Monday, August 23, 2010

On reinforcement

The latest reporting on New Brunswick's election this fall includes an interesting parallel between Roger Duguay's message and that of some disaffected federal Cons - as both are rightly pointing out the problems with funnelling public money toward corporate interests. Here's Duguay:
NDP Leader Roger Duguay said his priority would be to stabilize deficits and stop "wasteful government spending," adding that he would eliminate grants and forgivable loans to companies for the next five years.

"Most of the time it's not the best place to put our money," he said.
Needless to say, the proposal to shut off the taps to the corporate sector makes for a rather useful explanation as to what the NDP would do differently than its competitors to ensure that New Brunswick's provincial budget is managed responsibly.

And it only helps that Duguay's message is nicely paralleled by someone who's not normally an NDP ally, as Tasha Kheiridden has picked an opportune time to level criticism at federal Libs and Cons alike for wasting federal money to subsidize the likes of J.D. Irving:
(The Harper) government is all too happy to dole out regional cash, whether through Canada’s Economic Action Plan or outright make-work projects (witness last week’s announcement of a payroll centre in Miramichi, N.B., to replace jobs lost there if the gun registry goes belly-up).

So where does this leave Canadian taxpayers? Playing angel investor to businesses that don’t pay back money, while...the government turns a blind eye.
Of course, it remains to be seen how well the theme will resonate at both levels of government. But the reinforcement of Duguay's message in the national press has to help matters as the New Brunswick NDP looks to win over voters who may not have considered the party as an option before. And the more citizens ask the question of whether governments should be looking out for corporate interests at their expense, the easier it will be to persuade them that it's worth voting for a party who won't.

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