Demise of economy will spell end for PCs

In a period of a weak and unstable upturn, we approach an Alberta election that takes the Conservative Party further into uncharted waters.

In a period of a weak and unstable upturn, we approach an Alberta election that takes the Conservative Party further into uncharted waters.

The Tories achieved their ascendancy in a prolonged period of boom that has gone for good. This is an altogether different ball game.

For now, a continuation of the 40-year period of their domination of Alberta appears probable. In the short term, the Tories will in all likelihood weather the storm, despite falling living standards and the various scandals that surround them at both provincial and national levels.

However, it is becoming clear that the days of the Tories are numbered.

The Achilles heal of the Tory party is the demise of the economy over which they have little or no control. The collapse of the market economy on a world scale is affecting Canada in the same way as other economies.

We hear the same old refrain about our banking system and economy being stronger than all the rest. If so, why are Canadians spending $1.60 for every dollar received in wages?

This is an extraordinary personal debt ratio and reveals an economic reality that cannot be ignored. It demonstrates that our economy is still being based on credit. This is, in part, because wages are being suppressed in favour of profits and dividends. It will exacerbate the next economic downturn that is not far away.

The recent spat between Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Ontario Premier Dalton McGinty illuminates the very real inter-provincial tensions caused by different economic problems.

Oil is a commodity that is subject to speculative market swings, which will only increase in volatility as the world crises continues to develop. The high oil price has the effect of pushing up the Canadian dollar, making exports, including manufacturing, less competitive, so sales drop.

This also increases unemployment in provinces such as Ontario, with the greatest population density, curtailing the ability of workers to spend and cutting demand for goods in the home market. This is to the detriment of the whole economy.

As with most other governments, the federal Tories are attempting to fix the economy in the only way open to them: cutting state spending, wages, benefits and pensions. This will only serve to further cut demand in the market and make things worse.

The alternative is a socialist-planned economy; it is a direction in which the Tories, Wild Rose and Liberals will never move.

Keith Norman Wyatt

Innisfail NDP

(Personal capacity)