Saudi Arabia: Knocking Out Harper
Nothing sours the tongues of liberals like Canada's staggeringly successful oil industry. But it is the Saudis that are most vexed by Stephen Harper's relentless pursuit of growth in the industry. They are so vexed that they have come to the understanding that North America may be better off without him. This is not the main goal of Saudi Arabia and not every economist will agree, but the successful removal of Stephen Harper would be the equivalent of killing two birds with one stone.
Justin Trudeau knows exactly how to stifle the economic wealth of Canada's vile and demonic oil sector. So does Thomas Mulcair. Both of these capricious geniuses are vying for Stephen Harper's office like vultures waiting for death to befall a wounded buffalo. Both of these big brained vultures has a cure for all of this scandalous prosperity, whether it is a way to price carbon or to stall every single pipeline from now until 2050. If either braindead – I mean, big brained – vulture steals Stephen Harper's office, Canada's oil industry will be notched down and out of competition with untaxed Saudi oil. The Saudis would like nothing more than for this scenario to come to fruition and they have a full year to accomplish it.
Flooding the market with black gold takes time. After the market is flooded, it takes more time for economies and industries to feel the pinch. When the Saudis refused to cut production in November, they still had eleven months to let the affects take hold. Two months later, the affects are being felt and they are getting worse by the day.
A prospering economy always bodes well for an incumbent leader. Since Stephen Harper took office in 2006, Canada's economy has been prospering and blooming like a young primrose. But as we conveniently approach an election, Saudi Arabia has decided to take away the incumbent's advantage. Why, you ask? Because they can.
Most of Canada's recent prosperity has resulted from the country's wildly successful energy industry – which exists mostly in Alberta. At the same time, our friends to the South have devoted resources to shale gas exploration and extraction. These two realities have combined to produce an unwelcoming future for Saudi Arabia – a country with an absolute dependence on the export of black gold. Competition is too dangerous for Saudi Arabia and its wealthy, dictatorial royal family. Now – because they can – the Saudis have decided to pour drain cleaner on Canada's beautiful, blossoming tulip.
Before they resorted to this last ditch effort, which also hinders profits for Saudi Arabia and OPEC, the Saudis – with help from other nations – tried to hypnotize large swaths of North American liberals into becoming counterfeit green activists by arranging and funding high profile protests against pipelines and dirty oil. Since mass zombification failed on the majority, they have been forced to exercise their undesirable plan B, which involves a considerable amount of self sacrifice.
It would not be fair or accurate to say that all of Canada's environmental protests are funded by Saudis alone, as there are several American interests with many of the same economic objectives. But it would be appropriate to suggest that some of the undisclosed funds being pushed into Canada are coming from Middle Eastern interests. As noted in “Following The Anti-Oil Money”, this notion makes a considerable amount of sense.
“The idea that Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia would invest in such propaganda makes sense. Saudi Arabia is a major oil supplier to both the United States and Canada. They also ship some of their oil to China, where Canada's contentious Northern Gateway pipeline is eventually supposed to ship Canadian bitumen.” – “Following The Anti-Oil Money”
Economic prosperity has become a well pronounced trademark of the Harper government. Canada has climbed its way to the top of the G7 nations and made a name for itself as a growing energy superpower. Almost as though Mr. Harper has noticed the Saudis' silent and subtle demand for a Canadian carbon tax while nearing a Federal election, he has softened his anti-tax rhetoric. When asked about Alberta's carbon pricing model, Harper told CBC's Peter Mansbridge that the model could go broader.
“That's a model that's available. But you know, as I say, we're very open to see progress on this on a continental basis.” – Stephen Harper
This comes not long after the godfather of Canada's conservative movement and former Harper mentor, Preston Manning, called for carbon pricing in a column for the Globe & Mail. Many in Canada's oil industry have also vouched for a carbon pricing scheme. Many large corporations would undoubtedly reap monetary benefits from a carbon price.
“Indeed, it might save producers money in the end. A $40 per tonne carbon tax, which nets out to less than $2 per barrel, is a small price to pay when Canadian producers are getting whacked with double-digit differentials because they're essentially being forced, due to the lack of available outtake infrastructure, to sell to only one customer.” – Max Fawcett, “Stephen Harper Changes His Tune On Carbon Pricing”, Alberta Oil Magazine
A carbon price, or tax, or levy, or whatever you would like to call it, would not diminish Canada's energy sector to a state of complete mortem. What it would do is increase the cost of Canadian energy and make it less competitive than untaxed foreign oil. This would not be fatal, but it would slow the flow of money into the Canadian economy while bolstering and sustaining Middle Eastern oil. A carbon tax would also work to quiet the loud and obnoxious mouthpieces that speak for the counterfeit greens.
The question that the Harper government is now asking is whether a carbon price would be worth it for Canadians. The more serious question is whether it would help the Harper government keep a grip on power.
In contrary to all of this, some believe that lower oil prices and a low Canadian dollar could actually increase Harper's fortunes. As Thomas Walkom notes, Ontario benefits from a low dollar and low oil. Even if Alberta suffers, it is not expected that the most conservative of Canadians would change their vote to Liberal in tough economic times. The moderates in Ontario could find value in re-electing Harper, as the more vitriolic liberals may tone down their ferocious hatred in an economic upswing.
"The reasons are straightforward. Low oil prices put more money in the pockets of US consumers who buy Ontario manufactured products. In addition, a low Canadian dollar makes those products more competitive in the US. The combination promises to benefit Ontarians. And populous Ontario is where this year's federal election will be won or lost." – Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star
We may never know whether the Saudis are aware of the consequences of their actions in Canada, but we cannot doubt their economic prowess. Perhaps we would see a change in Saudi production policies if Canada were to introduce a model for carbon pricing. Or, perhaps we wouldn't. Perhaps we can expect a war with both sides holding their ground for as long as they possibly can. Eventually the Saudis will need to bring the price of oil upwards to sustain their own prosperity, but that moment might come too late for the Harper government. Perhaps a PMO occupied by a Trudeau or a Mulcair is what the Saudis view as a more promising future. If this is the case, the Harper government will have to rely on something more than Canada's economy for a convincing excuse for re-election.