What will the NDP do in the First 500 Days?

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ocsi
What will the NDP do in the First 500 Days?

During a discussion at work today, someone asked me what the NDP would do if it formed government.  My friend wanted to know why he should vote NDP.  He wanted to know what the NDP would do in the first 500 days.

I didn't know how to answer that question so I talked about NDP policies, in a general sense as I understand them.  But my friend was not impressed.  He's not ideological and generally votes Liberal but voted NDP when Bob Rae won in Ontario.  My friend also voted Progressive Conservative when Joe Clark was leader.  Don't ask.  I don't understand it.  

Anyway, his question got me thinking.  What would the NDP do in the first 500 days?  I really don't know.  I feel there's a crisis of social democracy / democratic socialism under way.  The silence from the left is unnerving.  For sure, there's a crisis of capitalism too, but way too many people are turning to the political right.  That shouldn't be happening. 

I would like to get my friend to vote NDP and I think he would if he knew what he was voting for.   

Babblers can help by telling me what the NDP will, could, or should do in the first 500 days.  

As much as I disliked Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution, it worked for him and his party.  Too often I heard people say that like him or not he kept his word.  I think they have a point - even though I disagree on many levels.  

Could the NDP tell voters what they would do in the first 500 days and stick to it?

Would the NDP nationalize key sectors of the economy?

Would the NDP offer 'pharmacare?'

Would the NDP decriminalize or legalize drugs?

Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?

Would the NDP make Canada the greenest nation in the world?

and more ???

Is it even a fair question to ask what the NDP would do in the first 500 days of government.

 

 

genstrike

I would guess no to most or all of your suggestions

skarredmunkey

genstrike wrote:
I would guess no to most or all of your suggestions

Ditto. The only thing on that list that is even remotely on the radar of the federal NDP is pharmacare.

Unionist

No to all the questions, and no to doing in power what they said they would do in opposition - unfortunately, judging from past experience.

It's interesting what your friend said about Harris keeping his promises.

Coyote

People care about their jobs, their homes, the quality of their schools and hospitals, the safety of their communities, and the environment they live in (in a local or global sense). People will vote on who they think will provide the best leadership on those broad issues. The first 500 days of any government needs to focus on those categories.

ottawaobserver

I mean, realistically, wouldn't it depend on the times?  Suppose they had been elected this past fall, the list would have been more like the items that wound up in the coalition documents, such as

* implement a large-scale infrastructure fund, including green infrastructure, retrofitting and conversion to renewable energy sources, and trying to build some kind of national green grid

* move to improve the EI system, along the lines of our motion in the House last week

* get to work right away on setting up a national childcare program, skills and apprenticeship training, and other supports that help people retrain and get ready for when the economy picks up again

* get ready to participate in a north american cap-and-trade system and get into gear to start living up to Kyoto/climate change commitments

* stabilize the legal and financial situation of InSite in Vancouver, the Wheat Board in the prairies, and the Nuclear Safety Commission in general

* pharmacare, and a decent child benefit are other examples of programs that would probably make the first cut

I suspect the priority would have been put on social and physical infrastructure items, but that other policy areas (immigration, aboriginal affairs, law reform, justice, health promotion, food safety, consumer protection) would have benefitted from a much more progressive take as well.  And a major foreign policy initiative on Afghanistan would have been a given, along with renewed attention to Africa, and support for any viable peace initiatives in the Middle East.

Of course they would have been plagued by a few problems to do with resource revenue sharing and equalization, like every federal government is, and coming to terms with the difference between what was promised and what can be afforded.

Also, any tax measures (depending on whether it was a minority or majority government) would have had to be taken early and with a full-scale communications plan that anticipated a massive fightback.

Does that sound anything like what you were thinking, ocsi?  I'm sure I've missed something, but it's such a big country...

 

ETA: and of course it took me so long to type out that list, that I missed the two comments posted in the meantime :-)

Fidel

ocsi wrote:
Would the NDP nationalize key sectors of the economy?

The NDP is a social democratic party and the only party that stands for public ownership in a mixed market economy. 

But the issue is [url=radical">http://archive.ndp.ca/page/3570][b]radical deregulation of the economy[/url] and neoliberal policies in general implemented over the last 30 years by our two rightwing big business parties in power and now reduced to sharing power in Ottawa for lack of voter enthusiasm for those very undemocratic policies.

