Promises promises.


 I am recycling a picture from one of my past blog posts. Who says I can’t be green? The picture does say it well though.

My past post was based on why politicians can be prone to lying in campaigns and how we as an electorate encourage and feed that habit.

 Now as expected the parties are battling to outpromise each other in buying our love with our own money. No party is innocent of this tactic. The only difference between the parties is the degree of the unreasonable promises.

 I was inspired to touch on this by Alison Redford’s pledge to end poverty. While nice and fluffy, to put it bluntly it is a shallow and stupid promise of something that is impossible to deliver on. As long as there is a top in society, there will indeed always be a bottom that will be considered impoverished. A person may as well pledge to end cancer. It is a worthy goal but it simply won’t be happening through a campaign promise.

 My ears pretty much close as soon as I see somebody spit out the vapid promise to end poverty. Had they simply said mitigate poverty, alleviate poverty or even reduce poverty my interest would be piqued as perhaps something innovative and viable has been proposed. When it is the shallow talking point of elimination of something that has existed since the beginning of human kind, I simply dismiss it as the baseless unsustainable crap that we have unfortunately come to expect from our governments.

 The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has categorized the spending promises of all of the parties in this election. They are predictible and telling.

 The Redford Progressives are in full desperation mode and it shows in the billions in extra spending they are proposing beyond the budget they just force-fed to Albertans a few weeks ago. They lead the pack in mass unsustainable spending promises.

 The NDP is next. They are a socialist party who has no hope of forming government so their spending promises are to be expected. Even if their plans are unviable, they are at least honest about them.

 Sherman’s Liberals are next. Like the NDP, this is a party that really has nothing to lose in this election so has no fear of promising the unrealistic.

 At the back of the spending pack is the Wildrose Party with $308 million (so far) in proposed spending increases. This does indeed make the Wildrose the best of the worst, but it is still way too much spending coming from a party based on fiscal conservatism. If deficit elimination is indeed the goal, then some of these promises will have to be broken if they are being realistic with them. I understand the temptation to jump on the spending bandwagon but it really is a shallow way to try to gain support.

The Wildrose Party has been surging as Albertans have been recognizing the party to be a viable replacement to the tired Progressive Party that has governed Alberta since 1971. Albertans have embraced the fresh approach and honesty from Danielle Smith and the party and I hope that trend continues. The Wildrose is proposing spending increases at a rate 1/10th the cost of the Progressive Party promises and that alone makes the Wildrose an infinitely better choice on election day. Like any party though, they do have to be kept in check by all of us lest they drift too far away from their base.

 I hope the powers that be are watching the polls closely. A recent and comprehensive forum poll has shown that the Wildrose is maintaining the lead in Alberta. The same poll also indicates that a majority of people reject the wisdom of the vote-buy effort with the “dani-bucks”. People clearly don’t want to see foolish, blind spending. They like the responsible approach and it shows.

 Clearly people are ready to embrace the Wildrose the way they are. There is no need to promise the moon and the stars in this final couple weeks. If the Wildrose sticks to the honesty and realistic goals that they built themselves on, they will form our next government.

 Shallow and unviable promises only harm future governance and build even more electoral cynicism. Lets hope the race to the bottom with promises in this election is finished now.

This is the crap that makes people quit voting.

 Well, the Canadian Taxpayer Federation came out with their annual “Teddy Awards” for waste in government.

 Usurprisingly Alberta won the provincial category. This is not surprising as our entitled and entrenched Progressive Conservative government really has shown utterly no regard for their expenditures of the hard earned tax dollars of Albertans.

 The highlight that won Alberta top honors in waste is that we have a legislative committee with 21 members on it who have been paid $1,000 per month for being on that committee. This committee however has not even met in over three years!!!

Now government waste of tax dollars is far from new and it has never failed to irk me. I will tell you something that angers me far more than government members lining their pockets on the backs of the taxpayers; there were members from every opposition party serving on that committee!!

Alberta Party: Dave Taylor

NDP: Rachel Notley

 Liberal: Bridget Pastoor (since crossed floor) and David Swann.

Worst of all in my view, Wildrose Party: Guy Boutilier and Heather Forsyth!

How are all of these people who took $1000 per month in pay for a committee that never met for years going to be able to justify this?

Was it impossible for an opposition committee member to put out a press release decrying this waste? I assure you it would have been picked up.

 I wish there was a good excuse for this but I see none.

All of us who support opposition parties expect better than this from our MLAs. We have come to expect waste and entitlement from government MLAs. It is hard to claim we are better when our own MLAs apparently will sidle up to the trough without hesitation.

 More offensive than the wasted dollars is the damage done to an already cynical electorate. It is damned hard for me as a volunteer to knock on doors to respond to a person who says: “They are all the same.” when indeed our bloody MLAs are all acting the same on this.

 I still support the Wildrose Party and do feel that they hold infinitely more promise and principle than the governing PCs. I will continue to do so. I sure as hell hope that some of our MLAs and MLAs to be learn something from this.

 We should be exposing government waste, not indulging in it! Brighten up guys. It will be at least four more years before we get another crack at this.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation are “Goofballs”

 At least according to the President of Alberta’s Treasury Board; Lloyd Snelgrove.

 Today I engaged in one of my more masochistic activities and watched question period in the Alberta Legislature. I was watching in vain hope of seeing some critical discussion of the record deficit budget that Special Ed Stelmach has dumped on Albertans. Sadly I was in for the usual disappointment. All I heard was repeated yelping from both the Liberals and the NDP using the words “Americanized” and howling about the deregistration of some health services.

 None of these fools seem to realize that it is prolonged overspending that has led to seeking ways to cutting services today.

 It is frightening seeing where discussion is in the legislature today. The Liberals swung deeply into left-wing territory with their election of  David Swann as their leader and the NDP has always dwelled in the land of Marxism. Both of those parties are thrilled with the deficit and would eagerly make it larger should they ever get the opportunity.

 Unfortunately the only voices calling for fiscal restraint and responsibility in Alberta are outside of the legislature. The Wildrose Alliance Party has been making great strides and growth but it will be some time before the party has the chance to gain a seat in the legislature. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been very effective in promoting a common sense approach to spending but our government dismisses them as goofballs.

 Snelgrove, had you listened to the calls for fiscal restraint that those “goofballs” had been making in the last decade you would not be sitting in the legislature looking like an idiot for being part of the government that took Alberta from a projected $9 billion surplus to a record deficit in less than a year.

 It is critical that we get voices in Alberta’s legislature promoting fiscal sanity. As things stand now, we have parties that stand; center-left, left and far left. With a few more years like this, we will be lucky if our great great grandchildren will be able to pay off the accumulated debt. The Wildrose Alliance Party is the only party promoting fiscal common sense and we need to get their members into the legislature ASAP. Lets hope for some by-elections at least as Ed Stelmach will not want to face the electorate any time soon.

 The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has a blog here with some great postings.