No Tea Party in Canada

Democrats seem bewildered by the strength of the Tea Party movement.  Powerful incumbent Senators such as Boxer (CA) and Reid (NV), and numerous House Reps in leadership positions find themselves in difficult contests. Republicans are poised to gain significant numbers in the legislative branch in November’s mid-terms election.

Fighting back, Democrats and their supporters have gone after Tea Party-Republican candidates, focusing on their oddities, inconsistencies, and lack of coherent policies.  Rachel Maddow, among others, has exposed the remarkably poor caliber of some candidates propelled by the Tea Party to victory in the Republican primaries. 

Be that as it may, the legitimate complaint of the Tea Party movement has not been effectively dealt with by Democrats.  The root groundswell of anti-government energy comes from fear and anger about deficit spending and debt. 

Deficits matter.

In Canada, governments of the past decade worked hard to erase the substantial deficits of the 1990s.  When the 2008 financial crisis arrived, Canada was able to face the recession with sound economic fundamentals.   Increased public spending in 2009 and 2010 again created deficits, but helped Canada recover nearly all the jobs lost in 2008.  Embarking on a new deficit spending program did not phase the public, and Canadian leaders are now talking about returning to surplus budgets in the next 7 years. 

There is no tea party movement in Canada.  National health care, yes.  Major tax protests, no.

For all the things wrong with aspects of the Tea Party movement, from blaming the Obama administration for current ills to dredging up misguided social views, the truth is that the U.S. would have braved the recession far more effectively if it had had a budget surplus. 

In not addressing this aspect of the financial health of the nation directly from the start, with a coherent long-term plan, the Democrats have allowed the opposition to bundle legitimate disapproval of the government’s budget outlook with generalized anger at banks, unemployment, the Bush administration, Congress, taxes, and government spending.
It’s working for Republicans so far, and if this election looks bleak, imagine Sarah Palin filling a stadium near you in 2012.

(Marc Seltzer has been on paternity leave after the birth of his daughter in June.  Marc can also be heard reviewing U.S. Supreme Court cases at

fibonacciblue at


Debrah McCabe
7 years ago

Frank, let me point out that the US also has a history of meddling and manipulating, raising and bringing down governments. That perhaps is why you are hearing the rest of the world telling the US to clean up their act and to quit causing problems everywhere in the world. Why should we be ashamed that we're fed up with the abuses that have come directly out of America? CDO's, Monsanto, Haliburton, Iraq, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Greenspan, George W. Bush, FDA who's a "department of Monsanto's" and every other pharmeceutical company, an EPA who happily kills off the bees needed for food production in the US, Canada and Mexico. That's just a hint of the goodies that have come out of your country. Your country caused your own problems by virtue of greed and excess at the top for many years and now you're hurt by our lack of sympathy? The US should be asking forgiveness of all those who've been afflicted by the policies of your government.

On an individual level, we all feel for the individual man, but on a general level, it is hard not to feel that karma is coming home to roost.

Ant m.
Ant m7 years ago

noted ........

Helen Duplessis
Helen D7 years ago

Canada very smart of you!

Trish H.
Anne H7 years ago

I suspect the Tea Party is like a spoiled child. They don't care if the decision is a good one they care that they didn't get their way. It is sad as this is one of the things that ruins politics of developing nations.

Look outside the US, there are many successes. It wouldn't hurt any of us to be open to them. Healthcare, public transport, recycling, education.....we are not a world leader. What is more important, being right or progress?

Nicole C.
Past Member 7 years ago

I'm glad I moved to Canada. The nuts here are nothing compared to the nuts in the US.

Dean P.
Dean P7 years ago

Thats a matter of opinion..Americans are not all stupid!

Anthony P.
Anthony P7 years ago

Frank S, it was nothing to do with tax on tea, you muppet. Know your history. There's not much of it. I did my degree in Nth. American History in my lunch break.

Gina H.
Gina H7 years ago

The Tea Party is just capitalizing on the lack of progress that the Obama administration has struggled with. We can thank the GOP for blocking every attempt. Even when Obama was elected into office, all I heard from local GOP supporters was how it was the Democrats who caused the mess not Republicans. I am amazed at how stupid a group of people must be to continue on with a political group that continues to run this country into the ground in the name of profit & power. The GOP & TPrs know how to fuel the fire of hate & fear with these people. Our hope is that there are enough of us out voting to keep this grass-roots Hate movement from taking over & making the USA a new Post Nazi Amerika. Canada has provided us with new approaches that we could well adopt so ALL could benefit and not just the wealthiest.

Alexandra O.
Alex O7 years ago

These Tea Party people scare the hell out of me. They need to be locked in a room for a very, very long time. Anytime you have people who use the blame game as their number one justification for the stupid things they say, should be ignored at all costs. In case these idiots forgot, when Obama came into office, he was left with one of the biggest messes by Bush that the free world has ever seen. You don't fix that overnight. In fact, it could realistically take years to bring things back around to the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think the guy deserves all the support he can get. Anyone willing to take on what he did is high on my list. You know, we can all be part of the problem or part of the solution - people who sit around and bitch about the state of affairs are definitely part of the problem, as well as people who blame others and that seems to be the tea party's only agenda.

heather g.
heather g7 years ago

In Canada we breathe deeply inhaling the swirling fumes from the Pot Party ... We're supposedly laid back. Harper is right-wing, but he is an Economist, so that helps Canadians.
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