Thomas Mulcair's 'Dutch Disease' Strategy May Be Paying Off For The NDP

Intéressant, la position de Mulcair’s, j’approuve sa position, il est dans la même veine que la CAW.

Entre temps, on devrait faire comme les Suisses, inondé le dollar canadien sur le marché, pour dire aux spéculateurs, nous allons l’arrimer aux dollars américains (genre (+/- 10%), les Suisses l’ont fait pour l’euro, nous on pourrait le faire avec nos voisins américains, de plus, ils ne se gênent pas en transférant leurs dettes sur le reste du monde en imprimant de l’argent, pourquoi on se gênerait ?

Extrait de: Thomas Mulcair's 'Dutch Disease' Strategy May Be Paying Off For The NDP, By Eric Grenier, The Huffington Post Canada, 05/11/2012

Ever since becoming leader – and during the leadership race as well – Mulcair has spoken of the dreaded ‘Dutch disease’ and how it can be remedied by limiting the expansion of the Alberta oilsands in a "sustainable" way. (CP)

When Thomas Mulcair became leader of the NDP, he promised a structured opposition that could take on the Conservative government. His strategy appears to be working.

Poll after poll has put the New Democrats neck-and-neck or ahead of the Conservatives, as yesterday’s Harris-Decima poll indicated. That survey pegged NDP support at 34 per cent, four points up on the Conservatives.

While some of this can be attributed to the honeymoon period that normally comes after a party selects a new leader, there might be more to the NDP’s good fortune.

Undoubtedly, Mulcair is benefitting from a series of bad headlines for the Conservatives. While any one of these stories might not have been enough to seriously dent the Tories’ support, the cumulative effect appears to have been quite damaging.

But on the other side of the aisle, the New Democrats are doing some of the right things.

Évidemment le NDP couche moins avec les financiers de Bay Street et les gros industriels de l’Ouest, beaucoup plus de marge de manœuvre.

Ever since becoming leader – and during the leadership race as well – Mulcair has spoken of the dreaded ‘Dutch disease’ and how it can be remedied by limiting the expansion of the Alberta oilsands in a "sustainable" way. His position has come under some scrutiny, both in the national media and from western politicians (including Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall).

Dutch disease refers to when a commodity boom leads to strong currency which can badly hurt manufacturing exports.

Ajoute, un voisin américain qui imprime de l’argent et utilise le libre échange seulement quand ça lui plaît, la situation ne s’améliore pas.

While Dutch disease is a real economic phenomenon that many economists would agree is happening in Canada, others would deny it is even taking place.

The average Canadian has little interest in the nuances of these economic debates. Nevertheless, the economy is still the most important issue for voters, and with Mulcair making an economic argument for the sustainable development of the oilsands he hits a stronger note than he would if his plea were based on environmental idealism.


Beginning in 2002, however, Canada’s currency began a long ascent, that has added over 60 percent to its value (compared to the U.S. dollar) in a decade (see Figure 8).

That means the cost of Canadian-made goods and services (and the cost of Canadian labour) appears 60 percent higher, in relative international terms, than it did in 2002.

1.      This shock has negatively affected not only manufactured products,

2.      But also any other non resource product which Canada sells to international purchasers (such as tourism or tradable services).

Analysts agree that the take-off of Canada’s currency since 2002 reflects the association among financial investors and currency traders between Canada’s currency and the price of oil.

Indeed, that association is verified by statistical analysis of the correlation between the loonie’s exchange rate and the global price of oil; movements in oil prices explain over 85 percent of the variation in the Canadian-dollar exchange rate since the turn of the century . (1)

By focusing on the danger Dutch disease poses to the manufacturing sector, Mulcair boosts his appeal in Ontario, the province in which the NDP needs to grow to form government. In addition, by calling for the sustainable development of the oilsands rather than their abandonment, Mulcair strikes a tone that can resonate with (particularly eastern) Canadians who are no big fans of their environmental toll but recognize the industry’s importance.

Charest, que fait-il entre temps, il se camoufle derrière la crise étudiante, plus qu’elle dure, plus qu’il est content, car on ne discute pas des vrais débats.

This is part of Mulcair’s strategy to make the NDP appear more level-headed and responsible. By taking this approach, Mulcair squeezes the Liberals out of the political debate by removing an excuse to support a third party. Mulcair is framing as the NDP alone against the Conservatives.

Les Libéraux ont de la difficulté avoir ce type de débat,
car il couche avec Bay Street.

So far, that is a fight the Conservatives are losing. Against a Liberal opposition, the Tories always had the Liberal record in their back pocket for rebuttals, and Canadians could shrug their shoulders and conclude that the two parties were the same.

