Some things just need to be said...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Trust us, we really have changed

Sound like a bad country and western tune? It could be, but it is also the Campbell Liberals theme going into the provincial election this year.

Paying Attention reminds us ...

The budget should be a pretty good launch into the next stage of this long election campaign. Lots more spending, money to pay down the debt, a quarter-billion-dollar fund to tap for goodies between now and the start of the official campaign - it's all the stuff that voters should like. But there's a problem.

For many voters, Gordon Campbell is going to look like one of those panicky guys in the final days of a dying relationship, swearing that he can change. Just give him another chance and this time he'll pay more attention, bring home flowers every now and then, and take care of the kids more often. It comes down to trust, like so many things in life.

The Liberals chopped personal and corporate taxes on their first day in office, before they had even seen the government's books. Those cuts, which knocked $2 billion off revenues, forced the deep cuts to services and prevented the government from coming up with the money needed to deliver on promises like adding 5,000 long-term care beds.

The Liberals' success will also depend on their ability to convince people that they really have changed. It's easy to play the devoted suitor in a bid to get a relationship back on track, and just as easy to revert to type once the crisis is past. The Liberals hope this budget will be the political equivalent of a truckload of roses.

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