On April 21, Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled his Conservative government’s 2015 budget. This budget was highly anticipated because 2015 is an election year in Canada, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives had long promised that they would return to balance before the election. Despite the recent drop in oil prices, the government was able to keep their balanced budget promise – at least ostensibly. The budget has received a wide range of reactions – from mostly positive, to mostly negative, to more neutral (here is a head-to-head debate on the subject). Our Editors were similarly divided – and have provided two quite different perspectives (here and here; see also here) on the budget, and on Harper’s economic record more generally.
But we want to know what you think. Are you happy with the budget? What do you like about it? What do you think should be changed or is missing? Are you happy with the Harper government’s track record (economic or otherwise)? What do you think of the other parties’ platforms (the parts that have been released so far)? Let us know in the comments!
6 thoughts on “Discussion: Budget and Election 2015 (Canada)”
The Liberals just released some major planks of their economic platform. What do you all think? http://www.liberal.ca/fairness/
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/andrew-coyne-forget-the-liberal-mythology-canadas-middle-class-is-not-struggling Andrew Coyne at the National Post sure rips into Trudeau’s tax plan. I have to look into it more before I decide what I think of it, but I agree with Coyne that Trudeau has hit absolutely the right note on childcare, much much better than Mulcair’s national childcare plan (also better than Harper’s minuscule tax credit that is not enough for those who need the money and a meaningless waste of government money on those who don’t) because it is targeted, flexible and means tested. Those who need the money actually get enough for childcare and those who don’t need the money don’t get any. There is also no discrimination as to how the money is spent: those who want to put the kids in daycare can do it, those with a stay-at-home parent or grandparents etc. can use it to support family expenses.
I saw Coyne’s criticism. He makes some reasonable points, but his thesis about the middle class is wrong I think – based on misleading incomplete evidence. In essence, he’s drawing his conclusion based solely on raw employment numbers (not accounting for part-time employment and underemployment – both on the rise) and on median income numbers (not accounting for rising household debt, housing, and education costs). I think he’s right to a point about tax evasion, and definitely right about capital gains as a better target for soaking the rich. But his accusation of middle-class fear mongering by Trudeau is overblown. Also, he spends a lot of time criticizing half of Trudeau’s plan, and then mentions very briefly at the end that he thinks the other half is great – classic slightly Conservative Coyne/National Post bias, in my opinion.
Here’s another interesting one from Coyne: http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com%2F%2Ffull-comment%2Fandrew-coyne-a-telling-24-hours-in-stephen-harpers-world
Pingback: Election 2015 Discussion 2: What policies would you like to see? | The Tête-à-Tête
Pingback: Election 2015 Discussion 3: Who should Canadians vote for? | The Tête-à-Tête