High loonie causing harm says Mulcair

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KenS
High loonie causing harm says Mulcair

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KenS

High loonie causing harm says Mulcair

Quote:
"It's by definition the 'Dutch disease,'" Mulcair said Saturday on the CBC Radio show The House.

The "Dutch disease" is a reference to what happened to the Netherlands economy in the 1960s after vast deposits of natural gas were discovered in the nearby North Sea.

The resulting rise in its currency was thought to have caused the collapse of the Dutch manufacturing sector, and Mulcair said the same thing is happening in Canada.

 

Quote:
But Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen, who was also on the show, said Mulcair was being divisive in his treatment of the oilsands.

She called it "old-style politics; trying to pit one part of the country against another."

 

 

KenS

What are the politics of this.

How is it going to work.

Discuss.

There is no point fulminating about the lack of truth in what the Alberta and Harper governments say and will say.

The question is whether and how this works for the NDP.

KenS

I said during the campaign that I was pissed how some of Mulcair`s statements on the issue (not these) were leaving juicy targets.

They are still there, and this does not directly address disarming them.

But I`m glad to see he is going out first on it. That was an essential minimum. And with him going out, presumably there is a larger communications plan.

But McQueens response is tame, and not very effective, compared to what we will hear from the Harper Cons. Tit for tat verbal exchanges are not the critical issue. Those are easy to win.

Fidel

Maverick prof says oil belongs to country 2007

Right-rightists say we can't nationalize the highly profitable oil industry because it's much too lucrative.

Brachina

KenS wrote:

I said during the campaign that I was pissed how some of Mulcair`s statements on the issue (not these) were leaving juicy targets.

They are still there, and this does not directly address disarming them.

But I`m glad to see he is going out first on it. That was an essential minimum. And with him going out, presumably there is a larger communications plan.

But McQueens response is tame, and not very effective, compared to what we will hear from the Harper Cons. Tit for tat verbal exchanges are not the critical issue. Those are easy to win.

Yeah I can here the adds telling everyone how Hitler was against the tar sands too. So far thier attacks have been pathetic.

KenS

sigh

Fidel

Diana McQueen wrote:
She called it "old-style politics; trying to pit one part of the country against another."

She's identified the strategy for us. Maybe old-style politics is the key. How many voters are there in Alberta, and how many in Ontario? We came, we saw, and we conquered in 2015.

FirstPastThePost is a dirty, dirty game. Yes it is, Diana McQueen.

thorin_bane

I think Fidel is right. In fact across the nation there are few places that have been booming outside of sask and alberta with the rising dollar. It doesn't just hurt manufacturing, it hurts forestry, fishing, anything that we sell that isn't an essential outside of our borders. Our whole region of close to 500,000 has been decimated because of the rise in the dollar. Our wines, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism have all been hurt badly by the petro dollar. Once Mulcair has his foot on the neck of harper he may even detail why it hurts sask and alberta in the longrun, enviro damage, hollowing out their other industries, bloated housing market, etc. In 3 years time the Harpernomics will come home to roost in alberta. I think the NDP are counting on it. It doesn't even have to be a major turn. Sure we will see the Sunmedia brainwashed still blame it on the left, but some will see that if oil drops to 70 a barrel, a few layoffs and gas still at 1.10 that it isn't in our best interest to make our entire economy based on O I L.

Unionist

JeffWells

I saw Twitter light up last night with Albertans angry over his comments. Or more precisely, the spin on his comments. (Sample headline: "Mulcair takes aim at oilsands.")

General observation first. We have a media that is almost entirely onside with the governing party and virtually united in its hostility towards the NDP. This means any statement from a party representative that rises above bland and offensive to none will become ammunition against us. That's the nature of our uneven playing field. But I don't believe Mulcair should retreat to mouthing sweet nothings. Standing for something, even when it's "provocative" to opinion shapers, is a large part of why we've supplanted the Liberals. Continuing to say things some in the opposing camps of media and government will demonize is part of winning while remaining true to ourselves.

