Don Davies says Carl Jung would have a field day analyzing Conservative politicians

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      Sometimes, a politician will surprise you with his or knowledge about different topics.

      At the annual Vaisakhi parade in South Vancouver, I ended up in a discussion about Jungian psychology with Vancouver Kingsway NDP incumbent Don Davies.

      He mentioned that Conservative politicians often project parts of themselves that they won't acknowledge onto the opposition side of the House of Commons.

      Famed 20th-century Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung would characterize this as an example of the "shadow".

      Davies even mentioned that term, which refers to parts of ourselves that we repress in our unconscious minds.

      Jung noted that we have a tendency to ascribe these personal inferiorities to others.

      “The interesting thing I think about the Conservatives is the frequency with which they project their own deepest fears onto other people," Davies told me. "They accuse the opposition of being poor financial managers, yet they have the biggest deficits in Canadian history."

      Don Davies looks at Conservative politicians through a Jungian lens.

      He went on to say that Conservative politicians adopt a very moral tone on Canadians' personal interests, even though one of the prime minister's former advisers was carousing with young women who've been in the sex trade.

      They're tough on crime, yet one of their own, former MP Rahim Jaffer, encountered some difficulties with the law.

      "I think Carl Jung would have a field day with his analysis of the current right-wing politicians of this country,” Davies said with a smile.

      Related article: Freud and Jung theorized about the unconscious; UBC researchers try to prove its existence

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      PT Barnum

      Apr 18, 2011 at 10:21pm

      My favourite conservative, in this respect, was British Prime Minister John Major. While promoting the need for Britain to go "back to basic values", he was sexually intimate with one of his ministers, Edwina Currie. Eventually the media christened his campaign "back to basic instincts."


      Apr 18, 2011 at 11:32pm

      I love the way liberals champion tolerance and diversity yet revel in pointing out what they consider to be deviant or immoral sex. I'm not saying the pervy cons aren't hypocrites, but isn't attacking them by judging the morality of their sex lives also hypocritical?


      Apr 19, 2011 at 4:05am

      Birdy,: "The private lives of public people may be considered private only so long as they don't trade on them to advance their public careers. If an individual presents himself to the public for election as a happily married father of three, then he has made his weekend with a secretary or his visit to a prostitute of either sex a matter of public interest. If he makes a point of drinking milk in public, then the public will want to know whenever he gets drunk. If he buys his suits at Wal-Mart for the cameras, then proceeds to holiday on rich men's yachts, he will be photographed with telephoto lenses. But if he were to present himself to the public for election as a believer in specific policies, he might well be judged on those ... He would probably even be able to fall down drunk in public from time to time without anyone much caring so long as the interests of the citizenry were looked after."

      -John Ralston Saul, "Private Lives", The Doubter's Companion


      Apr 19, 2011 at 7:24am

      Is Don Davies using the " I know you are, but what am I?" defense here?


      Apr 19, 2011 at 8:20am

      I think Don Davies is just pointing out the hypocrisy of Conservatives...the biggest deficits and debts in Canadian (and US, by the way) history are from so-called fiscal conservatives...and the NDP has balanced the budgets the highest percentage of the time of all the name-calling, just the facts...

      Matt T

      Apr 19, 2011 at 1:11pm


      Expecting people to actually read the provincial and national accounts to get a real picture of public finance is far too much to ask, sadly.

      Far too many people, left and right, would rather believe whatever they are told about public finance by their preferred political party, media source, or whatever they happened to make up over breakfast that morning than admit that they havent read, and havent take the time to learn how to read, the provincial and national accounts.

      You are correct, though; on average, NDP/CCF government have been the least likely to run deficits and debt than other parties, even when you take into account their relative lack of time in governance.


      Apr 19, 2011 at 1:41pm

      But Harper is running a MINORITY government, know what that means? So, the budget (deficit included) could not have passed without the other party's consent. Yes, there is a deficit, yes, it is the Liberal's and NDP's fault too. In fact, the NDP and Libs pushed Harper into stimulus spending and complained it wasn't nearly enough, now, they have the gall to complain it was too much. Hypocrisy runs both ways here folks.

      The only reason the NDP haven't run a deficit, is because they haven't been in power yet. If they were, we would crash and burn.

      Matt T

      Apr 19, 2011 at 2:29pm


      Re-read the parts where I spoke of provincial governments.

      "The only reason the NDP haven't run a deficit, is because they haven't been in power yet. If they were, we would crash and burn"

      You mean like Saskatchewan and Manitoba where CCF/NDP governments paid off Tory and Liberal debts, and in Saskatchewan's case, after the bond markets refused to lend anymore ? Where the CCF/NDP restored the credit worthiness of those two provinces ?

      Is that crashing and burning ?

