The180

Economist Party election roundup

What do the real economists in our so-far fictional "Economist Party" think about the election campaign?
Some economists and financial planners agree that people are making different choices with their money, spending money on things that our parents' generations may not have spent money on. (Brett Purdy/CBC)

If a group of Canadian economists had their way, there would have been another option on election day: The Economist Party -- a political movement based on hard economic principles.

At the start of the campaign, The 180 checked in with the so-far imaginary Economist Party, to get a sense of what Canada would look like if it was run by economists. This week, Economist Party "candidates", Lindsay Tedds and Stephen Gordon, give the major parties an economics report card.

(The full interview is available in the audio player above. The following portions have been edited for clarity and length.)

Lindsay Tedds is an Associate Professor of Economics in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, and a visiting professor at the University of Calgary. She says that collectively, the major parties do well at addressing the country's big economic issues, but fail individually: 

And I think that is what's disappointing and what makes it very difficult to figure out who to vote for because they each have really great things in their platforms, but lots of stupid stuff, as well.- Lindsay Tedds

Stephen Gordon, an economics professor at Laval University in Quebec City, says it's hard to gauge the economic literacy of major party leaders:

Certainly we know Stephen Harper has an M.A. in Economics but one of the things we've also learned is that good economics is almost by definition bad politics... So he may understand these things very well but he realizes that 'if you want to be elected, you can't say that in public'.- Stephen Gordon

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