I was on CTV last night talking about the stances on defence taken by the various parties, but I kind of wish I had a second chance at the last question: which party provides the best option for the militaries?
I said, sort of, the Liberals. If I could answer again, I would say that the Liberals are currently the only one out there with a platform. And I would also answer, given the decisions of the past by both Liberal and Conservative governments, the CAF is just royally screwed. How so? Having to recapitalize (rebuild) major components of two services (the fighter program, the ships) at the same time is just bad, the result of bad decisions taken over the years and lots of kicking the can down the road. Other bad decisions involve the shipbuilding program which turned it into a jobs program, which means no party can kill it. Also, heaps of contracts that have steep penalties if Canada makes different choices (more the ships than the planes).
Plus Harper has cut taxes and focused on balancing the budget, which means that Canada is not going to go from 1% of GDP to 2% or 1.5% any time soon.
So, as much as I would like a second chance to answer that last question, it is far more regrettable that Canada cannot get second chances to revise previous planes that got us here to this point. Path dependence is not kind.