We all appreciate smart people.
Jim Prentice is one of those people, but it doesn't mean you should vote for him.
The reasons are pretty straight forward. Prentice raised taxes. It's a Boolean decision. Forget electronic voting. If I could rig a machine to vote for me it would need one single line of code. If government raises taxes for any reason, vote for another party. Done. My robotic voter would pick Wildrose.
Prentice is sure smart though. That coup he pulled against the Wildrose will go down in history. It's like something out of House of Cards. Nine MLAs including the Leader of the Opposition taken down with smiles and empty promises. Many of them aren't even running this time. We all know the story but it bears retelling as brilliant maneuvers deserve.
The trouble is that Prentice is also a progressive. One can be both smart and progressive. This is in contrast to smart and Liberal which are attributes seldom found in one mind. Progressives tend to see themselves as above the herd. They are the wise shepherds who's job is to lead the flock. Keeping with the analogy they also see it appropriate to harvest and consume the flock at will.
This is exactly what has happened. The PC Budget takes more money directly out of our pockets to pay for their mistakes. Their mistakes are my penalty. Progressives, being the adults, understand why they made all those mistakes. They fully understand why they had to lie to us about past budgets. It had to be done in their view. Else the sheep would ignorantly pick new shepherds and that cannot be allowed.
Redford's budget lies show that the party will go along with anything no matter how unscrupulous.
Prentice can't take the blame for the Redford years but he has to take the responsibility. He wanted the job. The government, the party and all of its baggage are now his. That's fair. If I'm the one paying the freight for it so I think its fair.
Knowing Prentice's craftiness and the unethical party he leads, what can be said about this surprise election? We know the PC's seem destined to rule for 1000 years or more. Alberta is broke and unsustainable (hence the taxes) so obviously we need to blow millions to immediately decide a sure thing. The government could have just waited for 2016.
The "House of Cards" reason for the election is to kick the opposition while they are down. Wildrose is still hurting from "the Betrayal" as Wildrosers are calling it. Call an election and exploit the damage Prentice himself inflicted. Ruthless political mastery of Machiavellian inspiration.
There seems to be something else going on here. Prentice's tax hikes were absolutely necessary because of the oil price (or PC mismanagement). This is basically the line you've heard. So why didn't they reveal any cuts? Things are so dire that taxes need raising, but every part of this bloated government is essential? Not True.
Prentice is playing House of Cards again. There will be cuts but only after the election. Prentice and his fat juicy government needs the votes of all those government employees. Once Prentice gets his "Mandate" he will give a speech something like this:
"While I thank Alberta voters for the confidence in the direction of this government we have heard message from so many who voted for the Wildrose opposition. We have heard the message that Albertans want a government that spends within its means and that is why we will look for savings for the taxpayer"
And with that Prentice will begin government cutbacks after the election. He will betray the people who want a fat government by cutting those same people loose and then credit the cuts to the demands of Wildrose.
Astoundingly brilliant again.
Do you doubt this is the plan? Its so obvious its almost the path of least resistance for the PCs. It's completely in character and matches their style exactly.
We all appreciate smart people. Smart people should be our friends. Smart adversaries not so much. Smart ranchers not at all if you are the cow.
We can marvel at the guile shown by the PCs and their ancient hold on power but we are subject to the rule of those same people. This is not a TV show. I pity Alberta. I pity the government workers blowing kisses to PCs all while they silently sharpen their blades and set the table.
I've made up my mind. If you are still deciding think twice about the sharks in the PC party. They can take care of themselves. I don't trust them to take care of anyone else. They will cash you in like a two dollar coupon if it suits them.