Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What the....??

Ok, it's no real secret that I'm not a big fan of the various Conservative political parties or their high-profile hangers-on. Let's set that aside for a moment. I have a question that I'm hoping someone (perhaps one of their lower-profile hangers-on?) might be able to answer for me.

What's the deal with Conservatives lately promising to balance the budget in a timeframe beyond the term of office for which the campaign would potentially grant them power?

For example... Rob Ford had a '5 year plan'... for a 4 year term.

Hudak is currently promising to balance the Ontario budget by 2017-2018 (if elected next month - October 2011, his seat will once again be at risk in October 2015).

Now, obviously they make these promises because research has suggested to them that the words "balance the budget" are likely to sway voters. But why are voters swayed by a promise with a timeline beyond the term of office for which the campaign will yield results? If I'm voting to put someone in office, I want to know that they can achieve whatever they're promising me within the term for which I am (theoretically) electing them. I dont' give a flying rat's ass that they have a 6 or 7 year plan if I'm going to be voting again in 4 years... I want to know what they can do for me IN that 4 years!

Alright candidates... there's your challenge. Tell me what you can/will accomplish for me within 4 years that should make me vote to give you that opportunity... and know that if you fail miserably, you've lost my vote 4 years from now.


notweasel said...

I don't see any issues at all with an 8 or 10 year plan so long as it's laid out well and has benchmarks along the way. If they're meeting the benchmarks at the next election, then we can judge their effectiveness on executing on the plan and choose whether to give them another mandate to continue with it. If everyone only ever comes up with short-term plans to be completed in the next term, we'll never get anything significant accomplished.

celtic_kitten said...

I agree that a long-term plan is a good thing... but that long-term plan should be made up of short term goals... and those short-term goals should be communicated "in the same breath" as that long term "this is the pretty picture I'd like to sell you many years down the road".

I'd have far more respect for someone who said "If elected, I plan to decrease this, eliminate this, and increase this in the next 4 years, which should put us on track to balance the budget 7 years down the road" than someone who says "I will balance the budget in 7 years... if you elect me for 4". The one suggests that there is a plan that they are willing to share because it is sound and they feel it is saleable. The other suggests that they don't really have a plan, but they're hoping voters won't notice that the math doesn't add up and will just focus on "balance the budget".