Postscript: Budget is a waste of money
By Barry Wilson, Executive Producer, OPINION, CTV Montreal
Published Friday, February 21, 2014 1:26PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 21, 2014 5:05PM EST
We have a new budget in Quebec.
Well, they call it a budget. I call it a waste of paper; maybe the recyclers will be happy. It's also a huge waste of your tax money.
It's a budget that will never see the light of day, will never be voted on.
It's a strictly partisan political exercise designed to serve the PQ in an election campaign, to try to show the government has been a competent custodian of the economy.
That's because an election will be called within days or weeks. We expect to vote on April 7 or 14th.
But once again the PQ just doesn't get math.
The auditor general set the stage this week by saying the PQ numbers don't add up.
Unless there are major cuts in spending and increased taxes and fees, the PQ doesn't have a hope in hell of balancing the budget in its target of two years from now.
The measures announced are largely cosmetic and unattainable.
This budget is a PR exercise not rooted in any kind of reality and these shaky numbers do not take into account the intangible, the elephant always in the room: Political uncertainty.
Money and jobs flee instability. That’s the part the PQ never got.
New poll got you down? Don't worry.
Don't pack yet. A poll this week sent shivers down the spines of many in Quebec.
The survey said the Parti Quebecois could be heading to a majority government.
Here is why you should not get too worried; at least not right now.
For one: polls are notoriously wrong.
The pollsters blew it in recent Quebec elections and in BC and Alberta.
The Quebec Liberals, despite everything, almost won the last election while the polling firms predicted a PQ majority.
Nor did they have an inkling of the NDP orange wave in Quebec in the last federal vote.
In Quebec, Liberal support is generally underestimated, and there is also the ballot box bonus phenomenon that Robert Bourassa used to talk about.
Once alone with their thoughts and their ballot in hand, most voters opt for the party of stability.
Many voters also tend to get a little nervous when they see the PQ with such high numbers.
Pauline may have peaked and for her such an early positive poll might not be the best news.
Then there is the campaign itself. There will be wins losses and blunders on all sides.
Philippe Couillard must show he has some fire in his belly.
He must hammer the PQ on the economy, and explain the risks of electing a separatist party which is always drooling at the prospect of another referendum.
He must talk about health care and come up with a realistic plan to fix a growing crisis.
The Charter of Values is not what matters to most Quebecers, although Bernard Drainville would have you think we will be overrun by hordes of strangers who are dividing Quebec.
So at this point, the sky is not falling.
Polls go up and they go down and life goes on.
Let's just relax and hope that Quebecers have the wisdom and common sense not to make the same mistake twice.
Much can happen between now and Election Day and there may be much to surprise us.
So relax. Spring is just a month away