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Russell Wangersky: Can I buy you (with) a 50-cent beer?

Total beer sales in Nova Scotia increased from around 599,000 hectolitres in 1993 to around 622,000 in 2016, and during that same time span, craft beer sales grew from nearly zero to nearly 33,000 hectolitres.
Fifty cent beer, anybody? — File photo

Hello, you credulous bunch of suckers.

Sorry, let me rephrase that.

Hello, all my common folk, my peeps. How are you doing?

Have I got an election platform for all of you.

Now, it’s not written down anywhere but here. It’s a newspaper column, not a notarized document. And why isn’t it a notarized document? Because that would be wrong, because then, I couldn’t change it at will and claim that the media was to blame. BECAUSE IT WAS IN A NEWSPAPER, RIGHT? FAKE NEWS.

I’ve been watching elections for years, watched how they’ve moved from one thing to another, the ebb and the flow, and I think I’ve got the hang of where we’re going here.

I hesitate to say I’m going to offer you what has worked before, what clearly works now, (as recently as last month in Ontario) because that makes it sound like you’re some kind of machine, like the combination to the electorate lock will always open, and that just makes you sound playable. It’s like an election is nothing more than a casino machine where you put in the money, and a computer algorithm hauls out the profits as neatly as a mechanical peeler peeling carrots. I would never call you rubes (although I did, right up at the top of this column. That was a mistake, and I humbly apologize for it).

So here it is, though, once again, none of it is legally binding.

My platform.

First, beer. I’m going to lower the base price of beer to 50 cents a can. (Now, no one can produce it for that price, not as long as they have to keep paying all the taxes and fees involved, but I’m going to lower the base price anyway, just to allow them to lose as much money as they want to, selling suds. They probably can’t stay in business losing money on every can, so they probably won’t sell it for that BUT THEY COULD!!!)

You don’t have to hear any of that nasty economics stuff: you just have to hear “50 CENT BEER!!!!”

And electricity. Here’s my plan. (It’s based on someone else’s plan, someone who’s already running for premier, but mine is better — 50 cent beer, right?)

Now, the price of electricity is likely to rise to 23 cents a kilowatt hour. That’s double what it is now, because a provincial company built a big dam we didn’t need and have to pay for. But I’m going to change the laws to allow another provincial agency, the Public Utilities Board, to simply refuse to let the company charge you what electricity costs. Instead, they will only allow THE PRICE TO FALL!!!

You don’t have to hear any of that nasty economics stuff: you just have to hear “50 CENT BEER!!!!”

(Now, someone’s going to have to pay anyway. The provincial company that’s building the dam will have to fall back on its provincial owners to bail it out, and that means the money will have to come from everyone’s taxes, or else will have to come from debt that will be piled up on our kids, making it impossible for them to own things like houses and cars or pay for their education. But you’re missing the point here.)

The point is ELECTRICITY’S NOT GOING TO GET MORE EXPENSIVE! IT’S GOING TO BE CHEAPER! WAY CHEAPER!! (You can save time here reading this column by just skipping all the lower-case stuff and reading the ALL CAPS. That’s where the NEW FACTS LIVE.)

And we’re going to have THE BEST ROADS and THE BEST SCHOOLS and THE BEST HOSPITALS.

And it won’t cost anything more. Not one cent. In fact, it will cost less.

Why? Simple. The first thing my government is going to is to change the names of all the health boards to The Best Hospitals, rename the roads The Best Highways, and make sure everyone uses our new trademarked name, The Best Schools. (I’m not using all-caps here because it sounds like boasting. And you don’t have to boast when YOU’RE THE BEST.)

And we’re going to GET OUR PRIDE BACK and MAKE THE PROVINCE GREAT AGAIN and PAY LESS TAXES.

Because, why shouldn’t you have everything you want?

Even if you can’t afford it, even if it’s going to pile debt so deep on your children that they won’t be able to turn around without tripping over an interest payment.

It’s like the Rolling Stones always said.

You can’t always get what you want.

But if you try some time, you just might find … someone willing to promise it to you anyway.

We are doomed.

Russell Wangersky’s column appears in 36 SaltWire newspapers and websites in Atlantic Canada. Russell is on vacation next week. We hope he does well. He can be reached at russell.wangersky@thetelegram.com — Twitter: @wangersky.

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