Maybe it’s just been a bad week or two, but the string of broken political promises can’t go without mention.
Of course voters are always a little skeptical when budding political hopefuls turn up on the doorstep, promising them the sun and the moon and the stars.
But it’s starting to get downright embarrassing.
First it was the new, much-ballyhooed F.H. Collins school in Whitehorse.
Just days before dropping the election writ, Yukon Party politicians huddled around a shovel at the site, proudly announcing that work on the new school would begin immediately. The doors would swing open by 2013.
A fence was erected and crews went to work. Unsuspecting voters passed daily by the site – and its big sign.
And it worked.
Students dreamed of graduating from the new building and their parents could cast their vote accordingly.
Then this week – political bums barely settled in their legislative seats – the election winners stood up and, without so much as a blush, announced they’d had a change of heart.
Turns out they’d been a little hasty, a little optimistic. The school will actually take two years longer to complete than they had expected. Now the first graduation honours will go to the Class of 2016. Or at least that’s what they now say.
Then there’s the beleaguered Dawson City recreation centre. That community deserves a giant sympathy card for the frustration it has endured during the seemingly endless saga of trying to secure a safe place for their kids to shoot a puck or practise a camel spin.
Just before the election was called, they thought their troubles were finally over. A gaggle of Yukon Party cabinet ministers showed up with their shovel, gathering at the site of the promised new recreation complex.
But Dawson voters were more skeptical. When voting day arrived, they turfed Yukon Party MLA Steve Nordick, sending Liberal Sandy Silver down the highway to the legislature in his stead.
This week they paid the price for their choice.
The government has now pulled the plug on that project too, saying a reno job on the existing centre would have to do for the time being.
And let’s not forget the recent city byelection. No sooner had the results been announced than the victor, Kirk Cameron, started to waffle – ever so slightly – on protecting Middle McIntyre Creek as a wilderness park, but then quickly retreated. He does have to face these same voters in October when municipal elections will be held.
Sure, the public has a short political memory, but not quite that short.
They’re getting weary of the charade, and it shows. Voter turnout – at the municipal, territorial and federal level – continues to drop and the newly elected pretend to wonder why.
Maybe it’s time Fair Vote Yukon added a Keep Your Political Promises branch.