Thursday, January 13, 2011

Too heavy on the macro?

Worth reading for a succinct overview of the record of the past five years.

This quote in a Globe piece providing background on the document is an interesting companion to the read, it speaks to the message, tone and detail in the above document:
“There is this real kind of anxiety – ‘I don’t want to hear one more time,’ they say, ‘that we’ve done better than other G7 countries, because my life is worse,’ ” said the official. “The more Harper talks about macroeconomic numbers, the more it bothers them.”
Well, here was Harper yesterday, in a rare interview, which coincided with coverage of the launch of the Ignatieff tour, offering up more of that macro approach:
“We’re coming out of this recession, quite frankly, in a stronger position than just about anybody in the world, but we can’t kid ourselves that we are dependent on the direction of the global economy. We can ride at the top of the global economy, which is what we’re doing, but if it goes down again it’ll tend to pull us down.”
That first part is what everybody hears, it's the takeaway. Apparently it has really sunk in and not necessarily in the way that Harper prefers. It'll be interesting to see how they react and whether they keep this up. It's been such a big part of their messaging over the past year. The genie may be out of the bottle, as they say.

Remember how they spent an awful lot of time this spring and summer defending the Canadian banks, for example, from the spectre of an international bank tax, in a campaign against something that really was a long-shot to occur. You have to wonder about the hangover effect from such efforts and how they went over, truly, with Canadians. Recall this kind of polling too, suggesting a difficulty with translating the Economic Action Plan down to something meaningful for the everyday person.

It sounds like there is an indication, in this research cited by the official in that Globe piece, that the government may have been off base in taking the approach that it has. It could have big implications.