Over the past few months, clearing away the government spending emails has become a daily ritual for every reporter in this province.
Since sometime before Christmas, it’s increased from an ever-flowing river, to a flood, to a daily tsunami.
The announcements are the most transparent attempt I’ve seen by a governing party to cling to power through flinging money.
The Liberals seem to have decided to use the Stephen Harper playbook for this election.
It’s a slightly odd decision. After all, Harper isn’t our PM anymore. Hasn’t been since 2015.
But, he was very successful over three elections. And as the incumbent, he used the power of targeted tax relief and infrastructure spending to help guide his party back to Parliament time and again, until he had his coveted majority.
Harper’s election plans were always about getting the middle of the middle -class on side. Tax cuts and benefits would be showered on the archetypal suburban-dwelling family, with 1.8 kids, two cars and a split-level house. Canada’s a mostly middle-class society, and from southern Ontario to Calgary to the Lower Mainland, Harper’s goodies were enough to generate goodwill.
The BC Liberals, though… they seem to have taken this plan, pinned it to an operating table, and jammed it full of steroids and cybernetic implants. You are definitely on the receiving end of some kind of benefit from the Liberals right now.
From child protection services funding to rural job retraining to “increased awareness of B.C.-bred sport horses,” the Liberals have been spreading cash to every imaginable interest group.
The question is, will people see it as a series of worthy investments in this province, or as a bare-faced attempt to bribe us with our own money?
This is B.C. politics, so I won’t make any bets. But the spending spree has left a bad taste in a lot of mouths.