Research! You would think, perhaps, that iPolitics' Michael Harris would have heard of it?
Well, if you read his most recent column with a careful eye, you may be forced to conclude that, no. He hasn't heard of it.
something of a desperate bid to confuse the Harper governments Economic
Action Plan ads for the Liberal Party's own Adscam, Harris winds up
making some rather scurrilous comments about the ads:
"No one is better at giving himself straight As than this PM. The new
explanation went something like this: The ads were worth it because
after seeing their key message — that Canada was doing better than any
other developed country in tough economic times — Canadians would burst
with pride at what a good government they had.
Setting aside the neck-snapping shift in the justification, there was another problem with the ads. They weren’t true either.
Canada does not have the highest growth rate in the G7 — the United
States does. Outside the G7, the economies of Australia and some
Scandinavian countries also grew faster than Canada’s did."
back on 2012, we can quickly see that Harris' claims here are tacitly
false. The United States GDP outgrew Canada's... in the third quarter.
Through the entirety of 2012, the GDP of Canada and the United States
each grew at 2.1%. It took an unexpected third quarter for the US to
pull even with Canada in 2012, but the shine wore off through the final
It's especially worth noting that Canada
out-performed the United States in per-capita GDP growth, widely
considered to be a better predictor of overall economic growth.
in other words, Harris would have to make a single quarter a microcosm
for the entirety of 2012's comparative growth, ignoring all other
quarters, for Harris' claims to even seem true.
It certainly also helps that Harris is using current
economic numbers -- the US has once again had a strong third quarter --
when the numbers used in the ads, aired during the 2013 NHL playoffs,
were most likely from the first quarter of 2013. Canada's GDP numbers
blew the US away in quarter number one. Talk about shifting the
goalposts in truly epic fashion.
It's enough to make you wonder about the editing that takes place in the iPolitics
offices. This is far from the first time Michael Harris has thrown
caution to the wind and committed a savage burn on his oblivious
readership. It's actually become quite routine.