      Even in BC, the NDP is still, at it's worst, not as bad as the BC Liberals administration has been - that is, if you stop reading party news releases and the local headlines and pay attention to the AG's office and PSAB .

      I invite you to read the provincial accounts of comparitive governments in Canada over the past 70 years, since the inception of the CCF, and make your point with independently audited and verifiable fact.

      Matt T

      Apr 19, 2011 at 2:49pm

      Coastlife wrote,

      "So, the budget (deficit included) could not have passed without the other party's consent"

      This is about as far away as accurate as one can get about the deficit when one doesnt bother analyze the data.

      Excerpted below is a recent critique I wrote on the topic;

      "The Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada for 2009-2010, the Federal Budget 2010-2011, the January 2011 Fiscal Monitor and the detailed Canada’s Economic Action Plan documents for those years simply do not provide the evidence for the assertion.

      I direct you to review the 2009-2010 Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada. As you can see from the table presented on page 10, titled “Canada’s Economic Action Plan”, total spending and tax cuts related to the Economic Action Plan amounted to $ 21.0 billion. This is in contrast to a reported deficit of $ 55.6 billion. Spending related to Canada’s Economic Action Plan, including tax cuts, was only 37.7% of the total deficit for the fiscal year. The majority of the deficit, 62.3 % or $ 34.6 billion of the total, was not related to Canada’s Economic Action Plan and/or the direct urging of Liberals and New Democrats.

      The $ 34.6 billion deficit for 2009-2010 not related to Canada’s Economic Action Plan included decreased income tax revenues of $ 11.2 billion (excluding Canada’s Economic Action Plan related tax cuts, in which case the number is $ 14.5 billion). Other revenues declined $ 2.9 billion, for a total decline in revenue of $ 14.2 billion not related to Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

      Spending for 2009-2010 was increased $ 35.4 billion dollars over the previous fiscal year. Excluding the value of tax cuts included in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, already factored into reduced revenue, leaves $ 17.7 billion in spending increases not related to Canada’s Economic Action Plan ( $ 35.4 billion - $ 21 billion EAP + $ 3.3 billion tax cuts included in EAP).

      In total, Canada’s Economic Action Plan contributed $ 21 billion to the deficit, reduced revenues not related to the Economic Action Plan contributed $ 14.2 billion to the deficit, and increased spending not related to the Economic Action Plan contributed $ 17.7 billion to the deficit for 2009-2010.

      For fiscal year 2010-2011 we must rely on budget projections, as we do not yet have access to the audited Annual Financial Report for said period. However, the Fiscal Monitor update from the Ministry of Finance is currently available, and to the year ended Jan 31/2011, the Ministry indicates that “over $13 billion of the $27.7 billion deficit was attributable to actions taken under Canada's Economic Action Plan.”

      If we extrapolate these numbers out on a linear basis to encompass the final two months of the fiscal year, we see a deficit between $ 32.9 billion (projected) - $ 41 billion (budgeted) and spending on Canada’s Economic Action Plan projected between $ 15.5 billion (projected) - $ 19 billion (budgeted).

      This means that for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, we can expect approximately 48 % of the deficit to come from Canada’s Economic Action Plan as projected, and 47 % of the deficit as budgeted.

      Therefore, over the two year period, we have a total budgeted deficit of $ 98.6 billion - $ 106.6 billion, with total federal government spending related to Canada’s Economic Action Plan coming in at $36.5 billion - $ 40 billion, or 35% - 38% in the aggregate. "

      Conclusion - the government's own documents, reviewed by the AG, only blame the EAP - which the Liberals and NDP wanted - for 35% - 38% of the deficit.

      Whether you want to accept it or not, spending under the Tories on their policy priorites has surged, and that cant be blamed on the Opposition, and neither can no more than 38% of the deficit.

      glen p robbins

      Apr 19, 2011 at 4:33pm

      Most people do what Mr. Davies is referring to from time to time. However, no matter the ideology the more sanctimonious people become at any endeavour, lawyer, teacher, baker man, religious man, political marxist, conservative, liberal, green - mothers with daughters in dance, the only way they are able to explain the littany of events that occur incongruent to the comfort of their belief systems is to dispense with this pain through this mechanism - more easily employed (I would assert) by the more emotionally 'lazy' person.

      Ones' ability to properly deal truthfully with these incongruences that (will inevitably occur) in their psychology - without the shadow - the transfer - the projections - is the mark of the superior human being and given certain other criteria - the mark of a better leader.

      It isn't the exclusive domain of Conservatives - it may become the exclusive domain of people in power for awhile - the Liberals under Chretien became awful people after a time, Glen Clark's NDP government became awful people after a time - Gordon Campbell would leave anyone with an understanding of themselves chilled with fear that there are people like this in charge of our lives -- and Mr. Harper et al have begun to slide into this area I suspect.