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HomeCanadian NewsNelson: Governments immediately don't have any plans, solely infinite political theatre

Nelson: Governments immediately don’t have any plans, solely infinite political theatre


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A clever man talked about one thing the opposite day as we bemoaned the shortage of political management in our nation and the rut Canada finds itself in.

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It involved a technique utilized by Ralph Klein when premier and little question formulated by his longtime sidekick, Rod Love.

They’d choose one urgent want, one thing unusual Albertans understood and, for probably the most half, agreed with. Then they’d pronounce upon an answer to that subject again and again.

“We’re going to construct 20 new colleges throughout the province,” being the instance talked about.

This strategy had a number of benefits. First, it was an enormous, formidable plan, but one simple to know and completely quantifiable. Plus, it supplied a beautiful response every time the newest curiosity group or persistent backbench MLA arrived wanting expectantly for presidency money.

“Yep, that’s an ideal concept,” Klein might reply. “However first, we’re going to construct these 20 colleges.”

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Good. In any case, who might subsequently argue our children’ training be jettisoned for some various mission, particularly one during which the proponent had pores and skin within the sport. As politics go, that’s about as sensible because it will get.

These round within the mid-Nineties will keep in mind that first Klein authorities. Certain, many suffered by means of some nasty cutbacks in provincial spending. Sure, these have been actual cuts, not some monetary sleight of hand that merely includes trimming beforehand introduced budgetary will increase.

However whereas many have been offended — some nonetheless stay so — no person was confused concerning the authorities’s precedence: slicing spending, not mountain climbing taxes and getting out of the enterprise of enterprise (one thing Don Getty’s earlier Tory regime did with abandon.)

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Quick ahead to this sun-drenched week of mid-July 2022. Can anybody declare, with any certainty, the priorities of any authorities or political entity we Calgarians encounter?

In fact, the politicians and their sidekick bureaucrats down at metropolis corridor, up in Edmonton and away in Ottawa, will pronounce upon infinite oodles and noodles of priorities — they’d nonetheless be going sturdy lengthy after these weary, wayward cows haven’t solely arrived house however are asleep for the night time.

That’s the issue. It’s spaghetti politics: throw every part in opposition to the wall and no matter that paid-for pollster tells them sticks, they’ll go together with that. At the least till this relentlessly messy train is repeated the next week.

Nowhere is it extra pronounced than with the complete local weather change/global-warming maelstrom.

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We’re purported to be saving the planet — although that’s pure hyperbole. It’s our fairly snug spot on this massive rock we’re truly discussing. The planet itself isn’t at risk of destruction, having been hotter and much colder, but survived properly sufficient. Actually, we’re immensely conceited animals.

So, politicians who have been attacking the usage of fossil fuels six months in the past and urging ever-higher carbon taxes at the moment are bellowing for yet-larger authorities subsidies to alleviate these burgeoning month-to-month electrical energy and pure fuel payments. Attempt discovering a coverage out of that dichotomy. Ask our provincial NDP for assist.

In the meantime, Calgary metropolis council intends to implement some mind-numbing $87-billion scheme to get us to net-zero emissions by 2050.

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There’s in all probability a kitchen sink buried someplace within the plan’s particulars, but it surely’s primarily an train in ethical grandstanding, one adopted by an inevitable gradual deflation, till it resembles some unhappy, week-old party balloon found beneath a facet desk.

Nonetheless, it should really feel empowering, speaking about snatching billions of folks’ future money whereas nonetheless clinging to that free metropolis corridor parking spot. Ouch. Is {that a} nerve I see earlier than me?

Then there’s our federal authorities. Its solely discernable technique is infinite apologies for the previous, uplifting imprecise guarantees concerning the future whereas ignoring a completely screwed-up current. (We are able to’t fly, we will’t discuss on the telephone, however the PM holds a weekend information convention to apologize for the racist therapy of a unit of Black troopers within the First World Battle.)

There’s no plan. There’s solely infinite theatre.

Perhaps we don’t want 20 new colleges in Alberta immediately. However let’s construct them anyway. If solely to indicate we nonetheless can.

Chris Nelson is an everyday columnist for the Calgary Herald.

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