I haven’t posted in a while because like an idiot I forgot to renew the domain name. That has saved a lot of you the pain of ‘nut job right wing’ leanings throughout the Canadian election. Well the election is over, so I will go through some brief opinions.
The biggest winner in this election was the Liberal party. I had predicted this outcome when the election was called, and I was bang on. The Liberals took a huge hit, in the popular vote, and seat totals. Why is this a huge win? Because they can now cut loose the dead weight that is Stephan Dion.
The NDP picked up some extra votes, by taking a naïve, but rosy looking view of increasing taxes of employers and reducing those of employees. Which I firmly believe would weaken our job market, and hurt the employees. Nice thought, just wouldn’t work.
Couple that with the fear mongering of comparing Harper to Bennett and thus comparing the current credit crisis to the great depression and the NDP picked up a decent share of the vote. The problem with the potential leader of the country taking this sort of action is that its a self fulfilling prophecy; the prime-minister (as Layton wanted to be) saying the economy was going in the crapper rocks investor confidence, they start pulling their money from the markets… and it goes in the crapper!
Questionable NDP platform appeals to younger Canadians. NDP wins.
Conservatives lose. They didn’t get the majority government they wanted, and they blew a few opportunities. Some missteps alienated Quebec voters, and Harper completely failed to jump on some blatant lies from other parties.
I could not understand why he would not call Dion on some tax comments he made during the debate. At one point Dion said that a family with two children making less than 30k a year (27k I think, but certainly less than 30k), would receive a $2400 tax cut in the liberal plan. This is a blatant lie. A family making less than 30k a year with two children pay exactly $0 in income tax. The only tax that a family with income that low pays is sales tax, which the Liberals wanted to raise.
There were issues to debate and Harper let them slide. There were votes that could have been had there.
I won’t go into the Green Party or the Bloc Quebecois as they are not legitimate parties.
On another note, the credit crisis in the US is pretty scary. I have heard some murmuring that Harper isn’t the person to handle the crisis. I have heard people say that Harper wants to implement the same Bush style deregulation that caused the crisis in the states.
I find this hard to beleive, since the sub-prime Canadian market is roughly equivalent to the US prime lending. The other thing is that a few months ago new regulations were put in place to prevent exactly this kind of problem.
Basically 100% financing is gone, and so is 40 year terms. Doesn’t seem like de-regulation does it.
The other way more interesting tid bit, is that the US credit crisis wasn’t a 100% Bush error. Today a found a New York Times article that really marks the start of the credit crisis. It is about the relaxation of the lending policies by Fanny Mae (who along with Freddie Mac are the leaders of the credit crisis), in order to premote home ownership among visible minorities and low-income consumers. This was done at the urging of the Clinton Administration!
A quote from the article:
Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
Here is the full article: Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
This is very interesting as I thought that the deregulation and economic crisis was square on Bush’s shoulders. Now the Bush Administration is not guilt free right now, but certainly the start of the crisis lies with the preceding Clinton Administration.
It was a perfect storm of sorts. The Clinton admin wanted to get people to own their own homes, so they relaxed the lending laws. The Bush admin, tries to stay out of private sector affairs, so they didn’t step in to stop the Buy Now/Pay Later style of mortgages. Banks got greedy, and things fall apart.
Very interesting stuff. Regardless it doesn’t look like Canada is heading down the same path.