This is not to diminish the real strengths that Canada has displayed during the worst slump since the 1930s. When the prime minister boasts that this country has fared better than the United States, he is correct.
Nor has the Conservatives’ overall approach to government finances been insane. Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty may talk tough about the need for other governments to practice brutal fiscal austerity. Yet their approach at home has been more nuanced than that of, say, Britain’s slash-and-burn, centre-right, coalition government.