What Is A Political Promise Really Worth?

I was interested to see this week that the Province’s “promise” to ensure that everybody in BC had a GP doctor by the end of 2015 will not be met.  As all of us in Vancouver know, this follows the abject failure of the Vision Vancouver regime to meet their “promise” to end street homelessness in the City.

Not only have these promises been broken, little or no progress has actually been made in either case: Vancouver’s homeless nu,ber in the last count was worse than the year before, and the percentage of BCers without a GP is greater today than five years ago when the promise was made. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to find other examples.

Far be it from me to suggest that these are easy issues to solve; they certainly are not.  But when are these politicians ever going to understand how they reduce the value of the word “promise” whenever they make one and fail miserably?  Moreover, the value is reduced even further — perhaps to nothing — when the people who made the promise and then failed to meet it simply shrug their shoulders and say — “Oh well, it was a grand idea. Perhaps we’ll do better in the future.”

Clearly we want our political leaders to have targets that they want to meet. But so long as they continue to confuse aspirational hopes with solid promises, we will continue to be disappointed.

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