Specific to how these comments work for the NDP, the cold truth is that the path to power for the party is by a breakthrough in Ontario, not in Alberta. (Also, I believe it's not only smart politics but in the best traditions of the party for Mulcair to champion labour and the manufacturing sector.) My only measure for the wisdom of Mulcair's remarks will be the popular vote in Ontario.

 

janfromthebruce

plus lots

Unionist

Yeah, me too, right on, JeffWells! I wish we had "like" buttons here...

 

Sean in Ottawa

It is about truth telling as well.

The reason some I think are so angry about this is that it is true--

We need to face the fact that the interests of one part of the coutnry are being pitting against those of another-- it is not unreasonable to ask for a compromise to get the most nationally.

Problem is there are some who want no compromise at all.

Mulcair corrects people everytime they sy he is against development-- he just says all I am asking is that it be done sustainably with respect for the environment and with the greatest net gain for jobs across the country. What is so wrong with that?

JeffWells

Just discovered this:

 

Quote:
[url=http://farnwide.blogspot.ca/2012/05/mulcairs-shrewd-gambit.html]Mulcair's Shrewd Gamble[/url]

... Mulcair's thrust has been labelled divisive, but I see it intellectually necessary, as well as potentially quite shrewd politically. There is a very large electoral audience that will be receptive to Mulcair's message, whatever alienation occurs will have little impact on NDP fortunes. Despite all the talk about a shift "west" in Canada, simple electoral math still shows a very plausible path to power that excludes much of the "changing landscape".

In the next election, a party will need 170 seats to form a majority, perhaps a 130 odd will be enough for a functioning minority. Mulcair has intentionally singled out three provinces with his message, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, arguing that our artificially high dollar greatly harms the manufacturing sector. Of note, those three provinces ALONE count for 209 seats with the new distribution next election, the one that supposedly moves power west....

 

NorthReport

There seems to be a pessimism in financial circles these days which is usually a precurser to investers rushing back to the US dollar. Watch for the Cdn dollar to drop over the next 6 months.

socialdemocrati...

We have no choice. If we lose this debate, we lose the election.

We HAVE to educate the electorate on a pretty complex economic disorder.

I'd like to think that there's some common sense out there that helps us: the electorate knows that Canadian jobs depend on our ability to export our goods to other countries, and might have even considered that an expensive dollar hurts our exports.

The problem is the common sense against us: that the Alberta oil money is benefiting all of Canada. (Really? I'm still waiting for my cheque.)

If we can get people to understand that foreign investment is pouring into oil, and that's what's heating up our dollar, and that's what's killing our exports, we win. That's the dutch disease in a nutshell.

I'm not too proud to play up a little bit of nationalistic populism. It's a sell-out to American business interests. It's a foreign takeover. Mortgaging our future to outside influences. All of those messages are true, and all of them are good politics.

CanadaApple

The Conservatives are trusted for being able to handle the economy. I'm not sure how this will relate to that.

bazie

I usually don't have a problem with an interchange that goes along this nature:

1) One person says something true
2) The other person attacks this true thing because of some other quality

In this case, what mulcair said is both true and so obviously true almost anyone would agree. Now it may be right that it is divisive or any other quality labeled onto it. But it is right. And over time as long as you have one guy saying true things and the other side defending with flack then people are going to gravitate to the guy saying true things. 

Aristotleded24

JeffWells wrote:
Specific to how these comments work for the NDP, the cold truth is that the path to power for the party is by a breakthrough in Ontario, not in Alberta. (Also, I believe it's not only smart politics but in the best traditions of the party for Mulcair to champion labour and the manufacturing sector.) My only measure for the wisdom of Mulcair's remarks will be the popular vote in Ontario.

There are 2 fallacies with this argument:

1) The fallacy that the NDP can win government in Ontario at the exclusion of Western Canada. Remeber that Reform got its start out West and became a strong political player simply because it had a lock on this region. The reason Harper was able to win his majority is because he was able to hold is Western seats while expanding in Ontario. Conversely, an NDP surge in Western Canada would have denied Harper his majority. It's also bad politics and bad for the country. A party that is shut out from large regions of the country, as the Liberals were shut out of Western Canada and the Conservatives are shut out of Quebec, not only risks things going really badly when the electoral cycle turns around, but a political party that would govern at the expense of entire regions is unfit to govern. Additionally, if Ontario and Quebec throw out Harper while the West votes Conservative, you will see the rise of Reform II and it will be openly separatist.

