shannon_vote
I chuckled when I first heard this expression. Especially when I realized it’s partially true: increased U.S. oil production, from fracking, has contributed to the decline in oil prices.

But as Glen Hodgson, Chief Economist of the Conference Board of Canada, explained last month, the global economy is much more complicated than what the ‘fracking Americans’ are up to. The issues are so complex that our current federal election barely merited a mention at the Economic Outlook event, held in Calgary a few weeks ago.

All the same, I am following the election with interest. Depending on whom you listen to, this election is about Harper’s economy, Justin’s readiness and Mulcair’s promises. The fact that so many voted in the advance polls is a healthy sign. And it still looks like any of the three could win.

What I haven’t enjoyed is the finger pointing. I have never seen so much attack advertising. And the ads don’t even bother to offer up an alternative viewpoint. They just slam the targeted party with lists of negative cant. How can they stand for anything if all they do is shout abuse? How can we build a better future on bile and venom?

Surely we all know by now that Canada is just another stall in the global marketplace. No country has unilateral control over its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), its currency, its economy or its future. Canada can no more be responsible for the worldwide reduction in energy demand than it can be for the rise of the fiercely competitive BRICS’ economies*.

To blame Ottawa for such global forces would be as silly as me blaming others for our tough position this year. Ongoing lay-offs are causing declining demand, which is constraining our rate schedules. No amount of blame will undo the fact that we’re facing challenging times until mid-2017. The election will not change this.

No matter who forms the next government, everything, as always, comes down to the individual. To people like you and me, who are prepared to accept responsibility for our actions. I know it’s my job to control what I can and to be accountable for everything that I believe and say and do.

I’d love to say that the fracking Americans have broken the economy – and my company – and that it’s their job to fix things. But I know it’s not so. It’s my job to fix what I can and find a way to operate in this new environment.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

– Shannon

 

*BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.