MONTREAL, March 26, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Which American president
presided over a 39% jump in the relative size of government? The
"right-wing" Republican George W. Bush. In Quebec, which political
party reduced the relative size of the state by 19% over 10 years? The
"left-wing" PQ governments of Parizeau, Bouchard and Landry.
The terms "left" and "right" are often used to characterize the
propensity of a government to increase or decrease public spending. But
do these labels actually allows us to properly judge the policies of
parties in this regard? Not really, according to a new publication from
the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).
"In the cases we examined, we found no systematic correlation between
the ideology of the party in power and the evolution of public spending
as a share of GDP. The notion that the left is more spendthrift and the
right is more thrifty when it comes to economics does not stand up to
scrutiny. One must guard against misleading shortcuts in order not to
colour one's analysis," says Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of
To properly understand economic reality, explains Vincent Geloso,
coauthor of the Note, it is necessary to move beyond ideological clichés and focus instead
on the facts. What emerges then is a whole other picture, often quite
different from the official rhetoric of political parties, whether they
claim to be of the left or of the right. The MEI publication explores
certain explanations put forth by other researchers to try to better
understand this phenomenon.
The Economic Note entitled Who Spends More: Left or Right? was prepared by Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI, and
by Vincent Geloso, doctoral candidate in economic history at the London
School of Economics and an economist at the MEI. This publication and
its technical annex can be consulted at iedm.org.
The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan,
not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its
publications and conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public
policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating
reforms based on market mechanisms.
SOURCE: MONTREAL ECONOMIC INSTITUTE
For further information:
Ariane Gauthier, communications coordinator, Montreal Economic Institute
Tel.: 514 273-0969 ext. 2231 / Cell: 514 603-8746 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org