It should be no surprise to hear that I’ll be voting for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Tories in the upcoming federal election.
Let’s explore three significant reasons why you should, too.
First, the Tories support small “c” conservative principles. This includes a firm belief in small government, lower personal and corporate tax rates, more individual rights and freedoms, and trade liberalization.
In fairness, they haven’t been perfect. The Tories’ lack of commitment, at times, to fiscal conservatism has been worrisome.
We clearly need broad-based tax relief for all Canadians and not targeted tax cuts. Meanwhile, we need less emphasis on ineffective infrastructure projects and more focus on removing foreign ownership restrictions and promoting an open skies policy, among other things.
Then again, considering Canada’s disgraceful historical attachment to backward left-wing philosophies like nanny statism and wasteful spending on bloated social services, the Tory platform (warts and all) has been a step in the right direction.
Second, the Tories prudently managed the local economy for many years.
The late finance minister Jim Flaherty balanced a large deficit with a significant stimulus package during the 2008 global economic crisis. This strategy enabled Canadian banks to avoid a liquidity crisis, and protected our economy. And by keeping income tax rates in check and wisely avoiding the introduction of more state-run programs, our nation stayed comfortably afloat.
Flaherty’s strategy made Canada the envy of G20 nations. We earned praise from many corners, including former U.S. treasury secretary Henry Paulson (Republican) and current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (Democrat).
But what about the recession we’re currently in?
Besides the fact the Canadian economy was in the black for much longer than most democratic countries, it’s not entirely clear we’re in one. Some experts have argued it’s a “technical” recession at best.
Why? Canada has experienced solid job increases rather than high unemployment levels during two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. Meanwhile, our GDP, which only went down 0.1 per cent in the second quarter, has rebounded with an increase of 0.5 per cent in June.
To put it another way, we may already be out of this short-term “recession” that we may never had been in in the first place.
As confusing as that may sound, one thing is clear: Tory economic policies prevented us from entering a long-term recession that other western nations faced in recent years. This seems to prove the Tories took the correct route to financial stability and success.
Harper has turned our country into a respected leader, rather than a ragtag follower, during international wars, minor skirmishes and humanitarian efforts. This includes aiding Afghanistan, the war against ISIS, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and strong support for Israel.
The fact that Canada, a middle-power country, has achieved this type of success on the international stage is something we should all respect and admire.
Critics have naturally lamented the fact that Canada’s traditional peacekeeping role has fallen by the wayside in the Harper era. Putting those crocodile tears aside, they’ve also spent a great deal of time and energy on the Tories-Israel connection.
In particular, the Jewish left continually perpetuates the myth that the party’s position on Israel is the only plausible explanation as to why 52 per cent of this religious community voted Tory in the 2011 federal election. They refuse to acknowledge that Jews aren’t single-issue voters, can think for themselves, and have gradually become more politically and economically conservative. They also can’t accept the fact that Israel plays a minor, and not a major, role in Jewish Canadian voting patterns.
Let the naysayers build their progressive utopia with a flimsy deck of playing cards. Harper and the Tories remain the best choice for Jews – and all Canadians. They deserve your vote on Oct. 19. n
Michael Taube is a Sun Media columnist, Washington Times contributor and former speechwriter for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.