Not to dwell on the election…….

It’s over, done with, finito.

I don’t like the idea of dwelling on the results. Time to move forward

However, there is a blog entry from Mia Rabson in the freep that has prompted some discussion:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/blogs/rabson/Hypocrisy-lives-131234999.html

I made a couple of comments on the post. I intend for this to be my last post on the provincial election. What follows started out as a response to one of the comment’s on Mia Rabson’s blog but turned into a full blown blog posting. So Instead of following up on a comment there, I’ll post it here. Specifically how the NDP’s assertion that the Conservatives would cut $500M from services was a blatant lie:

Let’s look at their claim that the Conservatives introduced legislation that would have cut $500 million in services (which also seemed to be the basis for the ‘stop health care cuts’ ads)

Problem is that the conservatives never introduced any legislation of the kind. The legislation introduced ( and which Gerrard supported) was an amendment to the repeal of the balanced budget legislation. The amendment called for a suspension of the balanced budget legislation for two years.

So while the NDP was jumping at the gun to kill BB legislation ( anyone wanna bet that we’ll never see this re-introduced as long as they are in power ?) The Conservatives and Liberals said “hold on, we are in an economic downturn, but let’s not kill this altogether. Let’s make an allowance for a couple of years and then see where we sit.” Sounds prudent to me.

Not the NDP, they were looking to kill BB legislation without sparking a public outcry.

So how did this turn into “cutting $500 Million”?

Well, the legislation was for a two year exemption. The NDP presented a budget with a four year forecast.  So if the legislation was passed, the four year forecast would need to be amended to show balanced budgets in years three and four.

“See, the NDP was correct.”

Nope, not at all. The provincial government doesn’t pass four year budgets, they pass single year budgets every year. And forecasts are just that, forecasts. The expenditures in the forecasts are not set in stone and forecasts are adjusted every year anyway. Besides, they could have easily forecasted additional revenue in year three and four anticipating an upturn in the economy. Additional revenue would have offset the increased spending and yielded a balanced budget.

But what if the economy didn’t turn around?

Easy.

Amend the balanced budget legislation again. Budgets are passed annually, so that wouldn’t be a problem.

Of course, when your goal is to kill the restraint that is balanced budget legislation, it’s easier to portray the opposition as wanting to cut $500 million.

They changed their reporting so they could run deficits in the operating account and claim they had balanced the budget due to paper revenue from Hydro and MPI.

Now they have eliminated BB legislation all together.

We’ll never see that back as long as the NDP is in power

We’ll never see a balanced operating account as long as the NDP is in power.

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