What are the REAL issues in the BC Election?

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munroe
What are the REAL issues in the BC Election?

Let's see - corruption, poverty, sell-outs, P3s, arrogance - you name it.  Let's have a thread that actually does not mention electoral reform and actually discusses what people are saying.

Jacob Two-Two

The economy. You can talk about all those other things, but most people will just be tuning you out. The NDP have to attack the Liberals on their own ground to win this election. So far, they seem to not have the guts for a battle like that.

Stockholm

I'm not sure what you mean - I keep going to the BC NDP website and looking at the ads they have etc... and its all economy, economy, economy....

Loretta

The platform obviously has to address the economy since many people are worried. However, if you check out the platform, it addresses a wide range of issues.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/bcvotes2009/story/2009/04/13/bc-ndp-carole-jame... withdraw support from NDP over position on carbon tax[/url]

Unionist

Quote:

James said Monday her party will stick to its plan even if it means losing support from environmental groups.

"We disagree with the environmental movement," she said. "We believe a bad tax is a bad tax."

Scrapping the carbon tax will mean "a lot of money... when you're an individual who's having difficulty with your budget," she added.

What a courageous leader!

Maybe the carbon tax will be to Carole James as religious school funding was to John Tory?

 

Loretta

I'm bloody glad to see a different approach to environmental issues. I live in a rural area, where there are very little in the way of transit options, and nothing in the way of options around housing. Many people here find this tax to be a burden, despite its small amount. There is no room in the budgets of seniors, people on income assistance, those working part-time to pay for the carbon tax. It punishes the poor, in my opinion, and I would be glad to see it gone with something more appropriate in its place.

 

Stockholm

Apparently three so-called environmental groups that are known to be shills for Gordon Campbell had a news conference - but 10 other ENGOs refused to attend because they don't want to be seen as endorsing an eco-terrorist like Gordon Campbell. Its a shame that someone like David Suzuki who has done so much good over the years - would let himself get used for propaganda purposes by someone like Campbell who has the worst record on envronmental issues of anyone in Canadian politics - but thinks he can make up for it with a trivial token carbon tax that won't do anything.

In any case, the environmental groups in BC are so unpopular with then general public and viewed as such crackpots that being attacked by a few of them will probably do Carol James a lot of good - like how being attacked by Jesse Jackson was helpful to Barack Obama.

If people in BC thought a carbon tax was such a great idea - they could have voted en masse for Stephane Dion - and that was back when the environment was still an issue. It isn't anymore.

I think that people in these ENGOs want their movement to survive, they should turn away from the dead-end of the carbon tax as fast as possible. They have already spent a vast amount of political capital at the federal level - for nothing. The way that Dion and his deadbeat friends in the so-called Green Party got humiliated in the federal election has sent a very strong message that there are no votes to be gained by promoting a carbon tax and I think its no coincidence that Ignatieff has now dropped environmental issues like a hot potato.

Stockholm

"Maybe the carbon tax will be to Carole James as religious school funding was to John Tory?"

There is a huge difference, the vast majority of people in Ontario were opposed to religious school funding and on top of that it was a visceral issue. In BC, the situation is reversed, the public is overwhelmingly opposed to the Campbell flat carbon tax that punishes the poor. I doubt very much if in this economic crisis, you're going to find more than a handful of granola bar types who are going to jump up and down about how badly they want to pay the carbon tax!

A more likely scenario is that the carbon tax will be to Gordon Campbell what religious school funding was to John Tory. Or an even more likely scenario is that the carbon tax will be to Gordon Campbell as the carbon tax was to Stephane Dion!

 

 

Unionist

There's a carbon tax on granola bars?

 

Aristotleded24

scott wrote:
When the “Axe the Tax” campaign was launched a comprehensive climate change policy was promised as an alternative.

On this point, I agree. It should be opposed on the grounds of being bad policy, and James was wrong to play into the anti-taxation sentiment that organisations like the Fraser Institute like to whip up.

Loretta

From the platform:

Quote:

Sets hard cap on emissions by 2010.

While Gordon Campbell's gas tax lets big polluters

responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions off the hook, Carole James will set limits on

emissions by all large polluters. We are committed to having our industry bring their emissions down

in a structural and effective manner that is fair and ensures we continue to be competitive in the

world market. This gives us the foundation to meet our objective of a 33% reduction in emissions by

2020.

Commits to develop

a continental 'cap and trade' plan to reduce overall emissions, such as the plan

proposed by U.S. President Obama and supported by leading climate change experts.

Adopts California's tough vehicle tailpipe emission standards

and expands transit options to

strengthen BC's fight against climate change.

Continues the moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling

and crude oil tanker traffic

on the sensitive BC coast.

Says 'no' to coal bed methane projects

that have not undergone full community consultation and

proper environmental assessment.

 

Ends the routine gas well flaring

that accounts for 13% of BC's greenhouse gas emissions.

