Is it election season in The Most Beautiful Place on Earth already?
I could have sworn there was at least another six months left in the mandate for the BC NDP-Green “coalition that is not a coalition” government. Oh well. I’m sure it’s not an opportunistic powergrab, what with poll numbers looking well for Horgan and mediocre for the BC Liberal’s Wilkinson.
British Columbia appeared to function in a minority situation rather well, even if most of the policy changes were either banal, politically-correct humbug - read the endorsement of that pathetic UNDRIP document - or something any neoliberal governing party could have achieved - read everything from pipelines to Site C. Indeed, much of the governing over the last mandate appeared to be the tail wagging the dog, as if Christy Clark had never left.
Just ask the teachers.
The current strategy by our strangely orange coloured brethren masquerading as real socialists appears to be using Dr. Bonnie-Fluevog-Henry’s popularity in handling the pandemic as a path to victory. Meanwhile, Wilkinson, the man with two professional degrees and zero people skills, seems to be set on phoning in the election: rumour has it that voter ID and door knocking will be nonexistent, a rather odd tactic for such a proud, vocal federal Liberal.
Greens will be out in full force, trying to spread their gospel. But if any group challenges them to the left, how shall they answer? As noted above, the last three years could have just as easily been a BC Liberal government, perhaps even an Ontarian PC government before what is now the years of Our Ford.
I’m pretty sure a party just launched in Prince George that is to the left of the BC Greens, long accused of being Tories that like trees - more on that quandary later.
But at least a strong, truly conservative party will be outflanking the BC Libs to the right for once, won’t it? Unfortunately, my former tribe, the BC Tories, appear to still be stuck in the slack tide of the high watermark from former years. The war chest appears rather empty, party organization seems nonexistent, and I had to look up our new fearless leader’s name - Trevor Brolin. There’s a lot of opportunity in this unmerited election, but I doubt the Tories will seize it.
The penultimate point is what is this election about? If it’s a referendum on the BC NDP’s ability to imitate their sworn enemy, then let the vote be held next week so we can move on. But if, perchance, this, like all other elections, is supposed to be about issues, are any of those being addressed?
We’re still in the midst of a “pandemic,” Covid numbers growing - do we have
an exit strategy to resume normal life, or are we simply going to keep remortgaging our future?
What about the mill closures and curtailments? As far as I know, these issues have not been answered in the last 18 months - is that a failure of government, the opposition, or both?
What about the future of British Columbia’s socialized institutions? Has public education grown more supportive and post-secondary more affordable? Are there not cost-saving measures to introduce into our medical system that might help eliminate MSP premiums from payroll taxes?
Socialists should be unabashedly socialist, giving people a stark choice in political options. Progressives have been betrayed by every supposedly “progressive” party in the province and around the world. Perhaps this is the knife to the neck your old party needs.
For the right, there is a serious need to get organized and offer a counter to our brethren who think other people's money is for sharing. Hiding in the centre with neoliberal parties is an unforgivable act of cowardice. The political wind is shifting, and we must trim our sails - or else.