The Bull Meter: Stephen Harper on the risk elections pose to the economy

Should we avoid the polls so long as the economy is fragile?

[mac_quote person=”Stephen Harper” date=”March 26, 2011″]Against this backdrop of growing economic risk, and against our advice, the opposition parties have chosen to force an election the country doesn’t want; an election the economy doesn’t need.[/mac_quote]

[mac_bull score=”4″]

When looking at the Canadian stock market index and the performance of the loonie over the past 20 years, election campaigns appear to have virtually no effect on the Canadian economy. Sure, Canada’s stock market tanked around the time voters last went to the polls in 2008, but we’re pretty sure the collapse of the global economy had a bit more to do with it than the prorogation of Parliament. Data collected by the Bank of Canada shows that the Canadian dollar’s average fluctuation in the 35 days prior to an election was about US$0.03, with the biggest change—US$0.05—occurring during the 2004 election.

Indeed, few economists would defend the the idea that an election is a “risk” to Canada’s stable economy. With all the part-time jobs involved and party spending, an election may even give Canada’s economy a stimulating jolt.

Heard something that doesn’t sound quite right? Send quotes from the campaign trail to and we’ll tell you just how much bull they contain.


Trading Economics

Bank of Canada

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