Tuesday, December 23, 2008


... isn't lost on Stephen Harper and his nodding numbskulls.

In a typical week, the CON government will blame certain realities/bad decisions on the opposition/Liberals. Taking responsibility is not part of the Harper gameplan. But he and his underlings have been known to broaden their aim when they want to deflect the spotlight from their own stumble-bumness. Any scapegoat in a storm, apparently.

Last week, when Flim-flam Flaherty pointed a finger at the big banks and told them to "Lend more money!" it was to shunt the glare off their own un-plan for Canada's quickly deflating balloon. Because, unlike what Harper and his munchkin minister have pitched us over the past six months, we are very much a part of the economic crisis. But the Canadian banking system does have sounder financial pillars, thanks to business decisions by the banks and past governments unwillingness to unlock the regulatory locks. Harper, who always tries to tag-team his way into that bit of good news, in fact was eager to join the coalition of the fiscally irresponsible early in his first year, when he unveiled the so-dumb idea of 40-years, 0-down mortgages. After pressure from the industry, but not before some were signed, the program was bounced. The Canadian bankers were not interested in getting into the 'a mortgage with every toaster' scheme that weighs so heavily in the American-leveraged meltdown.

But back to the present. Harper and Flaherty are pointing fingers at the banks for not lending, especially considering the lowest rates from the Bank of Canada.

The bankers counter -- look, we are lending. There have been fewer people requesting loans, but it is also due-diligence that the banks lend responsibly. And if we were to ease our lending requirements, wouldn't that essentially be following the worst examples of the American problem?

Harper must have his scapegoat, however. It harkens back to the days when the rapidly rising Canadian dollar caused consumer angst at the cash register -- 'why are we still paying $1.20 for every American buck on a book, when the current price is a wash?' Then, it was Flaherty lambasting businesses for not dropping their prices, using a Harry Potter book for a prop. The only problem? Every Canadian business and distributor were dealing with months-old, if not year-old inventory, purchased at the old low-Canadian loonie cost. However, it made for a nice photo-op, man-of-action fodder for the sheeple.

So while Harper's gang tries to score points off easy target corporations and industries, they do so knowing that the initial rewards can be plenty. It helps that 'avoiding responsibility' thing. And while those banks and companies no longer can donate to political parties as in the past, what Harper and his doofus minister may learn is that when Don Drummond talks, or chooses to get involved, people in the know will follow.

So keep pushing, CONs. One of those buttons you're hitting may just be for a hidden ejector seat.

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