Ottawa ON – It was almost obscene watching 116 Tory MPs and cabinet minister’s blitzing the country this past week bragging about how much of our taxpayer’s money they have spent. On one day alone some 70 MPs announced roughly a quarter of a billion dollars worth of spending.
And, before the Tory base jumps all over me, I really do understand their rationale. There is a potential election coming, they need to change the channel from the negative Bev Oda story to a positive one, they need to reinforce the positive aspects of their Economic Action Plan.
However, did their brain trust not stop and think for a moment how such a massive series of announcements could spin out of control in the media? They managed to make a positive story a negative one simply by being excessive. They took what should and could have been a series of positive local announcements, all of which could have been spread out over a number of months or weeks and turned it into a negative national story.
Like most Canadians and Conservatives, when the recession hit I understood the need to spend money and invest in saving as many existing jobs as possible and also the need to help create new jobs. I knew the country would carry a large deficit and I knew eventually we would all have to pay the price to get back on track.
So far the opposition has been unsuccessful in convincing Canadians that the Conservatives mishandled the economy or that they spent our money unwisely. Most of us have grudgingly accepted that it was necessary and filed it away at the back of our minds giving the government and the Prime Minister a win on this one.
Then some “bright light” comes up with the idea to blitz the country with millions of dollars of announcements. Really, who dreams up this stuff and why didn’t someone in authority say no to what really is a dumb idea?
Like most Canadians, I don’t want someone waving a fistful of my money in my face, reminding me about how much they have spent. I don’t need to see stories comparing spending in Liberal versus Conservative ridings. I don’t need to see what looks like a last minute pre-election Conservative spending spree. Frankly, I didn’t need to see any of this.