By Harvey Oberfeld
October the 6th, 2015
Anyone who says the parties, politicians and policies are all the same can’t be paying much attention to this federal election.
Whether it has been over deficit spending, balancing the budget, refugees, security, Senate abolition or reform, the Clarity Act, or even the niqab, there HAVE BEEN differences between them all …but not enough for many to make a clear choice.
Now there is.
For those who don’t want to vote for Harper/Tories … but hadn’t been able to decide between Mulcair/NDP and the Trudeau/Liberals … there is now a CLEAR MAJOR DIVIDE between them all … over the TPP.
As government, the Tories OWN the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement: they negotiated it; they signed it; and, from now until the Election Day and beyond, they will be pushing it.
The Liberals, listening to Trudeau, sure seem to me to be basically in favour: yes, some concerns over the details …yada, yada, yada … but I have NO doubt they would approve it if they win a majority and even vote for it in a minority government situation.
The NDP …. NO! While not absolutely ruling it out, Mulcair has done nothing but complain about it and has come closest to declaring an NDP government would not sign on, either in a majority or minority situation.
Because ALL the polls … from even before the start of the campaign until now … have indicated a majority of Canadians from coast to coast believe the ECONOMY is the most important issue facing our country, our government and our voters.
With less than two weeks to go, we’re going to hear a LOT about that TPP … from every perspective, from every leader, from every party, from pundits, from economists, from unionists … maybe even from the Pope!
Even though all the fine print won’t likely be revealed and/or dissected until well after our ballots are counted.
Personally, I don’t think Canada has any choice but to sign on.
I fully expect … as was proven with NAFTA … the pluses for Canada will massively outweigh the negatives. NAFTA (which the NDP opposed) gave our industries much larger duty-free access to 310 million US consumers (at that time) … and a HUGE trade surplus with the US ever since.
The cost and harm to our economy of rejecting TPP and staying out, in my opinion, would be substantial.
Would negotiations be re-opened to accommodate a new Canadians government?
If massive economies like the US or Japan do not approve TPP, I could see the whole negotiation process being re-opened, but Canada … no. We’re either in or watch from the outside as the others expand their huge trade relationship.
NO country gets everything it wants out of any international deal these days and let’s keep it real: Canada’s import market, with our relatively small consumer population, gives us little real power to dictate to the US and Japan with a we-want-it-all or else stance.
Frankly, I was expecting Canada to yield more concessions than we apparently actually did for the preferred global export access we gain.
The TPP does give Canadian companies and producers PREFERENTIAL access to a 12-nation industrial, commercial and consumer market of more than 800 million people and $28 TRILLION in annual trade …. 40% of the global economy.
Should we really say No … stay out and give Australia, Mexico, Chile etc. the duty-free or reduced-tariff advantages over us to sell into the Japanese and the US and many other Pacific rim markets?
The voters will, of course, decide … and at last, there IS a least now a MAJOR issue that will make … or break … this election campaign for the parties running.
Harvey and Jim Goddard spoke yesterday about the campaign…. a good listen! HERE
The main issue in the campaign is not TPP, it’s issues that the politicians are hiding from the voting public, namely:
1. If the Cons get elected, will we even have government funded health care, or will it be virtually wiped out (by Harper) in as little as five years and everything in Canada will follow the U.S. model, (ie private healthcare).
That move is sure to bankrupt Canadians, especially retired people. You will need to mortgage your home to go for a simple operation, just like they do in the good ole USA.
The maniac currently the Canadian prime minister, in his zeal to balance the books, just might well introduce private health care as a replacement for government care.
The wench who is the MLA for West Kelowna – Kelowna is actually no better and she might get rid of government funded heath care, as well.
All this Con b.s. about outlawing nijabs, legislation to remove citizenship, and the war against ISIS and terror, CAN WAIT, while Canadians bring back more infostructure , improved roads and highways, improved services at the govt. office, etc. improved Canada Post services, etc.
After years of belt tightening, what has it proved ? Harper still cannot balance the books, – we still have debt and people are still struggling to pay bills.
Unfortunately, you Canadians love Conservative dogma and you find it hard to fire Harper.
I predict that after the love affair with Trudeau junior is over, (in 11 days time) it will be back to Harper, but (I predict) a much tighter, smaller version of Cons.
Hope to hell that Jason Kenney gets knocked off, along with a few other Con cabinet ministers.
come the 19th.
If a miracale really happened, it would be nice to see the Cons reduced to 2 seats like in the 1990 something election with the Progressive Conservatives.
That would be too funny to watch. Then, I could even claim to be a viewer, instead of just a listener.
After 10 years of cutbacks, the country is reeling from a lack of services, generally.
Meanwhile, the agenda of the Liberals and the NDP is to spend, spend and overspend until the country is virtually in debt to the point of bankruptcy.
They make lots of promises, but how are we going to pay for all this increased spending,
However, the polls say that Trudeau junior is moving ahead, while the bearded one is slipping behind,
I think that people with full beards have something to hide, while Trudeau’s tv commercials knocking down Harper is equally deceptive.
Shifty Clark is not to be trusted.
The real deal: and your support would go to the Communist Party? Or Canadian Heritage? Be interesting how you intend to vote and ……