Provides low-interest loans to retrofit homes and businesses

reducing energy use and cutting

almost 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

 

 

These approaches are preferably to GC's carbon tax approach, especially when combined with all the other damage this government has inflicted and continues to inflict upon us. Check out pages 41-43 of the platform for more.

Basement Dweller

As we speak, the economy is collapsing, but it hasn't hit home for many people yet. For most, this is still just some headlines in the news. But everyday somebody's cousin or neighbour or drinking buddy is getting laid off. It does hit home eventually. But will it happen in the next month?

If anything, people should be a lot more alarmed about the state of the BC economy. We are about to enter a cold, hard, bitter recession/depression that will last a few years. It won't do the NDP much good to govern during this time. It will get (unfairly) blamed for the mess and won't have the ability to do much about it.

The environment is the mischievious issue of the campaign. It is actually something that most people are worried about, not just the granola bar types (a dated stereotype). The Greens would be smart to focus on Green-left/NDP swing voters. Even if its a small part of the population, they are dedicated people with strong beliefs. OTOH the Liberals appear to be appealing to Green-right voters, so less reason for the Greens to bother with that. The Greens have often been confused politically, but this election it is clear they should steer to the left.

There is one issue that I don't hear yet: "time for a change". It is non-existent and dooms the NDP. The NDP should say "screw it" and work on re-building its base. We have a social crisis (homelessness etc.) and will soon have an economic crisis. Take some chances with new ideas. Throw out some of the crap like affirmative action/union dominance/personal fiefdoms and speak to the grassroots again. Make people believe again. We are so far from the party that had the nerve to bring in the ALR.

 

 

Loretta

Have you read the platform, Basement Dweller? Having done so myself, I don't agree with you. I think it's quite an ambitious agenda, given the times and given the sorry state of the province at the hands of the BC Liberals (and I ain't talking about the economy). Your idea is worth considering but, with one not-so-small fly in the ointment. Many, many people of the province are on or about to become on the fringe -- many have already suffered for years and many more are destined to do so, should the BC Liberals form government again.

The campaign motto is "Take back your BC" - I'd say that's a message for change and it's time we did.

Jacob Two-Two

Stockholm wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean - I keep going to the BC NDP website and looking at the ads they have etc... and its all economy, economy, economy....

I don't know what you mean. I've seen five ads on the website. The "take back BC" ad (which is decent) and four "gang violence" ads in four different languages. Maybe you can give me a link?

The polls are all saying what should be obvious anyway. The economy has rocketed into a clear first place for top priority amongst voters in the past few months. Unfortunately we've had it drummed into our heads for over a decade: NDP bad on economy, Liberals good. I've been hearing people say this forever and whenever I challenge them on it they have nothing to back themselves up. When I give them counter-arguments they tend to wave it away. Get it? Number one issue. We have no credibility.

Now we can all fold up our tents and go home or we can start disrupting this message like we should have done eight years ago, aggressively and repeatedly. We need to come right out and say NDP good on economy, Liberals bad, and be willing to face down the flack that we'll catch. We have to show people that we'll fight for the right to lead them through bad times and not just poke at the Liberals from the sidelines, because as I keep saying, undecideds are not going to care how corrupt the Liberals are if they think they represent their best hope of coming through an economic collapse. To have any chance of winning this election, we have to convince people that this isn't true, and there isn't a lot of time left.

Jacob Two-Two

Oh, and the carbon tax is stupid. Paying to pollute is the dumbest environmental measure there is. We leave our wasteful, destructive, unsustainable infrstructure intact while making it harder for poor people to use it. Yeah, that'll save the world, almost as quickly as me recycling my yogurt containers. The NDP plan is insufficient, but at least it's on the right track.

brookmere

The real issue in the election should be that the apparent prosperity of BC under Gordo has been a complete mirage. We have had continuing deindustrialization and loss of head offices. The economy has be driven by a real estate and consumer spending bubble just like in the US, the bubble is crashing just like in the US, and we are going to end up in the same mess as the US.

Nowhere has the NDP identified the real problem - rampant real estate speculation which is the root cause of the global economic crsis. For BC to have a sustainable economy, it much have sensible RE prices. That applies to BC just as much as to anywhere else.

And yes, that means telling Joe Lunchbucket that his house is just a place to live in, not something that is going to make him rich. That shouldn't be too hard for a party that is suppsed to support the interests of labour over capital.

 

Skinny Dipper

munroe wrote:

Let's see - corruption, poverty, sell-outs, P3s, arrogance - you name it.  Let's have a thread that actually does not mention electoral reform and actually discusses what people are saying.

