A Budget or Aspirational Theatre?
In this era of grave uncertainty it can be nearly impossible to judge a budget beyond the "what's in it for me?" test. Is this the hill the Liberals are prepared to die on, i.e. trigger an election? Or is this just political theatre, a wish list to run the gauntlet of minority government?
The CBC's Andrew Wherry sees it as exorcising the ghosts of Reagan, Thatcher and (sorry Brian) Mulroney, the beginning of the end of the neoliberal era. Up the Revolution! If it is then kudos to the prime minister and Ms. Freeland. I'm not convinced. Neoliberalism isn't ready to die just yet and it will not be going without a fight.
Over at the National Post there are dire warnings of the return of centralized state planning and collectives. No surprises there. The Globe's Coyne frets that the budget doesn't create a path for economic growth.The word “support” appears nearly 1,000 times in the budget; “benefit” or “benefits” more than 1,300; “gender,” 740, “Indigenous,” 831. By comparison, the word “growth” appears just 280 times; “productivity,” 39, “competitiveness,” 13.