Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Liberal Red Book: The Economist’s Perspective

Grady, Patrick (2007): The Liberal Red Book: The Economist’s Perspective.

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This paper provides my unique perspective as the economist on the team responsible for preparing the Liberal Party of Canada party platform for the 1993 election. This so-called 1993 Red Book was one of the first “contract with the public” political platforms. While not all the promises in it were subsequently implemented, it set the gold standard in Canada for accountability and transparency in subsequent party platforms. By providing an example of what a fully articulated and costed platform should look like, it presented a responsible and implementable, alternative program to that of the party in power. This paper discusses some of the difficulties encountered in incorporating economic principles in such a political platform and also comments on the problems that can arise if political parties fail to do so. There are always many issues that must be addressed when the professional economist crosses the line and becomes an economic adviser to a political party.

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