Mulcair Wrong to Claim Best NDP Balanced Budget Record


VANCOUVER, Oct. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is wrong to claim that NDP governments are the best at balancing budgets. This analytical result is found in Political Poker: Ranking Parties Since 1981, the second of three election reports from new Vancouver-based interactive think tank Aha!

The report examines eleven fiscal and economic outcomes of 80 provincial governments over three decades. The 25 parties that governed are classified as conservative, liberal, and social democrat according to their political leanings, and ranked from best to worst.

"The NDP record is clear: average annual deficits in five of six provinces during their terms in power," said co-author Dr. Mark Milke, policy analyst and political scientist, "and Mr. Mulcair is using budget data that are inadequate and cannot be fairly compared."

On the issue of balanced budgets, the study finds that average annual deficits for conservative governments (-0.7% of GDP) were smaller than social democrats at -1.0% (or the NDP or Parti Quebecois separately), while liberals recorded the largest ones at -1.3%. Only two parties ran average surpluses over their terms: Alberta PCs and Saskatchewan NDP.

The study finds that conservatives have the best record for all five economic outcomes, followed by liberals, and with social democrats last. That includes stronger private sector job creation, higher economic growth, and lower unemployment rates. For example, conservatives saw average annual job growth of 2.2% (+ 17,400 jobs per year), liberals saw 1.6% growth (+15,700), and social democrats saw 1.4% growth (+12,800).  On net migration, people leave red and orange provinces and move into conservative-governed blue provinces.

"This study shows that government policy has a real effect on fiscal and economic outcomes," said co-author, economist and Aha! CEO Dr. Mark Mullins, "and there are dramatic differences across the political spectrum."

On fiscal outcomes, liberals presided over the largest deficits, highest spending levels, and highest government job growth. Of interest, growth in public sector employment was marginally slower under social democrats (1.5% annual average) than under liberals and conservatives (1.6%). Overall spending growth is high for all parties, regardless of political stripe.

A Dream Team comparison, using the five best premiers from each group, shows similar results, with the exception that the five liberal premiers had the highest private sector job growth during their terms.

The report and sharable graphics can be found at

SOURCE Aha! Insights Inc

Image with caption: "Political Poker report from new think tank Aha! (CNW Group/Aha! Insights Inc)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Budget balance by party from Aha! (CNW Group/Aha! Insights Inc)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Private sector job growth by party from Aha! (CNW Group/Aha! Insights Inc)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Aha! Insights Inc (CNW Group/Aha! Insights Inc)". Image available at:

For further information: Media Contact: Mark Mullins at and (604) 971-6275 and Mark Milke at and (403) 510-6270.


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