ONE has to wonder what's going on at B.C. Liberal headquarters that has made a once politically savvy party apparently lose its mind.
At the end of last month, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong told voters - with an admirably straight face - that his government would balance the province's books by February. He made this vow just after announcing the year's deficit would be 50 per cent bigger than he had guessed in the spring.
Pointing at unrealistic natural gas revenues and other clear flaws, critics have scoffed at de Jong's numbers. The latest doubter is a powerful one: Moody's Investor Service, which dropped the outlook for the province's Aaa credit rating from stable to negative on Wednesday. Still, the Liberals show no signs of backing away from their pie-in-the-sky projections.
Voters expect their government to cast economic news in a rosy light, but the province's spin on the current situation has crossed the line from predictably optimistic to laughable - not a good move for a government trying to cast itself as a sober steward of the economy.
It's hard to believe that any sitting Liberal thinks voters will buy this fiscal fairytale over their opponents' more realistic four-year timeline, so why they're trying to sell it to us is something of a mystery. Why would a party that has been so adept at marketing itself resort to spouting such obvious nonsense?
One can only imagine that, foreseeing their own doom, Liberal strategists have taken refuge in madness.