On May 2nd, Canadians will once again head to the polls in the fifth federal election since 2000.
By all accounts, this was a pretty unnecessary election, coming at a time when the country is still struggling to get out of the recession and get back on the road to prosperity.
But there is something even scarier for me about this election; the rise of support for the NDP in polls across the country. Whether that support will actually translate into votes at the ballot box still remains to be seen, but the fact that Canadians would consider voting for a party that has no real experience running a country and one whose platform is clearly at odds with maintaining the state of our economy makes me wonder what people are thinking.
The fact is that both the Liberals and NDP have maintained that they will need to raise taxes in order to pay down the deficit and maintain social programs. Additionally, both parties have pledged to eliminate the planned corporate tax reduction, a promise that will very likely kill jobs and reduce growth in our economy.
By eliminating corporate tax reductions you reduce the revenue businesses bring in. Without that additional revenue, these businesses have less money to put towards hiring new staff, producing more products or expanding and building their companies.
Instead, both of these parties have pledged to eliminate the planned corporate tax cut and use that money, around six billion dollars, towards funding for other programs including some to spur job creation.
But what happens the following year?
Without reduced taxes, most of these businesses will continue to pay higher costs, not only through the current tax rate (if its maintained at the same rate, should either the NDP or Liberals succeed at taking control) but also through the rising costs of fuel which are impacting everyone’s bottom line.
This may cause some of these companies to reduce investing in the economy, some of them to leave Canada for greener pastures, and many of them to close, mostly likely small businesses with limited resources.
At least with the tax cut, these businesses can continue to operate and weather the higher fuel prices, at least until they stabilize and come back to normal.
The fact is that right now what Canada needs is to maintain growth in its business sector, so that jobs can continue to be created, people can continue to spend money on products and the economy can get past the recession and start rebuilding. Neither the NDP nor Liberals are offering or can deliver this to Canadians.
In one more day, we will find out which party will the chart the course of Canada’s economy; let’s hope that its a party that isn’t interested in shipwrecks.
(Photo taken from Elections Canada website)