Get ready for the election
The provincial legislature is back in session. As this is the last session prior to the provincial elections, it will be more about scoring points than anything else.
The throne speech has been given as usual, but tabling the budget is far more interesting.
The budget will have all the details of what your government is going to do for you. It is wise to keep in mind that they will be doing all those things for us using our money. Going into an election, you can bet even money that it will be a balanced budget. The budget will tell you how wonderfully well your money has been used and how we will get more benefits in the future at a lower cost.
That will set the stage for a legislative session that will consist primarily of how wonderful it has been over the past several years of a Liberal government. The opposition will do their utmost to tell us how disastrous the past decade has been. That is their job and that is why they are called opposition.
Most of us have a fairly short span of memory. The last thing that we hear is what we will recall most vividly. Getting ready to hit the election trail, expect to hear a lot of strongly worded verbiage from both sides of the house. No quarter will be given or taken as this is a last chance to get the message out to the electorate as news rather than advertising. The news comes free and advertising costs money.
The real show will be when we get into the election campaign. This is where the promises are made with each side of the debate suggesting that there will be heaven on earth if you vote for them. There will be promises unveiled with great cheering. Some of them may even happen in the future.
It is wise to ask a few questions about the promises being made. The old well-worn expression “there is no free lunch” is a good one to keep in mind. Everything your government does for you costs money. That money comes right out of your pocket. It doesn’t matter how the money is raised, those who go to work every day pay for most of it.
It may be nice to think that increasing business taxes relieves the wage earner a bit and those greedy business types go without. In the real world that is not so, the additional taxes are retrieved by the increase in the products we purchase. Just like rent, heat and light and all the other costs go into operating a business. Those costs are either passed on in increased prices or the business goes bankrupt. We could leave a small business alone and just hammer those big businesses. Do so and you will find the business investment and the jobs that go with it will decline. One way or another it comes back to you and I.
Many of the services the provincial government provides us are well worth the cost. There are few of us advocating getting rid of our health care or education systems. None of us would like to build and maintain our highways. It would take a lot of pickup trucks with truck plows to handle the winter like ours.
The most important thing during the legislative session and the election campaign is to make ourselves informed. While there is a lot of comment about poor turnouts, it is more important that those who do vote have an understanding of what they are voting for or against.