Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Plus ça change…

The ReformaTories have made an art out of trotting out the same crisis over and over again, each time with more high dudgeon and outrage, and each time with more shallow promises to “get the job done”.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always youth crime, or pardons, or environmental controls. Here is the latest crisis du jour and the typical Cons kneejerk reaction (which could be best characterised as walk loudly and carry a small stick).

Apparently they have just (re)discovered that some gasoline vendors are  overcharging at the pumps because their pumps aren’t properly calibrated. Horrors! 

"In some cases, customers were being charged an extra $1.50 to $2 on a normal fill-up. This is unacceptable. Families, individuals, and small businesses spend enough of their money on gas. They shouldn't have to pay a penny more due to inaccurate gas pumps."

gas pumpAnd so a Fairness at the Pumps Act is born, only to eventually, if past history is any indicator, either die on the order paper or disappear into the open maw of parliamentary committees.

And if this just seems to be  déjà vu all over again, you’re right. It was back in 2008 when Industry Minister Jim Prentice promised to “move quickly” to introduce legislation to fix this problem because 

"All consumers in this country need to know that when they go to gas up their vehicles that the pumps are accurate and they are getting what they paid for."

I expect someone in the PMO must have an issues list from which nothing ever gets removed. They just cycle through it every 2 years to gain a few headlines and maximum political benefit from the great unwashed who are too lazy or stupid to pay enough attention to realise we’ve heard it all before. Next up: bank fees!

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