2) The fallacy that Mulcair's arguments have to hurt the NDP in Alberta. Throughout the last 8 years, there have been so many comments on public message boards that the NDP doesn't "get Alberta" and that the NDP is sure to be shut out, yet under Jack the NDP kept on growing more and more votes in Alberta. Provincially, the NDP also campaigned on processing more bitumen locally in Alberta, which would mean less oil to be exported in the pipelines. This on top of how Alberta's economy is sending the cost of living, especially the cost of energy, through the roof. I bet lots of Albertans are looking around wondering why their energy bills are so high when the province in which they live is an energy superpower.

KenS

There is one BIG fallacy.

The tradeoff is NOT Alberta versus seats in the manufacturing belt`of Ontario and Quebec.

It is Alberta, hinterland BC, SK, good part of MB and Northern Ontario versus the manufacturing belt seats.

And while it does not HAVE to be an either or tradeoff, it is foolish to not accept that there is a fundamental tension around which parlaying logical arguments is in itself going to do squat for keeping you from being backhanded by playing wround that high voltage tension.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think Harper has been a disaster for Ontario - and other provinces as well, but especially Ontario - and I'm totally flummoxed as to why Ontario votes for his party.

KenS

The Conservatives will be looking to root the visceral notion that Mulcair and the NDP are willing to cause job losses in the West so that we can pander to our base in Quebec.

Fortunately nobody in Caucus is stupid enough to think anything of the notion being bandied around here that this is `shrewd move`.

But (thankfully) at least not intending to play this attention will not be enough to keep us from being burnt badly by this.

Resource workers in BC and their families who sometimes vote for the NDP are going to see those ads too. A good many of them who know that the high dollar does not help them, will not make the connection between that and the attack ads [that will not talk about the dollar].

There are antidotes to that, but they have piss all to do with 'explaining how things work', and everything to do with hard work we have not done and only might be in the position to do.

KenS

Boom Boom wrote:

I think Harper has been a disaster for Ontario - and other provinces as well, but especially Ontario - and I'm totally flummoxed as to why Ontario votes for his party.

And that 'shrewd move' would fan the flames.

Because as epressed by people here, it would lead to people in the West resenting and remembering what the NDP is willing to do, versus workers in the East who only might remember the NDP was trying to do something about our jobs.

 

I said at the outset that I'm fine, and hopeful, for how Mulcair has started on this. But all we have is the fact that he has opened up- which had to happen. (Waiting to have it dropped at our door would have been a guaranteed disaster.)

We have no indidcation of anything except the fact of an opening. And the idea most people here have of where it goes from that opening, is flat out dangerous.

NorthReport

Cdn dollar is already under par as forecast.

KenS

It goes back and forth around par.

No one has forecast a downward trend to substantialy below par.

I havent heard anyway talk about where the line of substantial effects is. But even a dollar settling around say 94 cents, would not make much difference. And I have seen no one forecast even that much of a change. As likely as that is going to 1.05 and staying there.

Fidel

KenS wrote:

The Conservatives will be looking to root the visceral notion that Mulcair and the NDP are willing to cause job losses in the West so that we can pander to our base in Quebec.

But it's not just Ontario where the high dollar hurts jobs. It's Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick!

They should have created more prosperity in Alberta and the prairies if they wanted more votes overall. Too late for them to worry about it now.

ravenj

I agree this is a topic that needs to be discussed.  However, Conservatives can - and are - spinning this as "NDP hates Alberta & Sask".  I am also seeing data that oil/gas-related manufacturing and construction is doing very well in western Canada.

Mulroney's government gave money to wineries to grow better grapes.  This resulted in better Canadian wine, and saved the industry from complete wipe-out after Free Trade Agreement.  Unfortunately as the Canadian dollar rose, manufacturing bases were caught like frogs in hotter water.  I feel the NDP should put forward solid public policies to help saving and growing local manufacturing industries (creative), instead of howling at currency appreciation (passive).

