September 4: This Week and Next· September 4, 2015
Economics dominated the headlines and Canadians got a good lesson in “recession politics.”
Canada was in a “technical recession” (GDP numbers reflect first two quarters of 2015, past tense is “technically” most accurate). Employment numbers are strong and the .01% contraction is tiny. If we weren’t in the midst of The Longest Campaign Ever™, this wouldn’t concern the CPC. “Recession” is a rather powerful political symbol mid-campaign.
This might seem like good news for the NDP and LPC, but it’s not.
Liberals are carefully positioning themselves as the fiscally responsible political party voters know and love. Using Paul Martin’s economic clout, Trudeau is trying to sell three successive fiscally responsible deficits. While this is admirable and bold, it’s also a risky move that could backfire quickly if Martin’s balanced budgets look better than Trudeau’s promises. The NDP is casting itself as fiscally responsible and promising to deliver a balanced budget while also reassuring Canadians that social democrats are responsible economic stewards.
A flurry of recent announcements from federal parties will shed light on how each would fund their promises. In an election period characterized by recession politics, a party’s platform budget and the costing that accompanies it will be a major point of focus moving forward. — IAN CAPSTICK