Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SO MUCH SQUANDERED


The ruling Progressive Conservatives seem puzzled by how fickle the voters in this province are. Comments from various PC organizers reflected a sense of bewilderment with the verdicts handed down in last weeks two by-elections.

It was half how dare they and part -  but we gave them everything they wanted. It would appear that the success of spin, buying off the electorate with spending promises, winning short-term battles with their opponents was as unsustainable as their economic approach.  They never had a long term plan - just luck and a bunch of one act plays.

Machiavelli might have told the tories that it is far more important in politics to be respected than loved, and it is even more important to avoid being held in contempt. This is the crux of the problem for this government, they are held in contempt by the public.

They used public money to to be loved. Our Politicians could not resist handing out largesse to demonstrate their kind, generous nature. They bought our love, so how can we respect them?

As the money dries up and the years of plenty come to a close, people are asking what they have to show for a decade of tory rule. The civil service, senior public servants and politicians got big raises. Billions have been spent trying to upright the underfunded public sector pension funds, the public sector has doubled in size and the province's overall debt is burgeoning on ten billion dollars. What happened to all those petro dollars?

Now oil prices are falling, those petro dollars are not in abundance to feed the unsustainable machine that they created. People want to know if they got value for their lost dollars. The often used line, trust us, just fuels more contempt. From ferry contracts to paving contracts - the government is seen to be incompetent or up to their necks in largesse.

That we are in this situation indicates a considerable failing on the part of our politicians. They failed to resist the urge to spend our windfalls regardless of the future consequences. They were corrupted by prosperity, blinded to the nature of our provinces weak global position. They failed to prevent the state from growing obese

Tacitus had a very good point when he postulated that " Prosperity tries the soul with sharper temptations; while hardships may be endured, one is corrupted by good fortune.”

So much squandered.



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1 comment:

Gary said...

In any democracy the quality of government and its decisions are a direct reflection of the public's wisdom.

Sadly, government spending is simply the "tragedy of the commons." Few have the wisdom to see the collective well being, or care about anything other than their own immediate needs. District spending takes precedent over provincial interests until finite resources are depleted.

We have had very little investment. Schools, roads and hospitals are unaffordable without the investment revenue to support their upkeep while pensions and salaries little more than expenses. Where are the investments over the past decade that are going to pay for it all into the future? Muskrat Falls is the only one I can think of. It is no free lunch. We we will all pay through electricity rates - a tax by another name!

The remaining oil revenue has to be channeled into wise investments that will sustain revenues and economic growth. Let's see if we elect a new crop of politicians that will care for much else than their own bloated pensions!!