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The New Government Playbook: Paint by Number Politics

June 16th, 2018 by Michael Dyet


Hmmm, will we all too soon find ourselves saying: “This sounds oddly familiar. Where have I heard it before?”

I promise this will be my last post on the provincial election. I have one more thing to get off my chest.

I am convinced that there is a playbook that every newly elected government follows faithfully. In the case of the provincial Conservatives who just swept to power, I predict the following sequence of communications verbatim from the New Government Playbook.

One Month In: We’ve had a preliminary look at the provincial books and what we found is disturbing. The (insert name of previous party in power) were not being honest with us. We need some time to see how bad things really are.

Shame on you (insert name of previous premier)!

Two Months In: We’ve done a deeper dive into the books. The province’s finances are a mess. Thank goodness you kicked out (insert name of previous party in power). You can rely on us to fix the problem, but it might take a while. Regrettably, it might affect the timelines for the promises we made.

Shame on you (insert name of previous premier)!

Three Months In: We’ve completed a full audit of the provincial books. The situation is far worse than we thought. (Insert number) years of (insert name of previous party in power) mismanagement has taken a huge toll. We will fix the problem, but it can’t be done overnight. We’re going to have to put some of our plans on hold.

Shame on you, (insert name of previous premier)!

18 Months In: Thank you for being patient while we deal with the financial mess we inherited from (insert name of previous party in power). We’re on the right path. But it would be irresponsible of us to move forward with (insert promises you intend to renege in). We promised you we would balance the budget by (insert date) and that is our top priority.

24 Months In: Our plan is working. We’re wrestling the province’s financial woes under control. Be patient with us. We know you’re disappointed that we haven’t been able to deliver on all our promises. Tough decisions had to be made and we’re committed to seeing them through.

 Final Year of Mandate at Most Opportune Time: Our plan is working. Thank you for being patient with us while we put the finances in order. We’ve come a long way, but there is still much work to be done. We need another term in office to complete the work.

Be prepared for paint by number politics for the next four years. The only thing more certain than death and taxes is the New Government Playbook.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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