[url=Canada">http://meganleslie.ndp.ca/node/368][b]Canada needs a national housing strategy[/url] 

[url=Layton">http://www.ndp.ca/press/layton-announces-new-national-child-care-plan][c... announces national child care plan[/url] 

[url=Canada">http://www.caut.ca/news_details.asp?nid=1178&page=490][b]Canada's University teachers grade the party platforms[/url] NDP earns high grades on tuition and overall core funding stolen from PSE by Liberals in the 90's

Quote:
Would the NDP offer 'pharmacare?'

[url=Liberals">http://www.ndp.ca/press/fact-check-dion-liberals-recycle-pharmacare-prom... are promising the same drug plan they promised in 1997[/url] – and didn’t deliver

Quote:
Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?

[url=It">http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/page/598][b]It's time to renegotiate the dumbest free trade deal in the history of the world[/url] 

[url=...and">http://alexatamanenko.ndp.ca/node/245][b]...and stop the Liberal-Tory secret deal on SPP[/url] 

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
ocsi wrote:
Would the NDP nationalize key sectors of the economy?

The NDP is a social democratic party and the only party that stands for public ownership in a mixed market economy. 

But the issue is [url=radical">http://archive.ndp.ca/page/3570][b]radical deregulation of the economy[/url] and neoliberal policies in general implemented over the last 30 years by our two rightwing big business parties in power and now reduced to sharing power in Ottawa for lack of voter enthusiasm for those very undemocratic policies.

So, no? 

Quote:
Quote:
Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?

[url=It">http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/page/598][b]It's time to renegotiate the dumbest free trade deal in the history of the world[/url]

So, "renegotiate" instead of getting out?

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:
ocsi wrote:
Would the NDP nationalize key sectors of the economy?

The NDP is a social democratic party and the only party that stands for public ownership in a mixed market economy. 

But the issue is [url=radical">http://archive.ndp.ca/page/3570][b]radical deregulation of the economy[/url] and neoliberal policies in general implemented over the last 30 years by our two rightwing big business parties in power and now reduced to sharing power in Ottawa for lack of voter enthusiasm for those very undemocratic policies.

So, no? 

The NDP would give us a national energy policy from Ottawa that is not dictated to Canadians from corporate board rooms in the US 

Quote:
Quote:
Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?

[url=It">http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/page/598][b]It's time to renegotiate the dumbest free trade deal in the history of the world[/url]

So, "renegotiate" instead of getting out?

Who else should we trade with, Australia? Puerto Rico?  

What if it's too far and really dumb to ship our stuff over those kinds of distances?  

Why not raise taxes on profitable energy companies siphoning off what's left of our conventional oil and gas reserves, and build a national petroleum fund like socialists in Norway have salted away and worth hundreds of billions of dollars today?

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:
ocsi wrote:
Would the NDP nationalize key sectors of the economy?

The NDP is a social democratic party and the only party that stands for public ownership in a mixed market economy. 

But the issue is [url=radical">http://archive.ndp.ca/page/3570][b]radical deregulation of the economy[/url] and neoliberal policies in general implemented over the last 30 years by our two rightwing big business parties in power and now reduced to sharing power in Ottawa for lack of voter enthusiasm for those very undemocratic policies.

So, no? 

The NDP would give us a national energy policy from Ottawa that is not dictated to Canadians from corporate board rooms in the US

So, on the nationalization question, that's still a no?

 

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?

[url=It">http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/page/598][b]It's time to renegotiate the dumbest free trade deal in the history of the world[/url]

So, "renegotiate" instead of getting out?

Who else should we trade with, Australia? Puerto Rico?  

What if it's too far and really dumb to ship our stuff over those kinds of distances?  

Why not raise taxes on profitable energy companies siphoning off what's left of our conventional oil and gas reserves, and build a national petroleum fund like socialists in Norway have salted away and worth hundreds of billions of dollars today?

Leaving NAFTA isn't the same as cutting off all trade with the US.  Canada and the US traded before NAFTA and will continue to trade if NAFTA is ever cancelled.  Why do you parrot the lies and misunderstandings of the right about those who oppose globalization in this context and try to smear those supportive of pulling out of "the dumbest free trade deal in the history of the world" such as myself as being opposed to all trade?  It's not about trade itself, it's about the exploitative framework in which this trade takes place.

