Legislative Report (7 February 2007)

Voters Justifiably Cynical of NDP Largesse

Right now, the NDP is like a cook trying to prepare for a big party. The Premier and his cabinet are running around the kitchen and are making alarming discoveries — they are a few ingredients short of what they need.

Based on what we’ve seen so far in 2007, it appears the NDP will spend the next few months trying to stock up on political capital prior to an election call. However, it’s not going to work. People will see these efforts for what they are: a desperate attempt by a tired, old government, vainly clinging to power.

One ingredient the NDP cooks have already tried has made for an extremely sour first course. The $1.5 million Saskatchewan! campaign included commercials conveniently designed to start running just one day before the Martensville by-election was called. As editorial commentators across the province have noted, the campaign is nothing more than a transparent attempt by the NDP to hide its sorry, desperate record of failed policies and broken promises. The ad campaign is thinly veiled political propaganda.

And now, the ads are running during the by-election. That means everyone in the province is helping to pay for the NDP’s election ads. Other parties are limited in how much they can spend and how they can spend it. However, when you’re a tired, old government that has run out of ideas, you can use the taxpayers’ money to run commercials designed to send out your message. There’s only one problem. People have been fooled before, and this time it won’t work.

Another tried and true ingredient for the political stew is rebates. Recently, the NDP announced, with requisite mock surprise, that the Auto Fund had a surplus of $100 million. So, SGI would be issuing rebates to drivers in a couple of months. That covers a possible spring election call.

Further, the NDP said SGI said it would be applying for a general rate reduction with reductions coming to drivers of most kinds of vehicles. That covers a possible fall election.

When asked if this was simply politics, the NDP minister responsible said with stern sincerity that no, this was a business decision. If that’s true, then why is it that if you graph out the amount of money in SGI’s Auto Fund it always goes up right after a Saskatchewan election and drops just before an election?

People are justifiably cynical when they see what’s happening in Saskatchewan politics. They see a tired, desperate and directionless government that has been in power so long it has run out of ideas. It is a government that was dragged kicking and screaming into changing one of the most regressive capital tax structures in the world. Lo and behold, the tax cuts worked — witness the growth we are currently seeing in job creation. However, there’s a difference between reluctantly stealing some parts of the Saskatchewan Party platform and implementing a full growth agenda, an agenda that will set the foundation for continued prosperity well into the future. That’s what the NDP doesn’t understand as it cynically attempts to buy off voters with their own money.

When the guests start arriving for dinner, they will discover the NDP cupboard is still bare. And the guests won’t be very happy, since the cooks have had 15 years to get something ready.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.

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