OK Munroe, I won't mention electoral reform as an election issue.  In one sense, I agree with you.  There are many bread-and-butter issues such as the economy, the environment, education, and health care that people can discuss.  Based on my experience with the last Ontario election and referendum, people wanted to discuss issues that had meat (or tofu).  Electoral reform, while significant, is an abstract issue that is hard for people to follow.  Years ago in 1980s Britain, Labour promised butter; Thatcher's Conservatives promised "guns."  The Liberal/Social Democratic Alliance with David Owen and David Steele promised electoral reform.  People can eat butter and shoot other people stealing your butter.  What can you tangibly do with electoral reform?

One mistake I think we made in Ontario was attending local all-candidates meetings hoping to convince the candidates that we needed electoral reform.  We also hoped that those in attendance would become converts to our side.  One, the candidates had their own agendas; the attendees tended to be people with fixed opinions.  During the debates, we had to hope that there would be a public question and answer session where we might ask one or two questions about electoral reform.  Essentially, we voting reformers didn't control the agenda; the agenda controlled us.  We should have held our own public rallies where well known people could give "barn-roof" raising speeches.  I encourage the supporters of voting reform in BC to go directly to the people and by-pass the politicians.  Let the politicians talk about the economy, environment, education, and health care.  The voting reformers should hold their own rallies and speak directly to the people.  Get Rafe Mair and David Suzuki to give a speech or two about why they feel cheated by the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system.

Munroe, hopefully I didn't mention electoral reform as an election issue.  I will be happy to keep it as a referendum issue.

Stockholm

its interesting what a disconnect there is between what are seen to be the top issues in babble and what are seen to be the top issues in the rest of the universe. If my only source of news about the BC election was babble, i would be convinced that the only issues in the campaign were STV vs. FPTP and whether or not using the word "zionist" is or isn't politically correct.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

A real issue is leadership. The Liberals fail but the NDP doesn't seem to have offered a decent alternative. It looks like some elements in the NDP are more interested in silencing the left in their own party, rather than in winning the election. Scratch an NDPer out here, and what's underneath doesn't seem to be all that different from the Liberals. That's too bad but hardly a surprise.

Harvey Oberfeld, a retired reporter who now has a BC political blog, wrote recently on his blog about the failure of Carole James to take advantage of a full hour on Bill Good's show. Good, when he had the Premier on his show, lobbed softballs to the Liberal leader, and was far from friendly when James appeared on his show. But bailing after 22 minutes? Sorry, that just won't cut it.

James bails after 22 minutes.

Lest the babbler mouthpieces for slavish and knee-jerk support of the NDP make a lot of noise to drown out views different from their own, I should just add that Oberfeld gave the NDP a 28:0 victory in the score in the Legislature from the last day of the session. Oberfeld provided a list of 28 unanswered questions that the Liberals failed to address...

 

NDP 28 - Liberals 0

 

Quote:
I counted 28 Opposition questions in Tuesday's Question Period; but not a single substantive direct answer from the Government benches.

To be sure, certain matters regarding Mr Kinsella and the CN/BC Rail deal could indeed be considered sub judice right now... and I understand the A-G's argument that he could not answer.

BUT when it comes to issues involving BC Hydro or Alcan or Translink etc ... as far as I know, there are no court proceedings underway or issues under investigation by police or regulatory authorities .. and I believe the A-G or the Ministers responsible could have answered.

Makes me wonder why they didn't!

I believe in the public's right to know. And maybe during the election campaign, some of my Blog readers ... or the real working media ...will get a chance and have the guts to ask the questions of the Premier or appropriate Cabinet Ministers seeking re-election ... over and over again if necessary to get at least SOME answers before the election.

So, as a public service, here are all the questions raised by the Opposition in the final pre-election Question Period Tuesday... but not answered, in my view, in any adequate way:

* Could the minister tell this House what influence Mr. Kinsella applied on behalf of Accenture to secure the privatization of one-third of BC Hydro, a deal worth $1.4 Billion to Mr. Kinsella's client ?

*Can the Minister confirm Mr. Kinsella's role is selling off one-third of BC Hydro.?

*How is the Premier and his office involved and what's the real story behind the selloff of BC Hydro?

*What involvement did Mr. Kinsella have in arranging the BC Rail privatization deal?

*Who did he meet with?

*What was the involvement of the Premier's office?

*What did the Premier do to help CN to save the deal in the Spring of 2004?

* Will the Minister (of Transportation) tell BC Rail to release all the documents it has that are relevant, as declared by Justice Bennett in the Supreme Court of British Columbia?

*Is he going to do the right thing today, live up to his Premier's promise and order all the relevant documents be disclosed now?

*What role did the Premier's office and Mr. Kinsella play in this $1.45 Billion deal?

*Doesn't (Attorney General Wally Oppal) think the public has a right to know what role Mr. Kinsella and the Premier's office played in the sale of BC Hydro to Accenture?

*What role did the Premier and Mr. Kinsella play in securing the Alcan deal? (That agreement saw Alcan given permission to upgrade/increase the size of its smelter in Kitimat ... but the Opposition says the net result was job losses.)