Without a record, attacks on the New Democrats are harder to land. Though the Conservatives can stoke fears of the unknown — and the lack of experience on the opposition benches is indeed a powerful argument in the Tory deck — by 2015 Canadians might be open to something new. And in Quebec, where the NDP dominates, any attacks coming from the unpopular Conservative leader don’t register at all.

Where the NDP has a record, those governments are generally well-regarded: Darrell Dexter in Nova Scotia, Gary Doer and Greg Selinger in Manitoba, and Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert in Saskatchewan. The provincial NDP is leading in the polls in B.C. as well. Ontario’s NDP government is not fondly remembered, but that government was headed by Bob Rae. Any attack on its history is also an attack on the Liberal leader, deflecting the blow.

Mulcair has capitalized on Conservative troubles and put his party in an ideal position. Less than two months after taking over the NDP, his strategy is hitting the right note. Only some 40 more months to go.

Éric Grenier taps The Pulse of federal and regional politics for Huffington Post Canada readers on most Tuesdays and Fridays. Grenier is the author of, covering Canadian politics, polls, and electoral projections.

Extrait de: Mulcair’s ‘logic is off’ on oil sands, Flaherty says, Maria Babbage, The Globe and Mail, May. 11, 2012 5:46PM EDT

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has it wrong when it comes to the oil sands, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Friday.

Mr. Mulcair told a CBC radio program last weekend that the oil sands are artificially inflating the Canadian dollar and hollowing out the country’s manufacturing sector.

He called it the definition of Dutch disease – a reference to the Netherlands and how a  

federal parties standBut Mr. Flaherty said the NDP Leader doesn’t understand how the oil sands affect the Canadian economy.

Manufacturing in many western countries is contributing less to their GDP overall, even those without substantial oil and gas resources, he said.

“So I think his logic is off and doesn’t make sense,” Mr. Flaherty said after a news conference in Toronto about the 2015 Pan Am Games.

“In fact, what we see in Canada is a sharing of the wealth. When we have a strong resource sector, as we do in Western Canada and in Newfoundland and Labrador, then we see manufacturers all across the country – including Ontario – profit from that.“

Those who try to divide Canadians in terms of economic prospects are not helping the country, he warned.

But the Finance Minister is the one who’s dividing Canadians, NDP natural resources critic Peter Julian countered.

“The deterioration of manufacturing jobs is right across the country
and it includes British Columbia and Alberta,”

he said in an interview from Burnaby, B.C.

“So the Conservatives are trying to divide Canadians on an East-West basis. That deterioration in manufacturing and value-added jobs is taking place in the West like it is in the East.”

Mr. Flaherty doesn’t see how it’s affecting families, Mr. Julian said.

About half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost on the Conservatives’ watch.

Family incomes are dropping and new jobs pay, on average, $10,000 less than ones that have been lost, he added.

C’est pour cela que je dis donner un ‘Break’ aux étudiants,
 leurs avenirs sont loin d’être des futures réjouissances.

“For Mr. Flaherty to say this is simply not a problem, that our government’s not concerned at all about it, I think is showing real irresponsibility and it’s a profound lack of leadership to say that’s OK to have jobs that pay less for Canadians,”

Mr. Julian said.

Tout à fait d’accord avec lui, il faut arrêter de croire que tout le monde est beau et gentil, et tout le monde joue avec les mêmes règles.

Mr. Mulcair also told CBC he wants to see the oil sands developed in a responsible way that sees more refining done in Canada and less raw product sent abroad.

His comments have come under fire by Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

If Mr. Mulcair thinks the oil sands are a disease, Mr. Wall said, what does the NDP think the cure is?

Ms. Redford said Mr. Mulcair needs to understand just how important the oil sands are if he wants to lead the country one day.

But the NDP Leader isn’t the only one to land in hot water over the oil sands.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty drew Alberta’s scorn earlier this year when he said he preferred a lower dollar to a growing oil and gas sector in Western Canada.


The key difference is a willingness by policymakers to play an active, guiding role in building an industry, and constructing an international advantage.

In Canada, in contrast, policy has relied too much on the assumption that private market forces will automatically create a valuable, appropriate role for us in global economic affairs – and hence government can do no better than to get out of the way.

If we continue to follow that course, our future is clear: Canada will increasingly specialize in the extraction and export of raw natural resources (especially bitumen).

That business will generate certain economic benefits, of course, but cannot provide the foundation for sustained, shared, regionally and sectorally balanced prosperity. (2)

For that Canada needs a different approach

His remarks were characterized as unnecessarily divisive by Ms. Redford, who argued the whole country benefits by supplying goods to a strong resource sector.

Mr. McGuinty later tried to tone down his remarks saying he is proud of the work being done in all parts of the country.