Conservatives campaigning on a sham budget surplus

Among the actions taken to reach surpluses is the sale of shares of General Motors for approximately $3.2 billion.

To the Editor,

Stephen Harper’s so-called ‘budget surpluses’ are a sham. Among the actions taken to reach surpluses is the sale of shares of General Motors for approximately $3.2 billion.

The Conservatives have also underspent amounts allocated by Parliament by some $8.7 billion. Among those amounts, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office, is over $1 billion allocated for programs for indigenous people, and another $1 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Those actions were taken, not for the benefit of Canadians as a whole, but for the crass political advantage of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

Fraser WilsonNanaimo

 

To the Editor,

In the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding, the Green Party has tremendous momentum, but so many people see a poll with the NDP in the lead and fear that they must vote NDP. They do not realize that this is self-reinforcing. Many people respond to polls saying they’re voting NDP only because they are trying to vote strategically, but they really want to vote Green. This rationalization is lost in the poll.

Why do so many people buy into the idea that ‘strategic voting’ will actually work? Remember the last election when it didn’t work, and the one before that? Many people get cynical, decide there’s no point, and stop voting. So-called ‘strategic voting’ leads to voter apathy, an advantage for the Conservatives.

What do the parties stand for? What are you voting for? It seems that it doesn’t matter. Cynically, some of us are voting against something, election after election. We keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

Cameron WigmoreNanaimo

 

To the Editor:

Re: Canadian voters need to be cautious, Letters, Sept. 22.

Doing a bit of research beneath the rhetoric repeated by Stephen Harper and his Conservative candidates, I believe this “proven record” is something to be concerned about.

Since Harper took power in 2006, the federal debt has increased by over $150 billion.

The Conservatives inherited a surplus of $13.8 billion when they took power in 2006, which they turned into a deficit of $5.8 billion within two years. Since then, they have been in deficit every year, at least until the current election campaign.

Tax cuts, mainly benefiting corporations and higher-income families, have not helped the budget, and the ‘trickle-down effect’ has not worked. At the end of 2014, the employment rate was higher than the end of 2008.

If the systematic dismantling of our system of parliamentary democracy, the muzzling of our scientists and slashing of environmental protections, and the damage to our international reputation are not enough, the Harper government’s economic record makes me want to see a new administration in Ottawa on Oct. 19.

L.A. LeeNanaimo

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