The issues are being addressed as if they are economic when they aren't-- they are political.
Looking at this from a fiscal and economic point of view, the last time Canada faced a deficit problem the dollar was too low and interest rates too high. This encourages a tighter fiscal policy that makes it difficult to address weaknesses in the economy. Today the dollar is too high and interest rates are at record lows. I assume therefore that we ought to be able to print some more money which would allow the dollar to drop. A short term solution but not ineffective.
Secondly we need to address what are Canadian core priorities-- unfortunately this is political-- those are the social structures that the Conservatives have no use for. For that reason we can expect them to get it wrong-- spending on the military is only part of the problem. Even within military spending there are choices that are political. The Conservatives are looking for an offensive military that can play with the big boys. They are not looking for equipment for peacekeeping roles, roles in support of international aid, equipment designed for safety, at least not for the most part. You could argue some heavy lift equipment and helicopters are a priority given our coasts and spread out population. Unfortunately, the government has the wrong purpose for the military (aggressive involvement outside our borders) and therefore we can be certain that the wrong emphasis will be made. When it comes back to our core priorities again the Conservatives are buying the wrong things-- support for big business is coming ahead of support for employment-- even when some of the right industries are supported the deals will lack the employment conditions. A healthy population is the most important priority that this government misses as they consider that an individual responsibility.If we were to address this priority we would see First Nations concerns about access to proper housing, health and medical services, education and water rise to the top. The second priority related to the first (considering the social determinants of health) is job creation-- from the point of view of a living wage-- not a statistical -- oh, it is ok so long as you are working (even if it is for minimum wage). Of course this requires an industrial plan rooted in the environmental, economic and technological context we face today. The first and the second to be sustainable need the environment to be sustainable. Finally, how we pay for the running of government through taxes, resource shares and investments needs to be repaired. A more open tax system, simplified so as to make it more accountable with the removal of loopholes and the leveling of the treatment of various types of income has to be developed. Amazing when the Cons talk about the virtue of earning a living. Presently our income tax system prejudices against those who do that with the highest taxes on wages of all forms of income.
None of these things can happen. the reason is this is not about what is practical or right but what those in power wish to do.
The greatest myth is the idea of good governance, proper management. The reality is that mistakes in management are fairly small as most governments succeed in doing what they want. The difference is in fact not about competence but about priority and direction. People need to learn that they are more likely to get hurt by a party that is competently going in the wrong direction than one that is trying to go the right way but screwing up. This has always been true and we are delivered masses amounts of propaganda designed to convince us that the right direction is actually incompetent and the wrong direction is in fact competence. There is no hope in expecting a government that has fundamentally the wrong priorities to achieve any good. If they screw up, we will suffer because they wasted resources. If the succeed we will suffer because they spent those resources on the wrong priorities. People need to get out there and discuss this political reality before we can consider anything concrete about budget solutions.