Recently in the New York Times there was an article titled "Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory" by Benedict Carey. It was about research being conducted on using drugs to alter memories. The opening paragraph said: "Suppose scientists could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain. Could make you forget a chronic fear, a traumatic loss, even a bad habit." I had to chuckle.
Maybe the scientists need drugs to erase memories, but successful politicians have been doing it for years without any chemical formulas. The proof can be found in the results of numerous elections as voters seem to repeatedly forget much of the incompetence and corruption when they vote to return a sitting government, or vote in an opposition with an equally dismal record.
The present election in British Columbia may prove to be no different. The Liberal Party and its corporate sponsors have cranked up the campaign, not on issues that are of immediate concern and may reflect on their ability to govern, but on ancient myths and meaningless fluff. The ads being published by local candidate Marion Wright are a good example. She claims that she will work for jobs and advocate for resource industries, the hospital and so on. So what? She is only asking to get elected to do what the current MLA is already doing. There is no mention on her part of the real issues that stand between the parties in this election.
No doubt Ms. Wright is hoping that voters forget all about why they tossed the former Liberal MLA, Mr. Visser, and all of the scandals and incompetence that have come to define the past eight years of Liberal government.
Rather than running a campaign on support for jobs and families and all of the other motherhood issues that all candidates and parties endorse, let's hear about the fiscal responsibility for the convention centre cost over runs that are being billed as this government's fast ferry fiasco. In fact, let's hear about the Liberal's own ferry fiasco, the problem-plagued German boats. At least the fast ferries, as ill conceived as they were, were built in B.C. and poured lots of money back into the local economy. Maybe there are good explanations for all of these, so why aren't they part of Ms. Wright's campaign?
There are serious charges being made about the involvement of the current government in corruption relating to the sale of BC Rail. The case has been ongoing for years and more and more damning information is coming out as it works its way through the courts. Certainly corruption of this magnitude deserves some kind of response from the candidate. Can we assume by her silence that she endorses it? Or, perhaps since there is the appearance of some connection between the characters in the BC Rail deal and Plutonic Power, which has ties to members of the Liberal Party and her campaign, it isn't an area where she can go? There may be nothing there, but who is to know unless we get it out in the open.
And what about the carbon tax? Are we supposed to forget that too? Where are the statements telling us what a great idea it is to raise the price of fuel with this token tax that does almost nothing for the environment?
Why aren't we debating it and its effectiveness in achieving the 80 per cent reduction in carbon gas output that we know we have to do? There is certainly a lot that needs to be said about the problems with our environment, but we do not seem to be hearing much from Ms. Wright except that she wants to make North Island B.C.'s green energy capital. Featuring plutonic power, of course.
In a recent article in the Courier-Islander Ms. Wright is quoted as saying that our hospital issue would be over had the Liberals held the North Island seat. Is she saying that we don't have a new hospital because they wanted to keep it for an election issue? Her ads say that she is the candidate for change, and that is wrong. Change would mean a new government, and she is in the wrong party for that.
Jerry West is the publisher, editor and janitor for The Record, an independent, progressive regional publication for Nootka Sound and Canada's West Coast.
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