Fidel

A high dollar may be good for the richest one percent and foreign capital but not for workers. Nobody tells manufacturing powerhouse China how to manage their currency in favour of international capital. Harper is a weakling by comparison.

We've lost 600,000 good paying full-time jobs since 2000.  What Mulcair has to do is promise jobs for Central and Eastern Canada. The NDP has to sell hope for the future to the large majority.

6079_Smith_W

Mulcair was quite direct in that interview in saying it was not against Alberta, but on the issue of all resource industries. 

I get that there are regional dynamics, and that we need to pay attention to them,  but seeing everything through that lens is a divisive tactic best left to Harper.

And regarding the good professor in post #4. That's a nice bit of gasoline for the fire. Resources are a provincial jurisdiction. 

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

The trade off is different than many seem to think. A hurting Ontario brings down Alberta as much as a hurting Alberta brings down Ontario.

The NDP has to put what needs to be done as something good for Alberta.

We have a twisted economy which is true but there is plenty of interest for the West in what the NDP would like to do and that must be explained in their terms.

Each part of the country must have public policy shaped to help them and that does not need to be to exclude someone else.

Bacchus

ravenj wrote:

I agree this is a topic that needs to be discussed.  However, Conservatives can - and are - spinning this as "NDP hates Alberta & Sask".  I am also seeing data that oil/gas-related manufacturing and construction is doing very well in western Canada.

Mulroney's government gave money to wineries to grow better grapes.  This resulted in better Canadian wine, and saved the industry from complete wipe-out after Free Trade Agreement.  Unfortunately as the Canadian dollar rose, manufacturing bases were caught like frogs in hotter water.  I feel the NDP should put forward solid public policies to help saving and growing local manufacturing industries (creative), instead of howling at currency appreciation (passive).

 

The problem was the m,fg companies used the low dollar as their profit margin (having worked for a steel corp that did exactly that) so when the dollar rose they were screwed. They were never competitive in a productive sense, just that they could out bid others due to the low dollar. It wasn't a wise move then (playing it too close was horrible when the dollar would go up even just a few points).

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And regarding the good professor in post #4. That's a nice bit of gasoline for the fire. Resources are a provincial jurisdiction. 
 

Fine let them keep it. There is nothing stopping the feds from nationalising profits, though. They can feign political impotence, but it's not a real medical condition.

6079_Smith_W

Just pointing out that it is a matter of jurisdiction, Fidel. Anyone whose jurisdiction was being infringed upon would be rightly pissed at such a suggestion.

Personally, I think that separation of federal/provincial control is a very important system of checks and balances, at lease when those in charge are interested in making it work. So fine; go after the profits. And as a matter of fact, the feds already control foreign investment, so this doesn't need to be framed as a resource issue at all. But the idea as presented is a slap in the face, and the professor should have known that. 

I should add, I am not pointing the finger at you. It is not necessarily something you would have noticed. But I think the article completely goes against the approach Mulcair is taking pains to make on this issue - that it is not an attack on any province or region.

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Mulcair corrects people everytime they sy he is against development-- he just says all I am asking is that it be done sustainably with respect for the environment and with the greatest net gain for jobs across the country. What is so wrong with that?

What's wrong with that, obviously, is that there is no way in hell that the tar sands can be mined, and their products combusted, "sustainably with respect for the environment".

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Harper and Oliver have said the oil sands are a resource that will benefit all of Canada - this is their main selling point - I assume they mean that more tar sands production will result in increased federal income that can be used for equalization to offset the loss of manufacturing jobs everywhere else in the country. That is Conservative logic for you. wigout

socialdemocrati...

There are two competing worldviews here.

The first is articulated well by Boom Boom: oil sands bring in money for Alberta, and all the have-not provinces should be kissing their feet.

The other one begins with the dutch disease: oil sands bring in huge foreign money, which overheats the dollar, kills exports, and shuts down factories.