I'm not opposed to raising taxes on energy companies (although I would prefer nationalization and/or workers self-management), but it doesn't really answer the question of "Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?"

Fidel

genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:
genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:
ocsi wrote:
Would the NDP nationalize key sectors of the economy?

The NDP is a social democratic party and the only party that stands for public ownership in a mixed market economy. 

But the issue is [url=radical">http://archive.ndp.ca/page/3570][b]radical deregulation of the economy[/url] and neoliberal policies in general implemented over the last 30 years by our two rightwing big business parties in power and now reduced to sharing power in Ottawa for lack of voter enthusiasm for those very undemocratic policies.

So, no? 

The NDP would give us a national energy policy from Ottawa that is not dictated to Canadians from corporate board rooms in the US

So, on the nationalization question, that's still a no?

There's bags of room between nationalisation and the very traitorous giveaways of energy wealth to transnationals.

This is what lefties upthread deliberately ignore about the differences between federal and provincial abilities to raise overall tax revenues. 

Because even if we consider that Canada's is a capitalist economy among capitalist nations, Canada still ranks 25th out of 30 capitalist countries with respect to social spending. Load of room for improvement after too many successive decades in a row of old line party rule in Ottawa.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?

[url=It">http://peterjulian.ndp.ca/page/598][b]It's time to renegotiate the dumbest free trade deal in the history of the world[/url]

So, "renegotiate" instead of getting out?

Who else should we trade with, Australia? Puerto Rico?  

What if it's too far and really dumb to ship our stuff over those kinds of distances?  

Why not raise taxes on profitable energy companies siphoning off what's left of our conventional oil and gas reserves, and build a national petroleum fund like socialists in Norway have salted away and worth hundreds of billions of dollars today?

gentrike wrote:
Leaving NAFTA isn't the same as cutting off all trade with the US.  Canada and the US traded before NAFTA and will continue to trade if NAFTA is ever cancelled.  Why do you parrot the lies and misunderstandings of the right about those who oppose globalization in this context and try to smear those supportive of pulling out of "the dumbest free trade deal in the history of the world" such as myself as being opposed to all trade?  It's not about trade itself, it's about the exploitative framework in which this trade takes place.

Your response is bizarre to say the least. In other threads, youve claimed that provincial governments all have the same elbow room to raise taxes and expand public sector economy in order to pay for things, like subsidized PSE. And according to the rules of CUSFTA-NAFTA, what youve tried to claim before, in several other threads, is untrue. And it goes against the grain of the very neoliberalised GATS agreements, a federal promise to hack off more pieces of the common good and toss it to salivating corporate jackals waiting in the wings. So I'm sure it's you who is confused about the restrictive nature of Ottawa's dumb-dumb trade deals, not to mention GATS, TILMA, etc. You want things 100% nationalised which dont need to be, and youre not worried about the resources and public assets which are about to be handed over to supranational corporate ownership by our two hyperneoliberalized federal parties in power and sharing power since forever.

Quote:
I'm not opposed to raising taxes on energy companies (although I would prefer nationalization and/or workers self-management), but it doesn't really answer the question of "Would the NDP get Canada out of NAFTA?"

I imagine if the US refused to renegotiate NAFTA, and all the while barring access to and raising barriers to US lumber and other markets, then abrogating NAFTA would be an option for a federal NDP government. And for the record, Gary Doer doesnt have the authority to abrogate NAFTA, nor does any provincial government.

Abrogating NAFTA isnt an impossibility. The NDP would give the Yanks six months notice, and then we'd be free to negotiate and manage trade with whatever countries we want to.

What's not so reversible is deregulation toward deep integration and "SPP" with that basket case of a neoliberalizing economy to the south of us. The more that US corporations sink their meat hooks into Canada, the less realistic nationalisation is. What we can do is demand fair compensation for the oil and gas and massive amounts of hydroelectric power being siphoned off to the USSA 24-7. That is realistic, and that is why I vote for a party with realistic economic and social goals.

wage zombie

Coyote wrote:
People care about their jobs, their homes, the quality of their schools and hospitals, the safety of their communities, and the environment they live in (in a local or global sense). People will vote on who they think will provide the best leadership on those broad issues. The first 500 days of any government needs to focus on those categories.

