Saturday, January 24, 2009

Harper's Truth Deficit

It's simply amazing to listen to Harper's revisionism, when it comes to the economic downturn. More stunning, Harper tends to go unchallenged, as though he speaks of a time so long ago, nobody could dare question his argument. Yesterday, during an interview with La Presse, Harper responded to a question on the recession:
Q During the last election campaign, you said that Canada could avoid recession, there would be no deficit. Today, the economic situation has deteriorated still fast enough to the point where your opponents accuse you of having hidden the truth to Canadians.

R You should first look at the private-sector forecasts. Last October, national and international organizations were not predicting a recession in Canada.

Nobody was predicting a recession last October, private-sector forecasts support the government's view. Is that so?

Monday October 6th, we have the following, from some of our leading "forecasters", under the title "Canada Heading For Recession":
Canada is headed into a worse recession than anyone expected, one that could last until almost 2010, said the country's top economists on Monday.

I think we're looking at a much more serious downturn than a mild recession that most of us are talking about," said Doug Porter, with BMO Capital Markets, at a meeting of senior economists in Toronto...

TD Bank's Don Drummond said he sees the economy shrinking until late 2009 and then only gradually recovering.

"[We're] forecasting Canadian and U.S. recessions, plus 100 basis points of [Bank of Canada] and Fed cuts that could come at any time. This is not just made-in-U.S.A. weakness as Canada faces its own home-grown recession signals," Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes

Okay, I "looked at the private forecasts", as Harper suggested. I've concluded, you're FULL OF SHIT Prime Minister.


Anonymous said...

You mean FULL OF STRATEGY, right?

It's the Dick Cheney / George Bush / George Costanza communications model.

It's not a lie if you believe it.

wayupnorth said...

Lets face it Harper is one of the few people who can look you in the face or look directly into a camera and lie through his teeth. He got away with this until recently because our media like Goebbels repeated those lies endlessly until they became the truth.

The NDP and Bloc have it right saying at every opportunity that they can't trust the man or believe him and the Lberals need to start doing the same, just a low key, daily reminder of his former lies especially the whopper that he anticipated the coming problems and fixed it by reducing the GST. This is the same tactic he used against Dion with the not a leader campaign and there is no reason not to expect the same result.

knb said...

It's not a lie if you believe it.

And, you repeat it and the media don't call you on it and send your minions across the country to reinforce it and...

Steve V said...

Worse still, when the media gives you cover:

"There was also the influence of economists, the majority of whom did not begin forecasting economic recession until December."

Jeff said...

The dishonesty is infuriating, but so is the condescending tone that, so far, has intimidated questioners.

In this case, his answer begins with "You should first look at the private-sector forecasts." "The subtext here is "The problem isn't ME; it's YOU."

And I haven't heard of anyone pointing out his CONSTANT use of the word "obviously". With the tone that he uses, it's a similar
kind of rhetorical style used to intimidate. In the recent Maclean's interview, he used the word 14 times.

So, Steve, the final line of your post was particularly satisfying, and I'd love to see versions of that sentiment all over the media.

Joyce said...

Prime Minister Ignatieff - has a nice ring, doesn't it! Imagine transparency, openness and carrying out the people's business.
What a refreshing prospect.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

His entire answer is clearly an intent to lie. He utilizes the political legalize so popular with the neocons down south:

1. No definitive statement - "you should first look" instead of "economists said" So, as you did, the journalists has to prove the lie on the spot or the message the cons wants gets out. And should the journalist or paper or station call them on it, you can bet you won't be getting any more interviews.

2. Intentionally vague assessments. I'm sure someone at the Fraser Institute was probably making glowing economic predictions in October. So guess his statement technically counts . . . much like the "technical recession" they would have been touting a few weeks ago. (Yes, weeks ;).

Anonymous said...

Besides, Steve, your article was from that lefty bastion, CBC. Why deal with peddlers of truth? I'm sure at the time some echo chamber must have been eagerly promoting talking points faxed over from conservative party headquarters. ;)

RuralSandi said...

Never mind forcasts doesn't take a genius to realize that when the US is in trouble - trouble is around the corner for us.

Another thing that's bothering me. Harper has leaked out budget stuff, has had cabinet ministers running around talking about it - Harper AGAIN, is campaigning on the taxpayer dollar and no one is complaining.

Since when do you campaign prior to a budget?

I think some rules have to be made here because Harper has pretty well done all his campaigning since he became PM (has never stopped campaigning) on OUR money.

Steve V said...


I'm sure CBC took the comments from the three big bank economists out of context.