Education is a big part of it. But it has to be a moral argument as much as a logical one. People don't have the patience to watch a hard-right influence peddler debate a battle-proven economist. You have to win minds, and you have to win hearts.

The "foreign takeover" card is still the best card in the deck, IMO. Going after American oil-lobbyists stirs up universal virtues like patriotism and honesty. (Americans and lobbyists are easy targets.) And it has the advantage that it might play well in Alberta: plenty of people from Edmonton and Calgary think that it's stupid to sell oil to Americans to buy it back at a higher price as gas. If that rolls into a broad case for better resource management, that only helps the case for an NDP government.

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Just pointing out that it is a matter of jurisdiction, Fidel. Anyone whose jurisdiction was being infringed upon would be rightly pissed at such a suggestion.

I think the professor understands what he says. Alberta may have the right over decisions to to develop its oil, but the feds interests are overlapping. There is the issue of whether natural resource exports are good for the nation or not.

1. With global warming, Canada owes it to the rest of the world  to help curb corporate America of its voracious appetite for cheap Canadian fossil fuels. The feds can pretend they are impotent to do anything about it, but they are bad actors since Mulroney.

2. Exports, I believe, are federal jurisdiction. Ports and pipelines require Ottawa's approval. Right now we have international energy companies, and some of which are controlled by foreign governments, invested in the oil sands. Again, the feds can pretend it's all a free market in oil, but we know it isn't true. The XL pipeline deal will not only export what could be higher paying jobs from Canada to the U.S., it's entirely anti-free market as well as anti-labour for the feds in Ottawa to  appear even more impotent than usual.

Mulcair has to exploit Harper's political impotence and refusal to protect the environment, Canadian jobs, and Canadian interests in general.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

...universal virtues like patriotism and honesty.

When did patriotism become a virtue?

Leo Tolstoy wrote:
Patriotism ... for rulers is nothing else than a tool for achieving their power-hungry and money-hungry goals, and for the ruled it means renouncing their human dignity, reason, conscience, and slavish submission to those in power. ... Patriotism is slavery.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

Mulcair has to exploit Harper's political impotence and refusal to protect the environment, Canadian jobs, and Canadian interests in general.

What the hell are "Canadian interests in general"?

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Mulcair has to exploit Harper's political impotence and refusal to protect the environment, Canadian jobs, and Canadian interests in general.

What the hell are "Canadian interests in general"?

 

Yes I'm not sure, either, because Canada's is not a real G8 economy. It's more a colonial-extractive relationship with the imperial master nation. Warshington instructs their stooges in Ottawa to jump, and their only response is the usual: How high, Uncle Sam, aye-aye on the double-double! Our corrupt stooges of the day are a national embarrassment for most Canadians we can be sure.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

More to the point, Canada is a class society, populated by classes having diametrically opposed interests. There is no such thing as "Canadian interests in general".

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

More to the point, Canada is a class society, populated by classes having diametrically opposed interests. There is no such thing as "Canadian interests in general".

 

Mulcair could always start a trend. He could say to Ontarians and Quebecers, vote for the NDP if you want jobs associated with a lower dollar. The feds don't have to allow one prairie province leaking a bit of inflation now and then to dictate things to the rest of Canada. The new western consensus is not real. They don't have the numbers in Alberta. Canadians as a whole are not as politically conservative as the Harpers and their oil company friends would like us to be.

I do remember you suggesting that the NDP is becoming just another Liberal Party and that my NDP bravado would not win votes for the New Democratic Party. And you didn't say much about the fact that it was the Liberals who were tossed by voters because Iggy really had become Harper's best friend forever from 2006 to 2011. It was actually the lack of daylight between the two right wings of the property party which led to the LPC's demise. Canadians said to the LPC in the last election: Canada does not want or need another conservative party. You should actually blame the Liberals for thinking as you do - that the political right is where the votes are. And my reply to you is the same: Just watch us.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I didn't hear the piece on The House... perhaps someone who did can answer a question for me. Did Mulcair, at any point, talk about the need of for a federal government to work cooperatively with the government of Alberta to put the brakes on the pace of development of the Tar Sands? (emphasis on cooperatively of course) -- and did he compare the pedal to metal approach of the current federal government  and its policy of actually trying to turbo boost the pace of development (hey, let's amend immigration laws, labour laws and hell, while we are at it, let's mess with EI laws too) with that of the NDP?