*How did Mr. Kinsella ‘educate' the provincial government and did that education lead to the Alcan deal and job losses in Kitimat?

*What did Mr. Kinsella and the Premier do to ensure that Plutonic Power got the energy purchase agreement? ( The Opposition says Kinsella provided advice to Plutonic .. a company that obtained a power agreement from B.C.Hydro.)

*Did Mr. Kinsella and the Premier hammer out a lucrative deal for a company that donated more than $50,000 to the BC Liberal Party?

*Did (Mr. Kinsella) influence the government legislation on payday lending as is that why this government's payday regulations are among the weakest in Canada? (the Opposition said in the House that Kinsella reportedly "was lobbying" the BC Liberals on behalf of payday lenders.)

*What exactly was discussed at these meetings? How did it influence government policy and how did it influence legislation on payday lending in British Columbia?

*What was Mr. Kinsella doing for BC Hydro and Accenture and will the Energy Minister finally get up in his place and answer a question on his file?

*What is that relationship of Mr. Kinsella to this government?

*Will (the Attorney General) get up and tell British Columbians today what exactly happened between Patrick Kinsella and the Premier's office in securing these deals for their friend?

*Is it the case that all the ministers on that side of the House have been lobbied by Patrick Kinsella and that they've all been muzzled ... that not one government member can get up and answer these questions and give British Columbians the real honest truth?

*What role did Patrick Kinsella play in securing (a 2007 Translink fueling stations) contract. Was it an open tendering process?

*Did Mr. Kinsella meet with the Transportation Minister as part of contract discussions?

*Did those discussions lead to the contract being secured?

*When is the Premier going to stand and publicly explain Mr. Kinsella's actions?

*Can (the Attorney General) tell this House whether the Premier was directly involved in negotiations to save the CN deal?

*Can he tell this House whether the Premier was involved in the privatization of Accenture and BC Hydro?

*Will the Deputy Premier stand in her place and somehow justify the appalling display we've seen for the past 30 minutes from the Attorney General and be accountable for once to the people of B.C.?

Oberfeld's blog should be interesting reading over the course of the election.

 

 

 

Skinny Dipper

Stockholm wrote:

its interesting what a disconnect there is between what are seen to be the top issues in babble and what are seen to be the top issues in the rest of the universe. If my only source of news about the BC election was babble, i would be convinced that the only issues in the campaign were STV vs. FPTP and whether or not using the word "zionist" is or isn't politically correct.

Damn those Tofino zionists! Tongue out

remind remind's picture

I would be more worried about Tofino, Masons. ;)

For me it is the corruption of the BC Liberals, privatization, BC Hydro and the "carbon tax" targeting fixed income and poor people..

melovesproles

This thread title is a good example of why the NDP's polling numbers suggest they are actually shrinking in support instead of gaining.  Its reminiscent of Pat Martin's cliquish comments about hoping the "fringe" would leave the Federal NDP.  If its about building a smaller tent, then there is certainly something to be learned by this hierarchical approach to issues where the 'in-crowd' get to define what is or is not important.

Quote:
Let's see - corruption, poverty, sell-outs, P3s, arrogance

 Three out of five of those could be used to describe what Harper ran on during his first two campaigns-Too bad Harper supporters tend to hate the NDP....

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Has everyone read this brilliant 'farewell to BC politics' by outgoing NDP MP David Chudnovsky from the rabble front page?

Quote:
We here in this chamber are a kind of sideshow - an important sideshow but a sideshow nonetheless. We're part of the show that results in the choice of the next Premier in whose office the small group of advisers will again make the important decisions.

Who's winning question period? What's the tone in the Legislature? Who's made the best quips this week? Add those questions to the results of the latest polling and the opinions of a few pundits, and presto, we have what passes for politics in British Columbia. Rather than substance, this chamber is filled with sound and sometimes fury, but it signifies not very much.

The people sent us here to listen to one another, but we don't. They sent us here to negotiate with one another, but we don't. They sent us here, every one of us, to advise government, to take the debate seriously and to be taken seriously, but we don't. That's mostly because the debate hardly matters.

 

 

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

If my only source of news about the BC election was babble, i would be convinced that the only issues in the campaign were STV vs. FPTP and whether or not using the word "zionist" is or isn't politically correct.

You are confused - once again. The only ones who raised the issue of the word "zionist" (4.5 years after the word was used once) were the MSM and Carole James. It was babblers who condemned them both for McCarthyite loyalty-mongering to divert from the real issues facing people. It is this pandering spirit which guarantees that the likes of Carole James will never have the spirit or determination to lead her party to victory.

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

Has everyone read this brilliant 'farewell to BC politics' by outgoing NDP MP David Chudnovsky from the rabble front page?

