..."I'm hopeful there will be some ideologically-driven, neo-conservative cuts
to government," political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former chief of staff to
Harper, said in an interview.
Such cuts, he added, would be consistent with Harper's long-term goal of
reducing the size and scope of government.
"I think that's always been sort of the long-term plan, the way that Stephen
was going about it of first depriving the government of surpluses through
cutting taxes . . . You get rid of the surpluses and then it makes it easier to
make some expenditure reductions."
At a minimum, Flanagan said: "I think there's certainly room for some
incremental cuts to useless programs."
The government has already used the economic crisis to put off plans for a
national portrait gallery, citing the need for fiscal restraint in uncertain
From Flanagan's perspective, the government would do well to scupper a host
of grants, contracts and business subsidies and to pare a lot of what he
considers wasteful spending on cultural and aboriginal programs.