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.