The Red Door

Within the confines of a 30 second advert, this is quite brilliant for its stark simplicity.

Focusing attention on the $30 billion F-35 boondoggle and leveraging that as a binary option to the Liberals’ “plan to support caregivers, to improve the public pension system and to help you save on energy costs” is a smart political move.

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9 Comments

Filed under 2011 Canadian Election, Conservative Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada

9 responses to “The Red Door

  1. Northern PoV

    I agree and hope we see an English version.
    They could follow it with a simple cartoon showing the historic contempt finding that Harper is hiding exactly these costs….
    (29B is low)

  2. philosoraptor

    I feel like the ad should have mentioned the comparative costs rather than the cost only on one side. Otherwise it’s a vast improvement over what I’ve seen so far.

  3. I think the $29.3 billion is the figure from the PBO. Not sure if that too is going to turn out to be low, but it’s probably far more realistic than the $16 billion that Harper and Spudboy were peddling.

  4. trainman

    The fact is that Canada’s fleet of F18’s are aging; they will have to be replaced by the end of the decade, after nearly 40 years of service. The purchase of a fighter airplane platform/program is far different than buying a car, as the Liberals and NDP either (a) naively believe, or (b) would have the public believe. You don’t just buy a plane and fly it off the lot; you commit to an entire fleet, maintenance and management system. And you don’t make the decision in a few months or even years. There is a lengthly procurement cycle involved, and at the outset you won’t know the final price tag, as the final price will be affected by the options you select, and the fluctuation of material, labour, and currency rates, decades into the future. Nobody knows exactly what the planes will cost. The Cons are using optimistic estimates and the Liberals are using pessimistic ones. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. We need the planes and we’re going to pay whatever the price is. This isn’t a product that you can simply outsource to the lowest bidder and pick up a deal on Chinese planes. We already saw what happened in the past when Liberal governments purchased leaky subs.

    The Canadian gov’t committed early to purchasing the state-of-the-art F-35’s in order to take advantage of a larger multi-nation order. Canada won’t be shelling out a dime for this program until at least 5 to 10 years down the road, so to suggest that cancelling the contract now will provide money that can be put towards healthcare and schools today is absolute rubbish. It’s like a first year college student saying “I’ve decided I’m not going to buy a BMW when I graduate and get my first job, so the $50K I was going to spend at the time can help me pay for tuition this year.” The student doesn’t have the $50K to spend because it’s a future commitment/decision.

    So not only is Ignatief making campaign promises with imaginary money, his suggestion of cancelling the contract, would incur massive penalty charges for Canada, and in the end, make the final price more expensive!

    The situation is complicated, that’s why the purchase of defense assets shouldn’t be a political decision, it should be a military decision.

    However the Liberals are taking a shit-kicking across the country, so it’s understandable that they would ignore the complex reality of this issue in order to score political points. Anyone other party would do the same.

    But don’t kid yourself, this isn’t an issue of wrong-doing, it’s an issue of political theatre.

  5. trainman: That’s why I said it was a “smart political move”. 😉

  6. trainman

    redtory: Great! So don’t be surprised if conservatives educate Canadians on the issue and voters see through the Liberal attack.

  7. trainman: I don’t imagine that voters are going to get “educated” about the issue of military procurement during the process of an election (being as it is an arcane and convoluted thing at the best times), but considering the vast amounts of money involved, it’s certainly an issue that we would all do well to be better informed about.

    As I’ve stated elsewhere, I have real problem with the whole premise of military spending and “need” for certain equipment, but that’s another debate.

  8. trainman

    redtory: They won’t get educated about military procurement, but last night in the debate, Harper did a fine job of educating them about the Liberal shell game being played by the ad in this blog post.

    As I’ve stated elsewhere, I have real problem with the whole premise of military spending and “need” for certain equipment, but that’s another debate.

    And while you “protest” the military spending, you have the luxury of living within the borders of a country that can not only protect you, but also lend a hand around the world. I think that’s the definition of political grandstanding.

    Now you’re starting to sound like Jack Layton “Let’s get our troops out of Afghanistan–but lets keep building roads and schools.” Sounds like a great project for the coalition parties–and not to worry, the Taliban aren’t as bad as Stephen Harper makes them out to be…they’re just misunderstood.

  9. Trainman: I would certainly agree with you that Harper did a good job of adding some much-needed context to the expenditure on the military jets.

    My feelings with regards to military spending aren’t “political grandstanding” but a reflection of what I believe our priorities should be in terms of providing what can legitimately be considered “defence” and a preference for spending money on things like the Coast Guard and related sea/air operations that may have some positive benefit for Canadians, rather than ploughing billions of dollars into fighter/bomber jets that may be used to strafe people in distant lands…

    Though I happen to agree with Jack Layton and the NDP about getting out of Afghanistan immediately, I don’t believe we should be “nation-building” in any way, shape or form. The idea of building roads and schools, etc. in a place like that is an utterly futile waste of time and money. I would rather that money be spent here at home.

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