Aug. 30, 2019

Election promises ring hollow in modern politics

It’s surprising what surfaces when you look into the political games being played leading up to the Oct. 21 federal election.

Politicans used to show up during campaigns bringing wheelbarrow loads of cash, with firm commitments for specific projects.

The latest phenomenon is actually not new – it surfaced in the 2015 election. The latest way of electioneering is not even making promises any more. Now it’s the memorandum of Understanding – an agreement of what they are prepared to about in the future.

We got that with the MOU with the Snuneymuxw last week where the federal government committed to seriously talk about transferring the Nanaimo Military Camp lands to the First Nation. No firm commitment, not a firm deal, just an “understanding” that they’re going to negotiate. No deadline date, no down payment, no cash in the bank.

Now Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau are making nice on liquid natural gas (LNG) with an MOU to negotiate a deal about electricity to be used in the LNG extraction process. Same as above, no money, no firm deal.

As I said above, this fancy footwork is not new. It was used in some fashion in the last federal election on a promise to push hard for money for a walk-on ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver. Well, for one, the Conservatives did not win the election so that spelled the end to that dream.

I think it was baseball hall of famer Yogi Berra who was attributed to have said “a verbal agreement isn’t worth the papers it’s written on.”