One of the more persistent myths about prosperity is that it results purely from luck. Often, commentators credit the mere presence of oil, gas, potash and other natural resources for Western Canada’s recent (and presently fading) boom in investment, jobs and government revenues.
Lost in the current flurry of Ontarios election campaign is the one key issue facing the province, and indeed all of Canada: Ontarios laggard economic performance is dragging down the national economy.
Throughout human history, men and women have struggled to tear themselves free from concentrated power and its ill effects. While many people in developed, democratic and capitalist countries often take their freedoms for granted, history is filled with tyrants and bullies who stand between citizens, their freedom and their prosperity.
With Ralph Kleins passing, many have tried to find a constant theme in his political life. The late premier was, to be sure, a populist. What else explains his reputation as a big spender when mayor of Calgary and then his switch to a prudent premier?
The explanation is not complicated: once the bills come due, even a populist politician will change course when the public sours on policy gimmicks, when they demand a government focus on the basics. That includes not bankrupting public finances or assuming taxpayers can be increasingly gouged to pay for political vote buying.