Your subject heading is very deceptive.Canada in the 90's actually INCREASED TAXES, while attacking the deficit.
Yes, Canada viciously cut it's spending during the 90's, but we also raised taxes considerably.
they turned the entire population into a group of unpaid tax collectors.
The previous Conservative government ran us into the ground and sold us out with NAFTA. They were so
abhorred, that Prime Minister Campbell didn't even win her own seat in Parliament. Jean Charest, a Quebec conservative who just narrowly lost a fierce battle with Campbell for leadership of the conservative party, did win his seat, but ended up having to cross the floor to become a Liberal, step down from Federal politics to the provincial level, in an effort to keep Canada together, and to keep Quebec was seceding from Canada. Local Toronto councillor Jack Layton left local politics in order to take over the helm of the NDP at the federal level, and in a hard fought uphill battle that lasted almost 2 decades brought the NDP from obscurity to Official Opposition status in what we refer to as the Orange Crush of our last election, until succumbing to cancer in the fall of 2011.
I remember the election of 1993 well. What a celebration we had that night! We all hoped for a Liberal win, but no one could have imagined the overwhelming LANDSLIDE that occurred. When they counted the votes in Ontario & Quebec, it was OVER! There was no need to count any more ballots. The liberals had already won. When all the votes throughout canada were tabulated, the entire map of Canada was lit up bright red. It was an overwhelming MAJORITY for the liberal Party of Canada, so much so that neither the NDP, nor the Conservatives even had enough seats to enable them to sit in Parliament. Their leaders didn't even win their own seats. We had so many Liberal MP's elected, that there wasn't enough room for them in the Liberal benches. Many had to sit in the Conservative and NDP benches (it's not like they were using them. lol) We had to make a few quick exceptions to allow both the conservatives & the NDP to even sit in parliament since along with their own seats, they had also lost official party status.
Our official opposition was The Bloc, a separatist party from Quebec who only ran candidates only in Quebec. They goal and mandate was to separate Quebec from the rest of Canada, and they formed the official opposition in Parliament. OY! What a predicament!
Prime Minister Cretien, along with Finance Minister Paul Martin set about to balance Canada's budget, and reduce our deficit, and they did so with massive slashing of transfer payments to the provinces, while at the same time keeping in place a controversial 7% goods & services tax that had been introduced by the outgoing conservatives.
In fact, the Liberals RAN on a platform of eradicating the GST if they were elected. They no sooner got into power, and realized what a cash cow a 7% tax was on all goods & services, and decided to keep it.
At the time the conservatives were splintered & fractured into the Canadian equivalents of the republicans, The Tea Party EXTREME, and the KKK party, and were in no position to do anything. All hopes rested on the Liberals, because the only other party was the Bloc who had been formed with the specific goal of seceding Quebec out of Canada. Cretien had a clear majority to govern as he wished for at least 5 years unimpeded, ...and then for another 5 years. Infact, there is no doubt in my mind that the Liberal government ould have won back to back to back majority governments, and been in power for the next 30 years if not for Paul Martin's impatience to occupy 24 Sussex.
Federal coffers raked in a fortune with the 7% GST, while at the same time, exported massive amounts of goods, services, raw materials to the US. With a devalued dollars worth approx 0.60 USD, our sales were brisk. Canada fed the US housing bubble with as much better quality, lower priced softwood lumber as they could buy, our tourism industry flourished, our western cattle producers flourished, our natural gas producers flourished, our film industry flourished. From Vancouver to Nova Scotia, every sector of our economy in every region of our country from coast to coast, prospered & thrived.
I doubt what we did could or should be considered a global model to be repeated. The conditions are not the same, and our strategy of debasing our currency only works when you're the only one doing it. It only works if you have a viable manufacturing sector, with goods to export, and your trading partners have a high value currency, and a policy of maintaining a high value currency.
In a race to debase, when all currencies are devaluing at the same time, it's a race to the bottom, and a race to hyperinflation. The only currency that nations can simultaneously debase their respective currencies against is GOLD
Watch what happens when Basel III comes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.