6079_Smith_W

@ Fidel

Exactly. As I also said,  foreign ownership and exports are things under federal control (less and less so with free trade agreements) but ultimately the resources are owned by the province.

If the feds wanted greater control over the industry and foreign ownership they have the means in their hands already. If they wanted a piece of the oil industry they can start up another PetroCan.  

But nationalizing the industry? It is a suggestion that is as ridiculous as it is inflamatory. It is not going to happen, the only thing statements like that do is play into the hands of the Wild Rose and western separatists. And of course cheerleaders.

More to the point. the government can do what it wants with the dollar. Oil is just one factor in its value, and if the government wanted to take action on it they have all the power to do so.

 

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:
More to the point. the government can do what it wants with the dollar.

Exactly. The dollar is federal responsibility. But the feds shirk that duty as well and suggest that the Bank of Canada is a politically neutral institution operating at "arm's length" from government. It's another neoliberal myth.

6079_Smith_W

@ bagkitty

I don't remember specifically. You can listen to it. I do recall though, that his argument was very much to hold to the status quo - that environmental regulations are in place and there to be used. And as I said, he said his position was not directed at Alberta, but regarding all resources.

(edit)

Correction - he did call for less raw shipping, and more processing in Canada. Also a position which is sound, and already on the table.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Adrian Dix was asked on CTV's QP yesterday if he would be okay with Alberta bitumen being refined in a new refinery in BC as a way of getting around his opposition to Northern Gateway, and he said "I don't think  so". Not a great interview, I think he had stage fright during this CTV bit - he came off as rather Caspar Milquetoast -esque.

BTW, the host interviewing Dix said there is also a new proposal to convert Canadian natural gas pipelines to carry Alberta bitumen to east coast refineries.

KenS

JeffWells wrote:

General observation first. We have a media that is almost entirely onside with the governing party and virtually united in its hostility towards the NDP. This means any statement from a party representative that rises above bland and offensive to none will become ammunition against us. That's the nature of our uneven playing field. But I don't believe Mulcair should retreat to mouthing sweet nothings. Standing for something, even when it's "provocative" to opinion shapers, is a large part of why we've supplanted the Liberals. Continuing to say things some in the opposing camps of media and government will demonize is part of winning while remaining true to ourselves.

Specific to how these comments work for the NDP, the cold truth is that the path to power for the party is by a breakthrough in Ontario, not in Alberta. (Also, I believe it's not only smart politics but in the best traditions of the party for Mulcair to champion labour and the manufacturing sector.) My only measure for the wisdom of Mulcair's remarks will be the popular vote in Ontario.

I'm fine that being the measure. But why not talk about the prospects it will actually halp or hinder? If its likey to not help, what was the point of 'wait and see'?

And thats a false dichotomy between walking into hostility versus mouthing sweet nothings. Its about picking your battles, and how you go into them.

"We'll get opposition and houling to everything anyway" misses the point.

KenS

I'm sure that Mulcair is not going to stop at giving talking head interviews where he 'explains'. We'd be slaughtered if that was it.

But Mulcair is going to have to go so far as numerous trips to the BC towns with closed and endangered mills- and there talk about what our distirted economy does to people.

KenS

Mind you, the problems in Canadian manufacturing run much, much deeper than the value of our dollar.

As has been pointed out, the rise in the loonie just took away the crutch of many industries. Everyone knew that party could not last forever.

For one thing, a lot of it is barely 'manufacturing'.

Where those truths and realities are supposed to fit into the politics... beats me. But its there.

Maybe that just has to be mostly set to the side at this stage of the game.

There are some very fundamental choices being made in encouraging the Canadian economy to hich its wagon even more to Big Oil [or not]. And first we have to drive that home. Broaden the message too much and you get colourless mud.

 

In other words.... FIRST, we need to back away from doing this.

That is both substantively the first and vital step, and it is the clearest politics for an opposition contending for power.

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