Opinion » Maxed Out

Some advice for the 'comeback kid'



Dear Christy:

Wow! You won. Sort of. Congratulations, I think. Have to admit, actually winning — something you'll have to wait for someone else to give up their "safe" riding before you can enjoy — the challenge to govern British Columbia does bring to mind the old joke about the dog that caught the car. "What now?"

Glad you asked.

OK, for starters, the election campaign is over. Again, sort of. I know it can be hard to change gears and lord knows actually getting your head into governing mode isn't easy but you've got the power, baby, so before you actually use it, the first thing you have to realize is all those election promises you made are no longer important. Nice words, pretty thoughts, fooled enough of the people to get you the job but let's be brutally honest, not even the courts of the land take them seriously. Why should you?

Having dismissed the promises for what they were worth, the next thing you have to realize is this: Nothing is more important than short-term gain. I think it was John Maynard Keynes who said, "In the long run... we're all dead." And truer words were never spoken. Keynes proved it himself by dying.

Why is that important? Because every single day you're going to have a choice to either do something that'll pay off like a broken slot machine or do something that might have some theoretical positive outcome in the distant future when (a) you're out of office, (b) everyone's forgotten who you were and, if it's not already obvious, (c) you're dead.

For example?

Well, for example, balancing the provincial budget. Running a balanced budget is for schumcks and fools. Hello, this is 2013; what kind of nincompoop worries about balancing budgets, except during elections when they promise to balance them. (See above on ignoring election promises.)

You know how hard it is to balance a budget? I mean, if it were easy you'd think the former government and your government would have found some opportunity to do it during the last 12 years, wouldn't you? Balancing the budget is not only hard, it pisses people off, and by people, I mean everyone, even the ones who say they care about a balanced budget. They don't really want you to balance the budget unless you can do it in such a way nothing they want you to spend money on is affected. And we all know that's impossible. So why spoil a good game? Nothing's happened so far that's really unfortunate or can't be blamed on some other level of government or "global economic turmoil," a handy catch phrase in case you haven't noticed, so why rock the boat?