 

 

Yes, it was very impressive indeed. But you know what would have been more impressive? If he had been less cryptic in his references like, "I'm not just talking about this Government." Since he is leaving anyway, why not pluck up some courage:

Quote:
Mr. Speaker, when I state the obvious about the sorry and petty partisan nature of politicking which has eviscerated this Chamber, and the secretive, cliquish, and dictatorial nature of party rule, I'm not just talking about the current governing party. I'm talking, first and foremost, as is only proper, to my own party and leader. Indeed, I am talking to all New Democratic Parties in the land, and more particularly and forcefully to those who, from time to time, form the government. If we believe, and want others to believe, that we are better and more principled and more "new" and more "democratic" than the rest, we must henceforth lead by example. I exhort Carole James and my colleagues to cease partisan sniping in this Chamber, at once. I demand unilateral disarmament - the end of whipped votes even if others will not yet follow our example. I call upon them to publicly praise members of other parties, even the Premier, on the rare occasion when they do something right. I implore them to speak frankly about our own mistakes and missteps, not merely those of others. And in order to be true to my invocation, I shall begin doing so right now:

And you can fill in the rest.

Pinch me, I just dozed off for a moment there.

 

Stockholm

"

Quote:
Let's see - corruption, poverty, sell-outs, P3s, arrogance

 Three out of five of those could be used to describe what Harper ran on during his first two campaigns-Too bad Harper supporters tend to hate the NDP...."

If you look at the cases where the NDP has triumphed in Canada - in almost every case a major ingredient was voter anger over the corruption, arrogance and sell-outs of the incumbent government. When the ONDP won in 1990, it wasn't (to say the least) because Ontarians suddenly wanted socialism and in fact Rae barely had a platform at all - he coasted in as a result of Liberal scandals, a backlash against Tories because of Mulroney and the GST and the collapse of Meech Lake etc... Similarly when the BC NDP won in 1991 - it was mostly because of the Socreds being seen as corrupt and out of touch. When Doer won in Manitoba - it was largely because Filmon was regarded as having become corrupt arrogant and out of touch. It was the same with Romanow in 1991.

We shall see whether focusing on these issues will work for the BC NDP in this election, but there is no denying that these issues can work  and BTW: you don't have to be a Harper supporter to be disgusted by government corruption, arrogance and sell-outs. In fact, I consider it an insult to all left of centre Canadians that you would imply that we are oblivious to the issue of government corruption.

melovesproles

Quote:
Similarly when the BC NDP won in 1991 - it was mostly because of the Socreds being seen as corrupt and out of touch.

 

The BC NDP took the environment very seriously as an issue in 1991 and didn't shy away from being the most enviromentally progressive party in the province.  They also had a lot of progressive ideas and policies and were energetic about fighting for them.  They gave the impression of listening and didn't sneer about REAL issues vrs Distractions if people brought their concerns to them.  And they fought to win, if 58% of people had endorsed electoral reform in a referendum I think they would have had the savvy to support it.

 

Quote:
you don't have to be a Harper supporter to be disgusted by government corruption, arrogance and sell-outs. In fact, I consider it an insult to all left of centre Canadians that you would imply that we are oblivious to the issue of government corruption.

I never implied that we are, but why would a left of centre Canadian vote for the BC Liberals in the first place?  The BC NDP has done a poor job of explaining why people should vote for THEM and the polls, all indicating they've lost support since the last election, reflect this.  I think 'arrogance' is a fitting description for a party which while bleeding in support dismisses its longtime supporters as being an annoying distraction when they ask for a principled position on electoral reform or simply that the party executive listens to their own membership when it comes to crime and justice.

Quote:
We shall see whether focusing on these issues will work for the BC NDP in this election, but there is no denying that these issues can work

What a copout, lots of things have 'worked' throughout history, you're the one arguing that this strategy is suited to our present circumstances in BC despite all the polls and lots of people from here telling you the opposite.  Pre-emptive excuses and appealing to historical examples as a defence of the strategy you advocate doesn't change the fact its clearly bombing.

Stockholm

I don't really see any better strategy and on top of that having read the NDP platform that was released, i think there are lot of very good progressive ideas such as increasing the minimum wage, bringing in hard emissions caps on industrial polluters, ending all these privatization scams and lost of other good stuff. I suppose the NDP could follow your advice and campaign on a platform that if the NDP ran BC - there would be no global recession, plus saying "me too" to Campbell's carbon tax fraud.

"why would a left of centre Canadian vote for the BC Liberals in the first place?"

You have made my point. The people who are going to decide this election are not a few ragtag birkenstock wearing neo-hippied who have a love affair with carbon taxes and mostly live in supersafe NDP seats like Vancouver Hastings. The election will be decided by middle of the road people many of whom may vote Liberals or even Tory federally and who live in places like Maple Ridge, Surrey and Prince George. Those people tend to be against the carbon tax and to also dislike arrogant "suits" like Gordon Campbell and respond well to a populist campaign.

