Something is up, it's as simple as that. There is a reason Harper is suddenly so bullish for an election, and it has nothing to do with the reasons we've been given to date. The question for the Liberals, deciphering just what exactly the Conservatives are up to, and responding accordingly. I'm of the belief that you never give your opponent what he wants, if you can help it. I have several theories, and here's one.
Today, Minister Flaherty released the latest surplus figures, which suddenly show Canada back in a comfortable surplus, a complete reversal in just one month. Flaherty also "pledged" to do a fiscal update sometime in October, and update that will never happen if Harper takes us to the polls prior to Parliament's return. So, while government Ministers are clearing their September schedules, is it credible for Flaherty to muse as though it's business as usual? Pardon my cynicism, but it just doesn't add up.
In the first two months of this fiscal year, we had a 500 million dollar deficit. Then, in just one month, Flaherty announces a quarterly surplus of 1.2 billion. That translates to a 1.7 billion dollar surplus in the last month reported, which is a staggering figure, considering Flaherty projected a scant 2.3 billion surplus for the entire fiscal year, a figure which was based on a 1.7% growth rate. Today, Flaherty admits that the growth rate will be 1.1%, a large drop from his earlier projection. And yet, despite increased spending and all these economic warnings, we are to believe that Flaherty is half way to his surplus in just the first quarter? That doesn't pass the smell test, especially when one considers Flaherty's previous proficency in moving numbers around. A sudden fiscal turnaround, just after talking heat for the initial deficit, occuring at the same time when Flaherty reduces his grow projection by a full third. If anything, one would expect the surplus to be behind Flaherty's targets, given the growth drop that he admitted today, not a sudden uptick. Couple this quirk in logic with the simple fact that the economy has really started to tank this summer, and the numbers look even more suspicious.
Back to one of my theories. Is Harper moving so fast, because the government has knowledge of a looming deficit? Isn't it interesting, that just as we hear all this election talk, presto, back in the black, in a big way, so much so, that even if another monthly update is released during an election, the buffer is enough to keep the perception of "in the red" at bay? The timing is a little too cute from here, and it becomes even more intriguing when you hear Flaherty floating his October update, while everyone around him goes full tilt into election mode. Harper wants to get to the polls, before he has to face the economic and fiscal music.