Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pre-election spending

Political incentives change around election time, as this article from highlights

WINDSOR, Ont. - The federal Conservatives rushed out billions of dollars in new spending announcements Wednesday while the Liberals made their own billion-dollar announcement, a sign that an election campaign is underway in all but name.

In Windsor, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Ottawa would send Ford Motor Co. an $80-million cheque as a repayable loan to help the Detroit-based company reopen a mothballed engine plant here. In Quebec, Infrastructure Minister Lawrence Cannon announced that Ottawa and Quebec had signed a deal that will spring $4 billion of federal funding for roads, bridges, and other public infrastructure projects.

Other ministers rolled out millions in spending announcements across the country, from a $30,000 grant for an organ festival in Montreal to a $2.8-million program to help street youth in Vancouver get a job.

As you approach the election, politicians usually try to pay off individual ridings. Not broad programs that effect the entire country. I think we all know who those Ford employees are going to be voting for (enough to swing the riding?). We also know what Ford's lobbyists have been up to.

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