A balancing act
I suspect that when the UCP party took power after the 2019 election that it would have to deal with not only a severe downturn in the energy industry but a global pandemic on the knock on recession/depression that went with it and is still with us. Now, the party that was set on putting matters to rights, fiscally speaking, is staring at a record budget deficit of over $18 billion and debt looking to be just shy of $116 billion by year end. The trouble is that from all my years of covering all things political if it happens on your watch, you own it.
There are always choices when it comes to budget time. One can cut, one can spend or some of both. I have lived through years of government austerity in the UK. In my opinion, does it work? No. Is it popular? Heck, no. What happens to governments that impose it? They usually form the opposition next time around. In Alberta’s case the UCP government and Premier are not the favourite flavour in the polls right now. Balancing the budget anytime soon I would venture is not going to be easy, popular or even possible before the next election. It would be some balancing act.
It is fine, in my opinion, to work smart, find ways to save money, preferably without cutting thousands of jobs. I also think that a great number of managers and bean counters could stand some time spent in the front lines and see first hand what really goes on and listen to the people doing the job. Sadly, in a government and corporate setting the real world and the world of management seem to be far apart. And, in a partisan world, the hat with the colour in power is always right and the opposition is always wrong. Does that sound sane to you?
Here’s a mad idea, why not sit down with the opposition in a genuine desire to help the people, not the party. Good ideas and policies are good ideas and policies, no matter what side of the aisle they come from. Ditch the dogma and work for the people please. That’s the job, isn’t it?