Musings —10.09.2013 08:25 AM—
For those Gotcha Conservatives (hello, Andrew Harris!) who were impatiently bombarding me last night with emails and tweets, demanding my reaction to the gas plant schmozzle, I say this:
- I was on TV, co-hosting the Sun News Network’s excellent coverage of the Nova Scotia Liberals’ smashing victory, and therefore a little, you know, busy; and
- I don’t have any association whatsoever – zero, zippo, zilch – with the Ontario Liberals, so stop asking me to be their spokesperson. Given who is running the show over there, I can assure you: I am an Ontario Liberal in Exile.
That said, I have penned a column about the gas plant schmozzle for this Sunday’s Sun. I want you to buy the Sun, so here is a taste, but not the whole meal. You’re welcome.
…I’m from Calgary, and I’m a little slow, but I can tell you any oil patch boy or girl knows this much: the energy sector is like the stock market. It is, in its essence, totally unpredictable. And don’t just take my word for it. The tall foreheads at Harvard University, for example, call it “predicting the unpredictable.” Said one of them, in the august pages of the Harvard Business Review: energy prices and costs are “devilishly difficult to analyze, let alone predict.”
“Devilishly difficult.” I like that, because I’m a sucker for alliterations. But also because it’s Harvard, and it’s true. Predicting the unpredictable is bad, bad politics.
The Ontario Liberals’ mistake was that they were too helpful, and they tried to answer the question. Had I been asked at the time – and I wasn’t – I would have said: “We promised to move those gas plants, and we’re making good on that promise. Citizens didn’t want those gas plants, and we listened to them. All of Ontario’s political parties favoured moving them, and all acknowledged there would be a cost. We intend to do everything we can to keep the cost down.”
See? No numbers. No predictions. No risk.