You’ve seen those political spots on TV if you ever watch any Canadian station, annoyingly at least once and often more every half hour. There’s a very average looking group of folks who are, I would guess, supposed to be some kind of independent focus group looking at the leaders of the major parties.
Always they decide that Justin Trudeau is just not worthy of their vote, at least right now. And also always, they seem to raise a part of a quote Justin made to make the point. “…the budget will look after itself,” they comment with tones ranging from disbelief to haughty derision.
Now I’m no fan of Justin Trudeau and I would be the first to agree that he isn’t experienced enough yet but then, I don’t know that he ever will be. At the very least, he doesn’t seem to have any political smarts, which may seem admirable but is a glaring deficiency when dealing with other politicians, ministries and foreign governments. But then I never cared for his father’s politics either, a man who I felt, despite the opinion of some, came drastically close to destroying the country before his pal Brian Mulroney tried to finish us off.
But, in the interest of fairness and largely because I don’t want to see Harper and his gang get away with anything, I have to point out that the whole “…the budget will look after itself” bit is misleading. Trudeau has plenty of shortcomings and this piece of misleading tripe is totally unnecessary. It’s only a partial quote that the Conservatives jumped on because just this part sounds absolutely naïve and stupid on the face of it.
The entire sentence is “Take care of unemployment, and the budget will look after itself,” a comment made by one the twentieth century’s foremost economists, John Maynard Keynes. He held that the state must intervene when unemployment became a drag on the economy. Certainly Harper, who professes to be an economist, or least having studied economics, should certainly know the quote by the author of one of the two philosophies followed by politicians today. Of course, that wouldn’t suit his purposes.
Keynesian economics isn’t exactly a Conservative philosophy and he wouldn’t want to dwell on the first half, because he hasn’t shown any great concern about employment. However, conservative or not, the philosophy has been practiced often by Harper, who had no problem bailing out the auto makers and spending huge amounts of money on infrastructure in order to create work and inject life into the economy during the last recession (and, incidentally, make Conservative supporters rich).
Whether you are a fan of Keynesian economic theory or not, at least Justin seems to know at least one thing about economics (or at least his handlers do). It’s apparent by the attacks that it’s more than any of Harper’s character assassins know. Unless, of course, they’re purposely misleading the public to their own benefit, but that would seem a demonstration of Harper’s contempt for the intelligence of the Canadian voter.
And that would be a lot like lying by omission, wouldn’t it?