At this point, it's pretty much all about the economy, stupid.But possibly it should not be. The need to cut our greenhouse gas emissions dramatically and in a very short order has not gone away. The economy depends on the environment, not the other way around. Our current practice of simply ignoring "externalities" is not good economics - or even good business. It is willfully stupid, since costs to our health and well being - let alone of other species - is so apparent.
Polls show nearly two-thirds of Canadians now expect a recession and 70 per cent anticipate a budget deficit. Still, a plurality believe Harper would be the best economic manager. Indeed, there's something to be said for steady-as-she-goes and stability which may give an edge to the Conservatives.
Which just shows how stupid and gullible voters can be. The current recession is not simply a market being cyclical - it is the result of eight years of idiocy in the White House. A set of "policies" straight from the same right wing think tanks that Stephen Harper still listens to. Deregulation of American financial markets went too far, and the result was entirely predictable. Just as the earlier Savings and Loan crisis was produced by deregulation of that sector under Ronald Regan. The current banking crisis mirrors that of 1931 and the legislation that was brought in subsequently was repealed by Senator Phil Gram's bill so enthusiastically supported by the conservative ideologues. In fact Gram now works for McCain. If he gets re-elected expect more of the same.
When you are steering into a hurricane "steady as she goes" is not at all a sensible choice of course. Change is needed here as much as in the US. Drastic, dramatic change that abandons failed policies.
When you find that you are in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.