Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies, might be a line from a Fleetwood Mac song, but it’s also how I’m feeling as we dive head first into election season.
We all know the punchline to the joke that asks: how do you know a politician’s lying? Well, his or her lips are moving. Let’s face facts. Being fed a spoonful of bull as we dine on our own taxpayers’ dime is just how these things work.
New firetruck for Nowheresville East? Sure thing, b’ys! Can’t drink the water without a clothespin on your nose in South East Somewhere? There might not be an app for that, but in the pre-election budget – that now isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on – there’s funds galore, sure!
A stronger tomorrow?
Back in 2015, even though we all probably should have known better, the Liberals campaigned on rainbows and a promise of a stronger tomorrow. In fact, we all should be tiptoeing through the tulips, or at least smelling the roses, right about now.
Things would be swell, they said. And taxes? Why, they’d be cut! Instead, on a good day, most of us feel like we’re one more tax away from pushin’ up daisies.
But that’s no biggie and Ball isn’t anywhere near evil, nor alone, when it comes to putting money where his mouth is – or not.
Every politician who ever ran said things they’d do that never, ever got done. PC, NDP, Liberal; and that includes federal politicians, too.
Sure it’s almost better than a concert when politicians go after one another for broken promises. Who could forget Danny Williams vs. Stephen Harper?
“The Prime Minister of this country came to our province on repeated occasions when he was the Leader of the Opposition and he made a promise,” said then Premier Williams in 2007. “The promise did not have caveats or qualifications. It was a principled-based promise that stated that natural resource revenues would be removed from the equalization formula.”
“Stephen Harper came into our province and said essentially here is my promise to you; elect me and my party and we will give you more than what you have now, because it is the right thing to do. (Then) Prime Minister Harper told the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and essentially the people of Canada that his promises do not matter. His promises do not count, and they most certainly cannot be relied upon,” concluded Williams.
Of course the devil – or saint – seems to be in the eye of the beholder as well as in the details and the man who was once a liar, liar, pants-on-fire suddenly became as honest as the day was long.
“We thank (Stephen Harper) for fulfilling his commitment on a loan guarantee and for recognizing the value of Muskrat Falls to our province, the Atlantic region and the country. This is truly an exciting day for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as we write another chapter in the province’s energy story,” announced then premier Kathy Dunderdale not too much later.
Sticking with the feds, during the 2015 federal election Justin Trudeau showed us all his ‘sunny ways’ and we ate it up.
Then, once in, Sunny Boy formed Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet; simply because it was 2015, he declared. While things are not nearly as sunny – nor as balanced – these days, it made us all feel good at the time, and isn’t that something?
Frosted crap cakes
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’ve had enough of the truth. Between elections there’s facts and figures and enough raw truths to choke even the most heartiest soul. Tough budgets. High taxes. Low employment rates. Business closures. Lay offs. Exhausting. We could all use a little frosting on our crap cakes.
Muskrat Falls wasn’t what we were promised it would be. Ever. The truth hurts – even now. But man, the PCs sure had us believing the sky was the limit before it went and crashed on our heads. And didn’t that high feel good? Yes! It felt grand!
We’re gettin’ a new correctional facility! Yes! Finally! There’s more than $129 million for municipal infrastructure. I like it! We’re going green. Cool! We’ll get to benefit from our resources. Best kind, b’ys!
And that’s just the Liberals. The PCs are gonna go all out and “build an economy that works for everyone.” I want all that, and a bag of chips!! Yes to it all!
Promises! Good! Exciting stuff! And just like pie crusts, they are made to be broken. But who doesn’t love pie?
Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org