Thursday, September 11, 2008

Conservative war room staffers follow their leader

They learn from inflammatory rhetoric like this:
Speaking in Montreal, Mr. Harper said Mr. Dion's Green Shift climate change plan would drive the Canadian economy into recession and threaten national unity, prompting Mr. Dion to retort that he needed no lessons on patriotism from the prime minister.

Mr. Harper said the plan, which includes a tax on carbon from fossil fuels and a redistribution of the revenues to tax cuts and incentives for green energy investments, would "destroy everything this government has built over the last 2 1/2 years."

"Worse," he added, "the new Liberal tax will plunge Canada into a recession."

"If the Liberals ever attempted the kind of program they're running on, it would be an economic catastrophe," warned the prime minister, who is an economist.
It's the end of the world as we know it, apparently. Anything else he can throw into the mix? How about a plague? Here's an opposing view on the Green Shift, articulated this afternoon as to the benefits it would bring to a number of sectors and the tax cuts for Canadians. If this debate can get on to ground in which the fear tactics are set aside, Canadians could really jump on board with the vision underlying the Green Shift.

Mr. Harper might not want to be throwing around the term "economic catastrophe" too loosely. From the Globe yesterday:
The Canadian economy is taking it on the chin with the collapse in commodity prices and that means more bad news for labour productivity.

Productivity due out today for the second quarter of 2008 is forecast to have increased by 0.3 per cent, compared with a 0.3-per-cent decline in the first quarter, according to a survey of economists by Bloomberg.

If accurate, that modest gain will result in an overall decline in productivity of 0.8 per cent from a year earlier, said Douglas Porter, the deputy chief economist with BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. That would be "one of the worst performances of the past decade and in staggering contrast to the 3.4-per-cent year-over-year U.S. gain."
And more indicators of tough times today, the sinking loonie amidst news of the national trade surplus falling.

Mr. Harper obscures and points at the other guy, meanwhile, his own economic record is on fire. No wonder the Ryan Sparrows on his campaign get in trouble. They're just following their leader's example.