Home > Uncategorized > Gerry Nicholls Takes On Our Very Own Ron.

Gerry Nicholls Takes On Our Very Own Ron.

March 26th, 2007

During my budget analysis, At Home in Hespeler contributer Ron disagreed with me that it was a bad budget, suggesting it was as good as we could get under the circumstances. Little did Ron know that in the ensuing debate, I had some big guns to point at him.

Gerry Nicholls, the vice president of the National Citizens Coalition and one of the top five political minds in the country, wrote a piece that today appears in the Sun chain and that, basically, slaps down our own Ron on his budget analysis.

Here’s Ron:

They did what they had to do to make certain people happy.
I don’t beleive that they have suddenly abandoned their fiscal roots.
Hang in there until the majority happens. Those roots will start to surface again…

And here’s Gerry Nicholls from today’s article:

Still, some conservatives are defending the budget arguing it’s just smart politics.

By moving to the left on these fiscal issues, goes their reasoning, the Tories will win a majority government, freeing them to unleash a true conservative agenda.

The problem with this argument is twofold.

First, Conservatives win elections when they put themselves forward as an alternative to big spending Liberals; they lose elections when they try and out-Liberal the Liberals.

Secondly, even if the Conservatives do win a majority government in the next election they will have done so as big spenders.

That means they won’t have a mandate to implement a cost-cutting, state-reducing program.

In other words, the Tory budget is bad for taxpayers, it’s bad for our economy and it’s ultimately bad for the Conservative Party.

It seems Flaherty has forgotten the words of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan who said, “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

Sounds like Gerry Nicholls is talking to Ron. And yes, that’s presumptuous of me, but it would be more presumptuous if Gerry hadn’t answered Ron directly in the comments to my post:

Gerry Nicholls said…

Here’s the problem:Once a government starts spending like this; it’s a hard habit to break.

So there Ron!

In some fairness to Ron, the post stopped dead with his last question, which I didn’t answer not because I was befuddled, or waiting for Gerry Nicholls to answer for me, but because I spent the last bunch of days upgrading my computer (hard drive, RAM, Windows Vista), and have not had time to answer. So I will answer here, instead.

The question:

Lets go back to my original question – Do you think the Cons could win a majority?
I don’t think so and I believe this budget was meant to buy time and votes.
Does Gerry believe that Stephen Harper has abandoned his fiscal beliefs? Were we all so blind as to what he stood for?
Could this be the real “hidden agenda”??
I don’t think he has played his hand. This has got to be a bluff.

Two points Ron, if the Cons can’t win a majority, then they haven’t done a good enough job. It is the responsibility of a party to explain why their ideas are good, not the electorates responsibility to just “get it.” I have heard no teaching coming from the Conservatives. Just the sound of money flying out the door.

Second, if they did get a majority based upon this budget, then became tax cutters doesn’t that show they had a hidden agenda. If, as you put it, “this has got to be a bluff,” then the real hand is hidden.

So no, I don’t think they have a majority, but they didn’t need $200M spending to maintain government. Look, the Bloc is not going to go back to the same supporters who just ran and financed a Provincial election for the PQ, and say lets do it again. Harper has at least a year leeway, what’s the hurry? If he gave tax cuts, then waited a year for the benefits to hit the economy, he may be able to win an honest majority. A conservative majority.

And as Gerry Nicholls, I think accurately, points out in todays Sun, “…Conservatives win elections when they put themselves forward as an alternative to big spending Liberals; they lose elections when they try and out-Liberal the Liberals.”


  1. Gerry Nicholls
    March 26th, 2007 at 20:20 | #1

    Glad to back you up Brian.

    Now if we can only get the Tories to heed our wisdom!!

  2. Ron
    March 27th, 2007 at 08:45 | #2

    Augghh! Incoming!!

    Okay guys, I completely get where you’re coming from. I think I failed to make clear what I was asking.

    If the Cons had tabled a budget along the lines of what you suggest, what would have happened?

    Would it have got shot down and triggered an election? I believe it would.

    Now, what do you think the result of that election would be? Another Conservative minority? Or perhaps a change in government?

    The way I’m interpreting it is that they didn’t feel they didn’t have all the pieces in place for the big win and this has become a stopgap / survival budget.

    Oh, and I should make the point – I don’t like this budget either. I just think that this might be the reason behind it.

  3. Mark Dowling
    March 27th, 2007 at 10:04 | #3


    if you’re reading this – describing yourself on your own blog as “one of the top five political minds in the country” makes you look like an idiot.

  4. Brian
    March 27th, 2007 at 13:41 | #4

    Ahh, Ron, here’s where we differ. I don’t believe the Bloc will force an election this year – PERIOD. I am running on the basic assumption that there will be no election in 2007.

    The Bloc and PQ use the same volunteers and donors, and those people just got tapped heavily by the PQ. The fact that the PQ just got theirs handed to them doubles the likelihood that they will not allow a the Conservative government to fall, not in 2007 at least.

    Not to mention the NDP are bleeding support to the Greens and the Liberals are bleeding support to everybody, nobody will force these guys.

    You read it here first – no election in 2007!

  5. Brian
    March 27th, 2007 at 13:44 | #5

    Mark – It’s meant tongue and cheek.

  6. Gerry Nicholls
    March 27th, 2007 at 20:59 | #6


    What do you mean?

    Oh I get it?

    You think I am the number one political mind in the country!

    Well thanks for that, but you know I don’t want to get too conceited.

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