But what does any of that mean?  Any party could have written that.  What would focussing on those categories look like.

ottawa observer, i think your list is excellent. 

 

Fidel

What about [url=http://www.infc.gc.ca/altformats/pdf/rs-rr-2004-09-eng.pdf]Canada's $153 billion dollar infrastructure deficit[/url], and conservative plans to sell so many existing public assets to friends of the old line parties?

Canada’s income disparity & poverty exceeds other OECD countries

We need strong central government in Ottawa, not the weak and ineffective stoogeocracy there now and for too many decades in a row. We need the NDP in federal government for a change, real change.

 

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:
genstrike wrote:
Fidel wrote:
ocsi wrote:
Would the NDP nationalize key sectors of the economy?

The NDP is a social democratic party and the only party that stands for public ownership in a mixed market economy. 

But the issue is [url=radical">http://archive.ndp.ca/page/3570][b]radical deregulation of the economy[/url] and neoliberal policies in general implemented over the last 30 years by our two rightwing big business parties in power and now reduced to sharing power in Ottawa for lack of voter enthusiasm for those very undemocratic policies.

So, no? 

The NDP would give us a national energy policy from Ottawa that is not dictated to Canadians from corporate board rooms in the US

So, on the nationalization question, that's still a no?

There's bags of room between nationalisation and the very traitorous giveaways of energy wealth to transnationals.

This is what lefties upthread deliberately ignore about the differences between federal and provincial abilities to raise overall tax revenues. 

Because even if we consider that Canada's is a capitalist economy among capitalist nations, Canada still ranks 25th out of 30 capitalist countries with respect to social spending. Load of room for improvement after too many successive decades in a row of old line party rule in Ottawa.

So, still a no?

ocsi

ottawaobserver wrote:

I mean, realistically, wouldn't it depend on the times?  Suppose they had been elected this past fall, the list would have been more like the items that wound up in the coalition documents, such as

* implement a large-scale infrastructure fund, including green infrastructure, retrofitting and conversion to renewable energy sources, and trying to build some kind of national green grid

* move to improve the EI system, along the lines of our motion in the House last week

* get to work right away on setting up a national childcare program, skills and apprenticeship training, and other supports that help people retrain and get ready for when the economy picks up again

* get ready to participate in a north american cap-and-trade system and get into gear to start living up to Kyoto/climate change commitments

* stabilize the legal and financial situation of InSite in Vancouver, the Wheat Board in the prairies, and the Nuclear Safety Commission in general

* pharmacare, and a decent child benefit are other examples of programs that would probably make the first cut

I suspect the priority would have been put on social and physical infrastructure items, but that other policy areas (immigration, aboriginal affairs, law reform, justice, health promotion, food safety, consumer protection) would have benefitted from a much more progressive take as well.  And a major foreign policy initiative on Afghanistan would have been a given, along with renewed attention to Africa, and support for any viable peace initiatives in the Middle East.

Of course they would have been plagued by a few problems to do with resource revenue sharing and equalization, like every federal government is, and coming to terms with the difference between what was promised and what can be afforded.

Also, any tax measures (depending on whether it was a minority or majority government) would have had to be taken early and with a full-scale communications plan that anticipated a massive fightback.

Does that sound anything like what you were thinking, ocsi?  I'm sure I've missed something, but it's such a big country...

 

ETA: and of course it took me so long to type out that list, that I missed the two comments posted in the meantime :-)

Thanks, ottawaobserver.   Very good points.

I showed your response to my friend and he said it was interesting but what he really wanted was something easy to understand and easy to support.  (I think he wants something less than political science 101. Wink)

I think what he really wants is for the NDP to say something like this:

 

If elected, in the first 100 days, the NDP will introduce legislation to:

A - ...
B - ...
C - ...

Then, in the following 200 days the NDP would introduce legislation to:

D -...
E - ...

And finally, in the following 200 days, the NDP would introduce legislation to:

F - ...
G - ...

My friend said that if the NDP promised to introduce legislation to accomplish seven major items in 500 days he would vote NDP.

