"Here's a riddle for Prime Minister Stephen Harper: When is it good public policy to break election promises?"
My quick breathless awnser: NEVER.
I would think that would be self evident to even the chattering classes of the intelligensia of Canuckland, but apparently that Barbarian sentimentality escapes those enlightened few of the Civilized James Travers class so let me explain why it is wrong to break a promise.
The first reason why it's not good public policy to break a promise is because it is afterall morally wrong. You know morals? That stuff that tells us it's wrong to rape, murder, kill and most generally disrespect the rights of others? It tells us not to lie to other people, cheat other people, and to do right... Yep not a good idea to start breaking those.
The second reason why it's not good public policy to break one's promises is it creates cyniscism about politicians. Not that people aren't already cynical, but we don't need more. "All politicans are the same," people say. "There's no difference between any of them. They all lie. They all say one thing and then do another once they're elected." How many of us have heard that refrain? It's amazing that still 60% of the electorate shows up to vote and believes there is a difference, and not all politicians are the same.
The third reason why it's not good policy to break a promise is that you will loose your base. Now, I realize that a political party's base don't mean a hill of beans to the folks at the Liberal love fest at the Star - but it should. A political party's base is what donates money to it. It's what volunteers for it. Without it, there is no money. Without it there is no political party. But once more there is an example of a Prime Minister that ignored his base. And he ended up suffering the largest electoral defeat in history... I'll leave it to you to devine just who that was.
Travers goes on to suggest that many promises are made by politicians because they are nice goodies, but can't be afforded. If that was the case why are all electoral platforms costed out by financial gurus?
"Once safely in office, those solemn oaths morphed into necessary adjustments, not wilful deceptions."
What do you call a "solemn oath" that was costed out as affordable? A big stinking LIE.
"Choosing to make those difficult decisions answers another riddle: When does a new Prime Minister become more than a party leader?"
When he stops reading the Toronto Star.