Unfortunately, I haven’t yet received my Phd in economics, so I don’t feel that I am fully qualified to weigh in on the question of whether or not Canada is indeed suffering from “Dutch Disease”.
I do know that the argument that the tar sands are killing manufacturing in Central Canada is more or less irrelevant to me. I don’t consider factories and plants to be owed anything by the state or anybody else. I expected private companies to stand on their own two feet in 2008 when they got bailed out, and I expect them to stand on their own two feet now.
But for all the holes in the theory and the doubtful pertinence of it, I’m thrilled to see someone actually stand up to the prime minister for the first time since he came to power in 2006. And standing up to the prime minister inevitably involves challenging some orthodoxy about the oil sands. If this massive strip mining of bitumen was as innocuous as the Conservative party would have you believe, why is it in the news every day?
Many Canadians do not want to be identified with a damn the torpedoes resource bonanza to support SUV driving suburban lifestyles, tim horton’s coffee, and consumption of shitty goods from China. This is in sum the status quo lifestyle in Canada and it has come to embody everything the Conservative Party of Canada represents. Everything they do is in the unapologetic defence of all this, to the detriment of “losers” who don’t take part in it. And anyone who doesn’t and voices their opinion is blasted with McCarthyist catcall screaming accusations of un-Canadianness.
So it is refreshing to see a leader of the opposition, finally, who clearly doesn’t give a shit about what anybody thinks of him.
The Liberals, under their Central Toronto smog-haze of delusion, somehow thought they could stake out this suburbanite-resource worker ground the Conservatives have had an elephantesque ass planted on for seven years. They still do. They think by opposing the Conservative political machine, but supporting all of their substance, they will have some kind of credibility with Canadians because they’re virtuous or something.
We saw how much success this approach had in the 2008 and 2011 Federal Elections. Here is the recap of what happened to Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff in those elections:
Stephen Harper to Liberal Leader: “Roll over and die”
Liberal Leader to Stephen Harper: “Okay”
Michael Ignatieff’s result, the most pathetic in Canadian history, speaks for itself. Dion’s a principled guy and an environmentalist but was ultimately unelectable as he ardently subscribes to trudeau-esque bilingual utopic vision of the country that doesn’t exist anymore.
This is why trashing and mocking the Liberal Party is our new favourite national sport. This is why it is exhilarating to see some competition with some BALLS. Someone with the courage to challenge this douchebaggerific vision of Canada that the whole country is in danger of being monopolized by. Dutch Disease is a tenuous thread to start that challenge with. But when Mulcair dismissed Western Premiers Brad “Clean Coal” Wall, Christy “goofy” Clark, and Alison Redford as messengers of the PM, he showed the Canadian public he’s not going to be pushed around. The media will tell him we can’t afford his principles. But they still refuse to acknowledge the Canadian public’s repudiation of their fake Liberal party for the precise lacking in such principles.