I wonder if there are many voters who would switch to the NDP if switching was worth their while.

 

Fidel

 One thing we do know is that the two dirty old line parties can be counted on to reneg on most if not all of their election campaign promises.

McGuinty in Ontario has busted more than 50 Liberal government campaign promises since winning one of the phoniest majorities ever in 2003.

The Harpers are already in the hole with their campaign promises to create transparent and accountable government since the previous Libranos' circus parade of broken campaign promises, corruption, appalling arrogance while doing it,  and their enforcement of non-accountable government being the baseline norm for a succession of Bay Street hirelings in Ottawa for decades and decades in a row.

ocsi

Fidel wrote:

 One thing we do know is that the two dirty old line parties can be counted on to reneg on most if not all of their election campaign promises.

True, but that is not enough to get my friend to vote NDP.  He fears the NDP will do likewise.

Coyote

wage zombie wrote:

Coyote wrote:
People care about their jobs, their homes, the quality of their schools and hospitals, the safety of their communities, and the environment they live in (in a local or global sense). People will vote on who they think will provide the best leadership on those broad issues. The first 500 days of any government needs to focus on those categories.

But what does any of that mean?  Any party could have written that.  What would focussing on those categories look like.

Well, I agree that any party could have written that, which is why I said "any government". The point I am making is that the majority of people aren't going to be listening to politicians to hear about their plans for marijuana or their thoughts on the a 20-year-old treaty which has become pretty much part of the political woodwork.

What would be different? There would be a shifting of priorities, absolutely. Politics is the art of the possible, and the necessary. And of fighting battles when they can be won. Would child care have to take priority over home care? Would a National Housing Strategy mean less investment in universities? Decisions over which priorities to pursue first - which would have the best impact, which would have the most public support, etc. - are never easy, nor can they be easily predicted. Sometimes, the public voice makes itself heard on issues that would never be on a given agenda even a month before it became THE critical issue to have a position on.

 

Fidel

ocsi wrote:
Fidel wrote:

 One thing we do know is that the two dirty old line parties can be counted on to reneg on most if not all of their election campaign promises.

True, but that is not enough to get my friend to vote NDP.  He fears the NDP will do likewise.

How will he ever know if the same two parties continue monopolizing federal power? Your friend is able to know what to expect based on 140 consecutive years of old line party rule in Ottawa, about twice as long as Soviets ruled the former USSR. And their records in power are there for all to examine and results of the "new" liberal capitalism strewn all over the news lately. 

 If elections in Canada could be compared to a game of chance with three choices,  Canadians already know what's behind old line party doors numbered one and two. And very many voters are tired of being burned by our lying-liar autocrats in Ottawa time and time again. Monty Hall says,

[url=Let">http://www.stat.sc.edu/~west/javahtml/LetsMakeaDeal.html][b]Let's Make a Deal![/url]

wage zombie

It would be tough for the NDP to get to power by arguing that political parties can't be trusted since they'll say anything to get elected.  Breeding cynicism will not inspire.

Fidel

Canadian voters are already cynical. Our voter turnouts are some of the lowest in the world.

Even with Bay Street money and backing by big banks, the Harpers mustered just 22% of registered voter support last October. The Liberals, whove won some of the phoniest majorities themselves, are openly embarrassing themselves in order to prop up the other wing of the same lying-liar big business party. And both old line parties have made Canada a safe haven for their pro-USSA hypocrisy on economic and social fronts

ottawaobserver

ocsi wrote:
Fidel wrote:

 One thing we do know is that the two dirty old line parties can be counted on to reneg on most if not all of their election campaign promises.

True, but that is not enough to get my friend to vote NDP.  He fears the NDP will do likewise.

I'm just not sure that making such A, B, C commitments in the format you describe above would make any party more likely to carry them out.

Sorry, ocsi, and I'd love to win your friend's vote for the NDP, but I don't think an honest politician could make such a list and promise that it would be carried out no matter what else was going on at the time they happened to get elected.  {cheap shot on}  OK, they could if they were a Liberal.  {cheap shot off}  ;-)

Even Obama hasn't figured everything out.  But he's moving in the directions he promised in the campaign, and trying to fix the problems he identified in the campaign, and I think the kind of honesty he demonstrated in last night's prime time news conference is an example of the kind of politician I would like to support ... one who shares my social democratic values and priorities, but is willing to be honest, and not foolishly programmatic when the times demand something else become more urgent, and won't make a decision on something until he gets himself better informed (and isn't afraid to say so).

