Friday, November 05, 2010

Well said

Murray Mandryk on the most important lesson learned from the potash debate so far:
(T)he most positive outcome has been the reawakening of western passion for our resources.

Whether the right-wing business community and business media opposing Saskatchewan's position realized it or not, their arguments were remarkably similar to what westerners heard in 1981 from those in the east promoting Pierre Trudeau's National Energy Program.

We were treated to condescending lecture after condescending lecture about how Wall's position was somehow bad for a nation that must abide (at all costs) by free-market principles. Much of what we heard was nonsensical hyperbole -- fear-mongering that we'd somehow instantly turn into Albania if Investment Canada rejected (gasp!) the second of some 1,600 foreign takeovers it has approved in nearly a quarter of a century.

Overnight, we would become protectionists and anti-free traders incapable of ever again raising foreign capital. Obviously, the world would flock to safer investment havens of Russia, China and Venezuela.

Well, so horrific was Wednesday's decision that PotashCorp. shares fell $4.78 to $141.43, meaning that shares are now only $30 more than they were when the takeover bid was announced. Meanwhile, the TSX rose 207.7 points.

Clearly, the sky hasn't fallen.

So perhaps the biggest winner emerging out of Wednesday's announcement will be a nation that finally comes to the realization we shouldn't be so damn scared about safeguarding what is already ours.

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