Conventional wisdom has it that election campaigning will ramp back considerably this long weekend, since the real world won’t be interested in interrupting family and fun time to stand at their front door talking to a politician. As the theory goes, if you force people to think about politics on a day when their mind is on anything but, you might just make them decide to vote against you.
I don’t really know if the theory is right. I only know that my team in the 2004 campaign decided not to door knock on the Sunday before election day, because it was also Grey Cup Sunday – and the next day, the voters elected me. So it worked for us.
(However, I’m still not sure how to explain the legendary Sunday afternoon of door knocking I did in ’04 on a street that shall go unnamed, in which half a dozen voters in the space of an hour answered their doors wearing nothing but a look of happy dishevelment! If you were one of them and you’re reading this now, I want to know I am moved that you would interrupt your lovemaking for me – but you really didn’t need to.)
But to get back to the point of this rant:
I told you in the last one that I get pretty choked when politicians make promises they can’t or won’t deliver.
I am having one heck of a time with two promises Alison Redford has made this week. She says if we re-elect her PCs, she’ll create 140 family care clinics in three years and build 50 new schools and renovate another 70 in four years.
Please, somebody, show me a shred of evidence that either promise is credible. It’s not just the money – estimated in the neighborhood of $3 billion per year to open and operate the clinics, and about $2.5 billion to build and renovate the schools.
Nor is it just that the money to operate the clinics will have to come from somewhere else in the health system and the money to build the schools – similar to the Wildrose’s DaniDollars cheques – will allegedly come from surpluses we don’t have yet.
It’s not even that Redford’s PCs haven’t clearly articulated what a family care clinic is, and they still haven’t consulted the doctors about the concept!
But it is inescapable that Redford leads the very party that was in power when our shortage of doctors and nurses was caused; that has repeatedly reorganized our health system nearly to the point of collapse from which it is just now starting to recover; and that has failed for decades to keep up with the demand for new schools or to properly maintain the schools we have.
Do those sound like the best people to deliver on these promises of new clinics and new schools?
Lemme think……uh…..no. Not really.