Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stelmach says he's "right" wing

If you're voting for the Wildrose Alliance, I'd certainly concede that you're "taking away" from the other parties, which include the P"C" party. Stelmach, however, adds that this is "taking away from the right".

I'd say this suggests the P"C" party inverts the old adage that the federal Liberals "campaign from the left and govern from the right" were it not for the fact that when Stelmach recently rang up close to a billion $ in spending promises in a single 10-day stretch (which works out to about a thousand dollars a second), that looks a lot like campaigning from the left as well as governing from the left. Perhaps Stelmach felt he had to set the pace for Kevin Taft, who in turn made 40 spending promises in just the first 9 days of the Liberal campaign.

However the P"C"s campaign, it is clear enough how they govern. Last year's budget cranked spending up 17%, a rate well in excess of the growth in the economy (which was 4.5% in 2007), meaning a significant increase in the size of government. Stelmach's only tax move of significant note has been to raise taxes on business.

If that's a right wing government, what would a left wing one look like?

If Stelmach is styling himself as being on the "right", I must be too, correct? What I am is a believer in pro-growth economics. To the extent that overlaps with right wing politics, I'm indeed right wing. But the label is unhelpful because it implies that I am opposed to things like rent control because of some sort of deep seated "right wing" twist in my character instead of because of facts and argument. More than 90% of economists oppose rent control and support the principle of free trade, for example, but are economists inherently "right wing"?

No comments: