Now, Harper is going to start executing the agenda everyone on the right said he didn't have. You know - the hidden one.
One would like to think that Harper's blustering at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland was simply his continuing attempt to pat himself on the back for no other reason than his very existence. It was these lines which have everyones' ears pricked up:
As I said earlier, one of the backdrops for my concerns is Canada's aging population.That generated immediate speculation. And so it should. Harper is nothing if not the dirtiest player in the room. He has already demonstrated that he will publicly smear anyone who stands in the way of his plans. He has used government to attack any and all who express the slightest opposition to his authoritarian advance on power.
If not addressed promptly this has the capacity to undermine Canada's economic position and, for that matter that of all western nations, well beyond the current economic crises.
We must do the same for our retirement income system.
Fortunately, the centrepiece of that system, the Canada Pension Plan, is fully funded, actuarially sound and does not need to be changed.
For those elements of the system that are not funded, we will make the changes necessary to ensure sustainability for the next generation while not affecting current recipients.
He's also a coward for failing to stand on Canadian ground and make such a pronouncement. And if he goes ahead with what many suspect is a rise in the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to age 67, it also makes him a Mulronyesque liar. During the 2011 election campaign, in a blatant vote buy, he promised something completely different. (Page 28).
As a real economist has pointed out, Canada is in good shape to deal with the wave of baby-boomers approaching retirement age. There is no need to adjust retirement ages upward in this country and Harper has no legitimate mandate to implement such a change.
The only pension plan that needs to be overhauled is the one in which he and his political cronies reside. The original purpose of that plan has long since vanished.
As far as attacking wasteful spending, (something all conservatives talk about but never actually do), his first target should be the things he created.
Harper, devoid of conscience, steeped in his personal fable and determined to enrich his corporate masters will likely forget the name Solange Denis, the 63-year old woman who stood up to Brian Mulroney. And if he proceeds to gut this country's retiring generation, intent on ignoring the single largest active voting block in the country, you might brace yourself for the next ugly maneouvre.
Update: As might be expected from somewhere among the tax-payer funded, very expensive battalion that constitutes the PMO, the talking points have been issued. Interesting isn't it? The body of the Conservative caucus is so unreliable that they need "talking points" on every single issue.
In any case, as Kady points out, the author fails to acknowledge that all this speculation (and the pulling down of the Harper mask) was caused by Harper himself.
And I will point out that not one, not a single one of those talking points puts the speculation to rest nor does it address facts.