from a three page, $700 Billion Bill, to a 440 page, $840 Billion Act. That is $2,545.454545454545454... per man, woman and child in the US. I would not feel so good, as an American, to be so indebted with nothing material to show for it. (And do you notice the weird numerology in that number? Just asking.) That is not going to do it though, I don't think. There are still many banks in the US that are lined up to collapse, and OJ is finally going to prison!
Of course, we are well insulated in Canada, and especially in Vancouver. The more wester you go, the more betterer you are. Case in point - the Wester Side, and Wester Vancouverer. But still, we have our problems hanging over our heads no matter what douche, Dove, Krassh/thumbupbum and Steve the Harper have to say. Last week, the Bank of Canada (our very own bank! Yippee!) pumped another $20 billion into the system to keep the wheels turning. That is only $606.06060606060606060606060606061 per capita. (morer, weird numbers!). Not so onerous as the US, but wait! The BoC has been pumping billions into the system for over a year, and bought a bunch of ABCP a while ago. So, Canadians are on the hook for a lot more than is indicated above.
Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge said on Dec. 21 that the country faces a greater risk of recession now than it did six months ago, as growth slows around the world and the risk of a “disorderly” adjustment increases. linkThat is old news, but still holds true.
So, I don't know if you watched the debates last week (I have had no chance to write for a few days), but it was interesting, to say the least. The professional pundits have better analysis than I can give here, but the over-riding theme for me was that Harper has still not released a platform, and continues to say that Canada is not the US, and that our economy is strong. The economy certainly has been strong - in light of commodity prices such as oil, potash, lumber, etc., but those are all falling in price, and there is a global problem. We are not insulated, and Harper knows it. My (rhetorical) question is, if there is no problem, and the Conservatives have no plan, why are we in an election right now? All of the other parties (even the Bloc) have a vision, and a plan for Canada, but the Cons do not. Maybe that is why their polling numbers are sliding.
The Liberal/Green plan makes more sense to me than the status quo plan of Harper's group. Harper misled and distracted from those plans in the debate, but his plan (as far as climate change/global warming) is to not have a real plan, and his plan for Canada has not been made public. That is because if Canadians knew what it was, it would be rejected.
I am weary of slamming the Conservatives and Harper, and I think that you must be weary of reading it, but my favourite moments of the debate were;
- Layton asking Harper why he had no platform, and wondered if Harper had it under his sweater. (I find it mighty suspicious that Harper calls an election, but does not even reveal a platform. We were supposed to be brain-washed by all of his negative advertising for the last two years, and not notice, I guess...)
- Duceppe pinning down Harper and making him admit that he had made a mistake vis-a-vis the Iraq invasion in 2003.
- Duceppe using his water glass as a prop to represent a barrel of oil, then chugging it down, and banging his glass down on the table as if it were a shot of scotch, or such. He's a real man.
I thought that Elizabeth May was very compelling, and had the biggest nads of anyone at the table. She is no flake, in my view. I thought, watching the debate, that the best possible result we could have from this election would be a coalition betwixt the Greens, NDP, and Liberals. They are the only ones who made any sense at all.
Lots of reading for you here -
The gloom spreads north - This is a must read from the G&M Report on Business, if you think that we will not be affected.
The biggest losers in this campaign? You and me
Conservative(?) supporters remind of Brown Shirts - endangering lives of Liberal supporters - who find their brake lines cut while children are in the car.
Election Is a Test of Canadians’ Conscience
critics of the government accuse Mr. Flaherty of inaction, and warn of serious troubles ahead for the housing sector and the wider economy
Show us the platform, party leaders dare Harper on economy
How News Creates “Reality”