“The shape of things to come.”

One of the worst forecasts we ever saw was a Canadian-made, low budget science-fiction movie released in 1979. It was loosely based on H.G. Wells’ book by the same name. What was really wrong with it was that the 1936 version of the movie when the screen play was written by Wells and titled “Things to come” was really much better.

This must seem like a strange thing to go through your mind as you watch Industry Minister James Moore talking on Tom Clark’s West Block show on Global Television this Sunday. What knits everything together is that Moore was using his rapid CBC-trained speaking style telling us what Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going to try to sell us in the Wednesday Throne Speech. Boy, speaking of science fiction!

Would you believe that Moore was trying to convince us that Harper was going to be the saviour of the consumer? He is going to save us from roaming charges on our cell phones. He is going to fix the problems of our having to buy television channels that we do not want. He is going to save consumers from the rapacious telecom giants.

Moore said that the Prime Minister is even going to force Air Canada to treat customers as something other than sheep. He is going to insist that airlines stop overbooking. And the best news of all was that all the costs were going to be borne by the industries involved—at least until they figure out how to recoup the costs.

What it sounds like, is that Mr. Harper is taking a page from the New Democrat’s play book to save us nickels and dimes. He is also getting aboard the Liberal Party’s voyage of discovery with the middle class. He is not about to let Justin Trudeau win all those middle class votes. Harper can be middle class too.

Mind you, Moore assures us that Harper will remain the astute manager of the Canadian economy that he always tells us he is. We will all be watching on Wednesday to hear exactly how he thinks Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is going to eliminate the deficit in time for a 2015 federal election. There are a lot of earlier promises from Harper that hinge on getting rid of that pesky deficit by that time. Maybe that will also be in the realm of science fiction.

But listening to the fast-talking Moore, you could easily understand why Harper sent him out with a message of hope for Canadians on the long weekend. There is nothing more appealing to news directors who are stuck working than someone taking a stick to their bosses who are enjoying their long weekend off.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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