We have seen time and again that elections are a referendum on the incumbent government. Anytime the opposition proposes bold policies - they lose (see Tories and wage/price controls in 1974 or "Green Shit" from the Liberals just six months ago)

melovesproles

Anyways, I just want to say I've got nothing against pointing out the endemic corruption and arrogance of the BC Liberals.  These are issues I care about and the widespread corruption and arrogant political culture in BC(and Canadian) politics is a big part of the reason why I consider drug prohibition and electoral reform to be respectively REAL issues.

What pisses me off is the way the Left of Centre here constantly feels the need to marginalize and go after its own progressive flank.  It really wouldn't have taken that much to have energized the base and have the game focused on bringing down Cambell.  The BC NDP could have consolidated its progressive and environmental wing with a few minor gestures indicating it respects their values and they would have had a loyal supply of passionate people willing to go to bat for the party against the inevitable onslaught.  Instead its played right into the mainstream media's narrative of an opportunistic BC NDP with less of an environmental conscience than Gordon Cambell and can now enjoy some time on defence.

Quote:
You have made my point. The people who are going to decide this election are not a few ragtag birkenstock wearing neo-hippied who have a love affair with carbon taxes and mostly live in supersafe NDP seats like Vancouver Hastings.

You really don't have a clue.  My riding is a swing riding, federally and provincially and there are a lot of progressive and environmentally conscious people here.  You should try actually touring BC, it sounds like you've got more than a few outdated stereotypes when it comes to your knowledge of the province.  Tapping into the Green vote could be quite lucrative and would also indicate momentum something the BC NDP hasn't had in a while.  Honestly, good luck with getting Federal Conservative voters to vote for the NDP, kinda strange if they are flocking to the BC NDP since for some reason the BC NDP has lost support since last election.

Quote:
I suppose the NDP could follow your advice and campaign on a platform that if the NDP ran BC - there would be no global recession, plus saying "me too" to Campbell's carbon tax fraud.

I've never said that, although a more robust and ongoing economic critique of the BC Libs policies would have been a good idea for sure.  The carbon tax isn't something I feel especially strongly about either way, I'm OK with paying more tax on gas, I live in a small town and drive but I'd like to see more investment in transit and sustainable infrastructure and I'm fine with paying more taxes to work towards that, I think that people should be a little less consumerist and be willing to invest in an environmentally sustainable future.  I do get it though that up north and in low income households, this can be a hardship, but I don't like the anti-tax rhetoric and the way the NDP is buying into the blue collar vs green narrative.  I think a more creative and consolidatory approach could have been made and it pisses me off that axing the tax is a centre piece of their platform after two terms of Cambell ravaging the province.

Quote:

We have seen time and again that elections are a referendum on the incumbent government. Anytime the opposition proposes bold policies - they lose (see Tories and wage/price controls in 1974 or "Green Shit" from the Liberals just six months ago)

Both Rudd in Australia and Obama in the US were smart enough to include a couple of somewhat 'bold' policies.  Not that they were that left or even that bold, but they demonstrated they understood the broad basis of the generational critique of the status quo and rode that to power.  None of our parties in Canada has shown that type of political insight and the BC NDP certainly doesn't get it but that doesn't mean its impossible.

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

Stockholm wrote:

but 10 other ENGOs refused to attend because they don't want to be seen as endorsing an eco-terrorist like Gordon Campbell.

I read somewhere that they just weren't informed about the move.

Lord Palmerston

Quote:

James said Monday her party will stick to its plan even if it means losing support from environmental groups.

 

"We disagree with the environmental movement," she said. "We believe a bad tax is a bad tax."

What a dreadful statement.  I can't imagine Jack Layton, for all his faults, distancing himself from "the environmental movement."  When he opposed the carbon tax, he went out of his way to stress that this was not on anti-environmental grounds and refused to let the carbon tax define who is an environmentalist.

munroe

I agree, Lord P, particularly as there were many better ways to address the issue.  Rather then focus on the gas tax, James could have simply repeated the fact of its intrinsic unfairness and then gone on to remind the THREE organisations (not the entire environmental community) of the Campbell record and positions on fish farms, off shore drilling and coastal tanker traffic (to name a few). 

For those who do not believe environmental issues are important in the North, please take a drive from Boston Bar to Smithers.  Pine beetle devastation is so widespread that it cannot be avoided by averted eyes.  The need to control GHG emissions is more obvious to a northerner then anyone in the lower mainland.  The problem is that the Liberals have approached the issue cosmetically and through a policy actually aimed at lowering business taxes and not as an effective approach.  The NDP have articulated this, but the essence of the message is lost, not only on the MSM, but also on Three enviromental organisations.  Shame on them if they play any role in returning Gordo and his corporate friends to power.

