It must have come to him in the middle of the night. It was an insight that said, “Jim boy, you are not going to get the country’s books in the black as soon as you have been telling people you will.”
It was not one of those hard and fast Word-of-God kind of things. It was more in the form of friendly advice. It just said, in a kindly way, that he had better stop lying to Canadians about their excellent financial position because of their wisdom of having him drive the economy along with his good friend Stephen Harper.
The only problem is that Stephen is busy travelling around in a Canadian government A300 Airbus solving world economic problems. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney is in Europe straightening out the eurozone crises. And here, the Canadian economy has gone into the toilet. This is Jim’s mess to fix.
The first thing he did was order a new backdrop for when he made his speech. “It has to be positive,” he told his staff. “Base it on the old Action Plan backdrop, people liked that, and make sure it is Conservative blue and has lots of arrows going up. That always makes things sexy and positive.”
Next Jim looked at the programs he is proposing and decided he would give employers a tremendous break. He would only increase Employment Insurance premiums by half of what he intended. He thought that would please them. At the same time, he decided another sop would be to extend a minor work-sharing program that did not cost the government much. He was ready.
They also had decided to make the announcement in Calgary. They knew that there was no Occupy Calgary demonstration allowed in that town. And the media is kinder to Conservatives there. After all, it is Stephen’s adopted city and, because of the annual stampede, it is used to horse manure.
So that was what Jim Flaherty gave the news media. The only problem was that while the staff had done a perfect backdrop, they had forgotten the box behind the podium for Jim to stand on. He looked like a little boy, peering over the podium with a surprised look on his face.
Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to [email protected]