With a 24 to 3 majority PEI’s Premier Robert Ghiz threatens Opposition he will call election if Tories don’t like Energy Accord
Even funnier is the story is the Charlottetown Guardian kept the snap election story off their website until readers complained. Our Premier’s pique also hit the national mediawho are always interested in stories about our fair Isle.
On December 1st, Premier Robert Ghiz was showing his disdain for the Legislature by threatening to call a snap election over the energy accord, while he multi-tasked and speed signed those Christmas cards he sends out. (We can’t wait for ours.) With a 24 to 3 majority, an election seemed hardly necessary to pass any bill.
The real story
We can now report the story-behind-the-story on the Premier’s call for an election over the $20 savings on our monthly light bills.
All summer, the Premier’s brain trust had been worrying about the run-up year to the October 2011 election and were throwing spaghetti on the wall to see that sticks.
“We could offer every Island home owner or tenant a $200 property tax refund cheque 30 days before polling,” offered one Liberal brain truster. “Gerry Reagan did that in the 1974 Nova Scotia election and he won a majority.”
“Innovation PEI could set up a new mini-PNP program,” offered Brooke MacMillan just back from the Court House to give testimony in the fraud trial of fellow Liquor Commission director Chris Higgins.
“The new multi-million PNP program could be used with one giant numbered company. Let’s see $1,000 for every Islander would mean only 700 more investors from China…” his voice trailed off as a woman in a red leather jacket interjected, “How about sending out Front-of-the-Line Access cards like Amex.”
The men barely turned their heads
“Everyone is complaining about wait times at the QEH emergency. People could get a Front-of-the-Linecredit card with a magnetic stripe to be authorized at the Polling Stations on election day. The scrutineers on Prince Edward Island always know how you vote so Liberal party workers could determine who to authorize the cards for.”
The room was beginning to grow warm with the brain trust ideas.
The Minister of Innovation perked up his ears. “We could patent the idea as an incubator company in the BioCommons and develop a brain-implant chip for the 2015 election,” he rambled on enthusing over the prospect of one client in his new innovation park.
“Can’t be done,” said Brownie. “First you haven’t got anyone who can program it. Second you’d better finish the eHealth fiasco before you attempt another IT project. Last it’s probably illegal although I’m no lawyer.”
“Why don’t we just loan Maritime Electric a couple of hundred million dollars and get them to lower rates, at least until after the election,” suggested Brownie.
The mood changed from glum to the beginning of a smile on some faces.
Even the Premier looked up from checking a HSBC Swiss bank account on the internet.
“Good idea Brownie. Everyone is hurting from the 50% hike in their light bills since we got elected. They will enjoy the extra $20 a month.”
“Do you think Maritime Electric will play along?”
“Sure,” replied Brownie, the wind in his sails.
“We’ve got a draft document called the PEI Energy Accord, sort of a Dick Cheney-Kuwait plan in case the Americans invade or electricity rates go up again. It’s been approved at the highest level at Maritime Electric.”
“I like it!” exclaimed Premier Ghiz. “When can we start?”
“I have have the draft ready on the Fall sitting,” replied Brownie hoping this would make him part of the Ghiz inner-circle.
“And my people,” Brownie went on, “have a strategy to threaten a snap election when the Conservative Opposition does their usual thing and complains about $200 million going to Maritime Electric to save $15 million in their light bills.”
“Excellent Richard!” proclaimed Ghiz. “Get working on it right away. Meeting dismissed.”
And then the Legislature debate…
On Wednesday December 1, 2010 Opposition energy critic Mike Currie was probing the PEI Energy Accord. Premier Ghiz rose in the Legislature
“Ghiz: Shame on you. Let’s have an election over this.
Ms. Bertram: Yes, let’s go to the polls. Let’s ask Islanders.”
The cable tv camera didn’t show the warm, satisfied smile that crept over the face of Energy Minister Richard Brown.
For those who find this account improbable, may we suggest you read some Wikileaks.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network