rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

British Columbia: The weirdest place on Earth?

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

The B.C. Liberals' promo hype about British Columbia being the greatest spot in the known world was, on face value, ridiculous enough. Try selling the "greatest place on Earth" bullshit to the one in four kids living in poverty, or those sleeping in the rain, or huddled in alleyways in the Downtown Eastside.

Maybe this violation of the deadly sin of pride in part explains the meltdown of the political establishment in recent days. It could just as easily have been greed, or gluttony, both aptly describing the underlying motivation of the recent Olympic madness. The others, wrath, sloth, lust and envy, apply in nearly equal measure.

In the last month we've seen two seemingly invulnerable political leaders, Gordon Campbell and Carol James, brought down. Campbell's fall from grace owes less to his utter venality or mendacity than to the concern of the elite who buck up the Liberal party that he had become the political equivalent of the feared albatross, his stinking carcass likely to soil the entire thieves-R-us enterprise so carefully cultivated over the last 10 years.

James, unlike Campbell, owes her own demise less to her failings as a human being than to her distinct inability to capitalize on the Liberals' political train wreck. Ten years of rape and pillage, of environmental degradation on a massive scale, and the establishment of a virtual corporate state in B.C. should have been more than enough for the NDP to mobilize the public to revolt. In spite of this, James not only couldn't catch the wave of popular discontent, but in many ways seemed to diffuse it.

For all the post mortem hosannas to Campbell and James for their "public service" (sic), the blatant fact remains that we are miserably served in this province by many of those in political life. Campbell and James were merely the main public faces for political parties that both serve the corporate establishment, the latter clearly hoping that changing the names and faces will somehow make the continued capital assault on the rest of us more palatable. The Liberals will trot out someone like a Diane Watts and the NDP draft Gregor Robertson or his clone and, in so doing ensure that nothing will really change.

The illusion that there is a current vacuum in leadership of both parties that needs only to be filled for all to be right again is just that, illusion: The problem is not that the leaders are damaged beyond repair; it's that the system itself has become -- and likely always was -- dysfunctional. Nothing illustrates the point better than the reemergence of former premier Bill Van der Zalm as a political hero for fighting the HST. B.C politics always skirt the boundaries of the weird, but when the "Zalm" becomes an icon we are well into the territory of the surreal, of politics as a form of mindless entertainment.

It is at a moment such as this one that we are left with a real choice if we chose to take it: change the system, or suffer more of the same.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.