There are issues bubbling to the surface, but the NDP must bring more focus to bear.  Poverty, especially child poverty and homelessness, the lack of credibility of the last provincial budget, the failures in health, education and seniors' care to name a few.  The foundation for understanding these issues has been laid.  The take back B.C. message is that foundation as every failure of the Liberal government can be directly attributed to its single minded focus on enriching its friends at any cost.

remind remind's picture

Am coming to the conclusion that some environmentalists in BC simply do not care that much about the environment, or they would not be making choices to keep Gordo in power. It seems to me their political game playing means more to them than any of the issues facing BC.

Unionist

remind wrote:

Am coming to the conclusion that some environmentalists in BC simply do not care that much about the environment, or they would not be making choices to keep Gordo in power.

Are there any environmental activists who have spoken favourably of the NDP's position? That would surely help situate the debate in a less partisan framework.

 

remind remind's picture

Unionist, how do you feel people from other provinces getting involved in PQ provincial politics? Seems to me I remember comments by you that it was none of the ROC's business, if I am in error on that, and  it was another from PQ, excuse my poor memory.

Part of the reason why I say this, is because it is quite obviously you know very little about BC, BC politics and have apparent distain for the province and its people, so I am not willing to enter into any disucssion with you in respect to anything BC.

Unionist

Fine, remind, just tune me out, but please don't invent my opinions for me. What you hazily recall is my view that no one but Quebeckers has any say over whether Québec leaves confederation or not. That's it. As for discussions about everything else in Québec, from child care to reasonable accommodation to provincial politics, it's all fair game. As for "disdain" for BC and its people, you'd better prove that or retract it. It's in your mind, and it demonstrates a rather non-progressive form of localism.

By the way, if I think some environmental policy promoted in BC is harmful for BC or Canada or the world, expect to hear from me about it loud and clear. If you don't want to discuss it with me, that's great. But your party will have to discuss all this, and more, with lots of less sympathetic people than me, if they ever hope to succeed.

scott scott's picture

Stockholm wrote:
Apparently three so-called environmental groups that are known to be shills for Gordon Campbell had a news conference - but 10 other ENGOs refused to attend because they don't want to be seen as endorsing an eco-terrorist like Gordon Campbell.

Nobody was endorsing Gordon Campbell. They were endorsing a carbon tax. Campbell’s tax is only $10/tonne. The Green Party called for $50/tonne and David Suzuki called for $100/tonne. Instead of the stupid and transparently opportunistic “Axe the Tax” campaign the BC-NDP could have called for an effective carbon tax instead of it’s elimination. When the “Axe the Tax” campaign was launched a comprehensive climate change policy was promised as an alternative. Where is it? The NDP claim to be the greenest of all the green parties. On what basis? It is tiime to walk the walk before it is too late.

__________________________________

One struggle, many fronts.

 

Stockholm

You wanted the NDP to talk about the economy. here is your gainsburger for today:

"

In Vancouver, Ms. James pointed out that since Mr. Campbell announced his economic recovery plan last October, more than 70,000 people have lost their jobs in B.C. The province has shed jobs every month since October, and in March alone posted the highest net losses of any Canadian province: over 22,000 jobs.

“What I am banking on is people looking to say: ‘Who can they trust to look after them, their family, their community in difficult times?'” Ms. James said at a campaign rally attended by about 100 NDP supporters, candidates and activists at a Burnaby high-school auditorium, connected by video link to a rally in Kamloops.

Burnaby and Kamloops are expected to be critical election battlegrounds, representing half of the 12 key swing ridings that usually determine which party will govern.

Ms. James said she thinks Canada is watching the first election of the recession, and leaders across the country will be learning from the results on May 12.

“I think this election could be key for how governments across this country take a look at putting together a stimulus package,” Ms. James said. “We're putting more money back in people's pockets and back in the economy. That's a direction I believe people want right now in these difficult times, whether it's in British Columbia or whether it's across this country.”"

remind remind's picture

Unionist, from your comments last fall regarding BC being anti-francophone, to the endless criticisms regarding BC politics and polticians/candidates, as I never see/hear you make any criticisms of politicians in other provinces the way you do about BC politicians,  your  casting BC in the light of libertarian wild west people with the snow mobiler discourse, amongst other comments regarding BC, it seems quite clear to me what your opinion of BC is,  so you will have to excuse me if my perceptions are not valid, but I only have what you post here to go by.

remind remind's picture

Sorry would love to but I can't, clearly remember you stating that BC was anti-francophone, and us having a lengthy discussion about it and me telling you why that wasn't true. Obviously we cannot go back to find said threads to prove whether one or the other of us is correct, but I remain fast in my position, as I was quite angry, and have remained partially so, that you would try and indicate such. Moroever, I have felt that is  the reason why you are so hard on BC, in all other aspects.

