Friday, March 31, 2023

Duplicitous Denny

In college, at the end of the year, we'd have a night called "Drink the Pub Dry" in the name of clearing out the fridges for the season, in the form of cheap liquor. 

In the agricultural debate that the PEI Federation of Ag hosted this week in the run up to the election, I was reminded of that night, for the first time in years. I listened as my premier bragged about the time he approved a Pump the Dunk Dry during a "drought that was as high as it's probably been" for farmers whose irrigation permits had been 'shut off'. He foolishly went on to compare the sprinklers being used in downtown Charlottetown to the watersheds of the potato belt here in "the middle part of the province".

Denny King's own civil servants had to sit in committee and answer questions from concerned MLAs following that decision by the premier, that he was so proud of and those very civil servants agreed, time after time, that it was indeed detrimental to the watershed, it was against the rules and was a bad decision.
Why the needs of a potato crop would be put before the needs of residential wells or the water needs of a livestock farmer would be difficult to fathom anywhere else in the world. But not here in the Potato Republic. Apparently thats exactly the kind of thing that you can be so proud of that it's central to your debate strategy against the other party leaders in a provincial election. 

My main concern is not even the rash decision or the bragging about it. My primary frustration with this scenario is Denny's duplicity. You can be sure that his debate notes (spoiler, he doesn't really have any because he's so condescendingly confident and cocky) for the Environmental Forum didn't mention this wonderful decision he's so pleased to take responsibility for. Pulling from the handbag of tricks of the greasiest politicians of yore, King will say whatever it is that he thinks the people he's talking to want to hear. This was evidenced when he was recorded making statements about the drag and trans community, or even, for heaven's sake, CBC radio! He had to backtrack and pretend that they were out of context and apologize. But we all know that he is that kid in high school, so eager to be voted onto student council, that he'd sell cigarettes to the smokers, while simultaneously helping to draft the petition to get rid of the smoking area with the try-hard kids.

I started this election as a sincerely undecided voter, but it's become increasingly clear to me that the current government has no interest in my opinion, my water security, land use, reforestation or any other number of topics relevant to voters here on PEI. To our faces, maybe, but once we're out of earshot, it's just an eye roll and a shake of the head, a dismissive snort and back to the game of selling PEI and her resources to the highest bidder and the best lobbyist.

PEI is not a pub to be emptied of the old booze, and we're not a bunch of college students, all too eager for cheap drinks that we'll swallow whatever drivel you're feeding us. 

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