Yesterday, at a campaign stop in Pickering, Stephen Harper claimed the Canadian economy was in bad shape because the global economy isn't doing well:
"Let me just state clearly what the situation is, there has been a downturn and the reason for that has been the downturn in the global economy," Harper said in Pickering, Ont.
"It's really that simple. Look around the world, we have another crisis downturn in Europe, we have a very significant slowdown and some other related economic problems now in China, we had very negative first quarter growth in the United States.
"So those things have obviously affected this country and in particular through oil prices and some commodity prices."
The fact that Harper put all his eggs in the oil basket has nothing to do with the shrinking economy. The fact that he has delivered an unrelenting dose of austerity to that economy has nothing to do with it. In fact, his prescription is for more of the same:
Harper added that the federal government will not "spiral ourselves into deficit" and face credit downgrades, create an "investment freeze" by hiking taxes on businesses or take away tax breaks to Canadian families.
"Those are things we don't do," he said. "What we are doing, is providing strong fiscal discipline with lower taxes and we will have very large scale investment going into the Canadian economy this month alone through the increased universal childcare benefits."
In Young Frankenstein, the hump on Igor's back keeps shifting. Finally, he denies its existence. It's a fitting metaphor for Stephen Harper's concept of responsibility. He takes responsibility for what others have done -- like the banking system Paul Martin bequeathed to him, or the discovery of John Franklin's ships.
But he'll deny responsibility for the deficits he has run, for his atrocious record of job creation and for the hollowing out of Canada's manufacturing sector. Like Igor, he's become a running joke.