Ed Stelmach has no plan for dealing with this recession, so he turns to the only strategy the conservatives know when revenues drop - Massive cutbacks.
It seems to me, Ed was the guy we should have had as premier in the early part of this decade, back when Ralph was the guy without the plan.
Seen as it was Building Trades of Alberta behind "No Plan" it seems appropriate to use the renovation metaphor here.
See back in 1993, Ralph Klein looks at the public service in Alberta and decides that it is a building where expansions have been put on haphazardly (in his mind) and is this big ugly monstrousity. His bright idea... time for a renovation.
Klein is a master at demolition, he goes and tears things apart. Rips off all of the drywall, tears down whole wings of the building and even blows up the infirmary.
Klein looks at his work and is very happy, so he decides to sit back and take the next ten years off. In the meantime things turn good in the economy and the public service starts to rebuild. Spending announcements are made in a reactionary fashion with no coherent plan in place. The government claims they are spending more than they ever have, but little of the spending is planned sustained investment in the core programs that were cut.
Eventually, Klein admits that he hasn't had a plan for government and the Tories decide to turf him. They replace him with Ed, because Ed has a plan and a vision for government spending. But, oops - the money is gone, revenue has dropped and there is nothing left of the boom because the money was spent with no plan in place and no savings made.
We've been saying for years:
- Royalty rates are too low and we're not getting our fair share.
- The money we are getting from the boom needs to be saved.
- The boom will end - it always does.
Unfortunately, I-told-you-sos don't achieve much now and its time for a new plan on the economy. But resorting to the same old Conservative playbook will only make things worse!