Meanwhile, John Hamm comes
into office and promises to increase spending to $600
following year, from the original Liberal number of $700.
This means we
would end up with a net spending increase of $200, right?
Wrong. Under political math, Hamm and his followers would
claim that spending has actually been cut because their
spending hike is lower then the Liberals. Of course, in
both cases the Liberal and Progressive Conservative numbers
represent a net spending increase.
That’s what happened
under Hamm. Despite all his boasts about “fiscal
responsibility,” there never were any spending cuts. Total government expenditures actually rose every year that
Hamm was in a position of authority. He could have done something about it
and he chose to do nothing.
Then there’s his talk
about improving the business environment in the province.
This from a man who placed new consumption taxes on the cost
of fuel in Nova Scotia, who openly discussed regulating
automotive fuel prices, who talked about shutting business
down on Sundays, who considered “fat” taxes, and who passed
special race-based legislation for First Nations and Black
Nova Scotians. To top it all off, he increased income taxes.
Now you be the judge, did Hamm truly follow through on a
Yes, I do understand that
Hamm was what some might call, "the best of the worst
possible choices," but the fact remains that although he had
five solid years to roll back the state, Hamm chose not to
Of course, now that Hamm
is stepping down, many Nova Scotians are wondering if they
will finally be offered a pro free-market alternative to
Keynesian conservatism and to tax and spend Liberalism. We
can only hope so.
Then again, even
Albertans understand these hard learned lessons that Nova
Scotians have gone through. If King Klein of Edmonton can
crank up spending levels to unheard of numbers and still be
considered a conservative, what does that say for the
conservative movement in general?