As such, there is not much more that I can say, as I  respect your opinions on most everything else, and do not wish to  to create a situation between us, to any greater extent than what exists already.

remind remind's picture

I see you edited your post while I was responding, and I have  to dash out for awhile, and cannot respond, and will do so later if I get the chance, but we are expecting company and I may not get to do so until much later.

Unionist

remind wrote:

As such, there is not much more that I can say, as I  respect your opinions on most everything else, and do not wish to  to create a situation between us, to any greater extent than what exists already.

Actually, I've got to agree with that. We agree on the basics, and feud about the details. I'm happy to keep it that way! Enjoy your afternoon with friends.

 

Loretta

Yes, well, regarding the environment, Rafe Mair (former Socred minister and radio program host) has been quite vocal in his opposition to the GC Liberals on the basis of what's going to happen to our rivers and streams under their "stewardship" should they win the election. He's up front about it and has a lot of information at www.saveourrivers.ca -- our water's part of the environment, too, and the picture there is not pretty.

Unionist

remind wrote:

Unionist, from your comments last fall regarding BC being anti-francophone,

Just retract that, please. I won't bother you any more after that. You must be thinking of someone you met somewhere else. The rest of your comment is just weird. You may wish to recall my comments about school funding in Ontario, the Manitoba government, Saskatchewan anti-labour and anti-environmental policies, god knows what else. As for "BC politicians", I call them as I see them - Svend Robinson and Bill Siksay and Libby Davies good (you may have seen my thousands of posts in that sense), Carole James embarrassingly and cringingly pandering, Dawn Clark good riddance you can keep her. Gordon Campbell and Ujjal Dosanjh disgusting. Glen Clark got a bad rap. Dave Barrett should never have legislated 80,000 striking workers back to work, but he made some decent contributions aside from that.

As for snowmobilers, BC is the only province with avalanches. There, another anti-BC frenzied comment!!

Don't stereotype me. Or if you must, do it accurately!

ETA: Just kidding about the avalanches - see my post [url=here[/url]">http://rabble.ca/comment/1008678/26-year-old-skier-dies][=red]here[....

 

Naci_Sey Naci_Sey's picture

Re the carbon tax, I can report from personal experience that it has helped ease a terribly tight budget, and the budgets of my equally financially strapped friends. However, we either haven't cars or those who do drive them only very rarely, most of us haven't our own homes but those who do have them paid off and use wood for fuel instead, we can't even afford to pay public transit fares....

In other words, we're all in the lowest decile of household income, the poorest of the poor. Which means those cheques we've been getting thanks to the carbon tax has helped add precious dollars to our tiny food budgets.

But we don't buy the BC NDP argument that the carbon tax is hurting those on low income, if by "low income" is meant all households falling below the Low Income Cut Offs. Our experience tells us quite the opposite.

Naci_Sey Naci_Sey's picture

BTW, the REAL issue in the BC election IS electoral reform. That's what I'm hearing and seeing on the ground, where the boots are. Signs are cropping up everywhere, many more in support of BC-STV than for any party or candidate.

Stockholm

There are two simultaneous disconnected events happening in BC - there is a referendum on electoral reform AND there is a provincial election. Once has nothing to do with the other. You can be from any end of the political spectrum and be on either side on STV. I assume that this thread is about issues in the provincial election, electoral reform is a non-issue because it will be resolved separately in the referendum. So what are the ELECTION issues?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Electoral reform and elections come from the same word root. Maybe you should learn to master the English language. See Spot run.

Jacob Two-Two

Naci_Sey wrote:

But we don't buy the BC NDP argument that the carbon tax is hurting those on low income, if by "low income" is meant all households falling below the Low Income Cut Offs. Our experience tells us quite the opposite.

That's fine. Any cheque is a boost. But can you buy my argument that the carbon tax is an environmental red herring with ultimately destructive consequences? It does nothing to address the actual problem, leaves our wasteful and unsustainable automobile infrastructure firmly in place while making it harder for the poor to access it, and provides a green smokescreen for the Liberals while they merrily go about destroying the province's ecosystem and plundering its resources. it also increases government income to make space for more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

Personally, I loathe cars and the whole car culture but I also recognise that our society has been constructed to accomodate and encourage them. There are a lot of people who, through no fault of their own, can't avoid using cars to get around. We could start reorganising transportation so that these people will not be forced to rely on automobiles, or we can throw another financial burden on them and call it a day. Problem solved! Now lets build more highways and drill for more oil. The more people drive, the more money the government gets. Win-win!

Stockholm

Election and "elect" comes from the same word root as well - that doesn't make the Calvinist concept of "the elect" a BC provincial election issue. There are people from all parties and from far right to far left who are on the Yes or No sides on the STV referendum. Electoral reform is the issue in the referendum - but since it will either live or die based on the outcome of the referendum - it has no connection at all to the ELECTION which will determine who governs BC for the next four years.

So what are the ELECTION issues? since STV only deals with process and even if it passes it won't come into effect until 2013.

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