People who follow the news in British Columbia can see that politically the province is in turmoil. The current government, probably one of the most corrupt and destructive in recent history, is finally coming unglued. The only thing remarkable about that is that the public foolishly tolerated it for so long, either by voting for the government, or not bothering to vote at all.
One can sympathize with the non-voters — the options at the polls have not appeared to be all that hot. Many people are disillusioned with politics, and given the performance of both the government and opposition over the past few years it is no surprise. Of course choosing to be a non-voter is a surrender to whatever fate delivers.
Perhaps what we need is not only a change in government, but more importantly a change in the way that we do government. We profess to be a democratic society, but what we actually have is a semi-democratic dictatorship. A dictatorship owned and operated by special interests with lots of money.
Look at the present government. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the HST that was shoved down the public’s throat in defiance of popular opposition. Before that there was the selling off of public assets to the benefit of private interests, and the restructuring of public corporations to the same benefit.
In short over 10 years of transferring public wealth to the private sector, and private interest not always in B.C. And it continues. One might compare Gordon Campbell to Joseph Stalin facing the Germans and burning everything in his path as he retreats. In this case what is being burned are public assets.
Don’t look to the opposition for salvation, however. Though the opposition parties may not be as rapacious and socially destructive as the current gang, ask them if they will undo the damage if elected and what do you get? Waffling and excuses about why it cannot be done. One can only conclude some sort of collusion at the upper levels to thwart populist desires and maintain a system that clearly is no longer working for the public benefit.
People are so mad at the government at present that some of its members are jumping ship, and others are distancing themselves from the current regime. Good luck. They have all been swimming in sewage too long to easily eradicate the stench that clings to them.
People are also skeptical of the opposition at this point. Despite numerous opportunities it has failed to provide an effective counter balance to the government and appears adrift without any clear plan for fixing the problems that will be left by the current regime.
Not only is the government caucus in turmoil, so is that of the opposition as many members have become fed up with the lack of leadership, its inept responses on the issues, and its disregard for policy passed by the membership. Where it will end is certainly not clear at this point.
Perhaps the solution for the people of B.C. is to redesign government, giving more power to the voters and more restrictions on what the government can do. A start would be to put the government at arms length from the crown corporations and the justice system. The corporations could be governed by directors representing regions of the province and elected by the voters of their region. The Attorney General, Ombudsman, head of Elections BC and other such organizations could be directly elected in the same cycle as the municipal elections. This would give them greater freedom to perform their functions without interference, and would remove them as a pawn in the give and take of routine political dealings.
Such a system, of course, would be a more direct form of democracy, and it would weaken the dictatorial power of currently entrenched interests. It might even lead to a better run province. Heaven forbid!
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