I'm not saying we couldn't learn something about communications from your friend, but you have to admit, we've tried the 5-7 item checklist before, and it wasn't a roaring success strategically (probably not with your friend either, as it apparently didn't work to get her/his vote the times we tried it already).

V. Jara

First 500 days? That's like a year and a half. Even the best laid plans...

How about the first 100 days? The so-called "honeymoon period" where I party gets to try and act on their electoral mandate.

 Also, I think the Federal NDP is lagging right now. They are not doing a good job on "proposition" side of politics at the moment. They are not distinguishing their values and their approach (hopefully in line with Canadian values) from that of the two mainline parties. Ignatieff is doing a good job getting out there and trying to redefine himself and his party.

Fidel

Iggy redefine the Liberal Party?

[url=[/url]">http://www.ndp.ca/liberals-keep-harper-agenda-on-track][IMG]http://img.p...

Steve Ignatieff is Michael Harper!! Theyre interchangeable

Liberal, Tory, it's the same old story.

Webgear

Does that mean the majority of Canadians voted for the current government?

 

Tongue out

______________________________________________________________________________________________ We are like cloaks, one thinks of us only when it rains.

Fidel

Webgear wrote:

Does that mean the majority of Canadians voted for the current government?

Tongue out

The answer is no, if we include all registered voters in Canada.

The Harpers only received 22% of registered voter support. Even the two big biz parties supported by big money and running big money propaganda campaigns dont have an honest majority between them.

There is a [url=cure">http://www.fairvote.ca][b]cure for electoral dysfunction[/url]

ocsi

V. Jara wrote:

First 500 days? That's like a year and a half. Even the best laid plans...

How about the first 100 days? The so-called "honeymoon period" where I party gets to try and act on their electoral mandate.

...

Yes, I agree.  The first 100 days would be ideal.  Voters would have something to look forward to for the first three months of an NDP government.

But to be successful the NDP has to sell the idea to those who have voted NDP in the past, to those who have stopped voting and to those, especially the young, who have never voted.  

Is it doable?  I don't know.  But if the NDP took a page from Obama who managed to mobilize many who have given up voting, and took a page from Mike Harris who (for better or worse) is remembered fondly by his supporters for keeping his promise, the NDP just might surprise a lot of people.

I like Jack Layton and supported him during the leadership race.   He is a good speaker and he is very sharp.  Still, I wish he had the oratory skills of Tommy Douglas.

Actually a campaign based on legislation the NDP would introduce in the first 100 days could be a real selling point in Quebec simply because the Bloc will never be able to introduce legislation in Ottawa.  And some of their supporters just might "lend" their vote to the NDP. 

Anything can happen in politics, right? 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

ocsi wrote:

I showed your response to my friend and he said it was interesting but what he really wanted was something easy to understand and easy to support.  (I think he wants something less than political science 101. Wink)

I think what he really wants is for the NDP to say something like this:

If elected, in the first 100 days, the NDP will introduce legislation to:

A - ...
B - ...
C - ...

Then, in the following 200 days the NDP would introduce legislation to:

D -...
E - ...

And finally, in the following 200 days, the NDP would introduce legislation to:

F - ...
G - ...

My friend said that if the NDP promised to introduce legislation to accomplish seven major items in 500 days he would vote NDP.

I think your friend is pulling your leg. 

Does the party he currently supports provide that kind of detailed blueprint? Of course not. So why does he demand it of the NDP?

Fidel

 

Quote:
"There are some fundamental differences between the U.S. economy and our economy, like the housing sector in Canada in which we have not had a bubble, like the consumption in Canada with respect to automobiles for example, that remains strong."  - July 2008, one example of several bald-faced lies Flaherty and Finance Dept told Canadians in the lead up to the last election 

~~We're better off than them in the states - that economy we've been working so hard to tie our own fortunes to since Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien glommed on to the neoliberal voodoo

Meanwhile per capita job losses here, in the Northern Puerto Rico, have actually outpaced US numbers