Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We can, but we won't

I recall voting Liberal in the 2001 provincial election and for years now, I've been wondering what led me to that regretful choice. Perhaps, I suffered early onset of age-related intellectual impairment but I prefer to believe there were other causes. In search of those, I read through the BC Liberal 2001 Platform. I suspected it would provide clues and it did.

It turns out my error was one of naivety. My mistake was believing what the Liberals said. I provide here a number of their promises and little editorial comment is required. I've held back items related to health and child welfare because those subjects deserve separate attention. What do you think readers, did he work wonders?

  • It’s time for a New Era of Accountability. Our plan will deliver real transparent, accountable government.
  • Our Vision: The most open, accountable and democratic government in Canada.
  • Establish workable initiative legislation, to make it feasible for British Columbians to call for a referendum on issues of province-wide concern that fall within the provincial government’s jurisdiction.
  • Establish workable recall legislation, to make it easier for citizens to hold MLAs accountable.
  • Give all MLAs and citizens a better voice in government through active legislative committees.
  • Hold open Cabinet meetings at least once a month that are televised and broadcast live on the Internet.
  • Give all government MLAs a meaningful new role in policy development and service planning through a new system of Cabinet decision-making.
  • Introduce free votes in the Legislature, to allow all MLAs to vote freely on behalf of their constituents on all matters not specifically identified as a vote of confidence.
  • Not sell or privatize BC Rail.
  • Vigorously defend the Crown's ownership of provincial land and resources.
  • Protect BC Hydro and all of core assets, including dams, reservoirs and power lines under public ownership.
  • Restore an independent BC Utilities Commission, to re-regulate BC Hydro’s electricity rates.
  • Pass a Living Rivers Act to protect and improve BC’s river systems with scientifically-based standards for watershed management, enhancements to fish habitat, and a 10-year program to correct past damage.
  • Push for provincial control over the management and revenues of BC’s offshore fisheries, to improve fisheries management and protect fishery jobs.
  • Adopt a scientifically-based, principled approach to environmental management that ensures sustainability, accountability and responsibility.
  • You shouldn’t have to pay higher than necessary electricity or auto insurance rates, because government wants to play politics with BC Hydro or ICBC.
  • Give school boards multi-year funding envelopes, to improve long-term education planning and budgeting.
  • Ensure that music, arts and physical education curriculums are fully funded in BC’s public schools.
  • Hold the line on court fees, to ensure that everyone has affordable access to our justice system.
  • Establish regional transportation authorities that are accountable to local taxpayers and give local communities more control over their transportation needs and planning.
  • Require taxpayer approval by regional referendums prior to authorization of any new type of TransLink tax or levy.
  • Outlaw “offloading” of provincial government costs onto the backs of local property taxpayers.
  • Restore open tendering on government contracts to allow fair competition for businesses and provide better value to taxpayers.
  • Implement a flexible, innovative program to increase the supply of affordable housing.
    BC Liberal 2001 Platform complete
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    16 comments:

    1. Norman,

      History! Those who neglect to read history are doomed to repeat it, they say.

      What a horrifying look-back.

      Many, many thanks for this ... which I hope you won't mind if I borrow this list so that others may also be reminded?

      ReplyDelete
    2. Of course you may take the list. There will be a part two later because health and child services deserve special treatment. The important thing to remember is these are Liberals words in the promises. I shortened but did not add.

      Shocking is it not? I would love to see a party member honestly defend the changes.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Norm, it's beyond shocking. Heartbreaking.

      There is not a single issue they did not intentionally fail on!

      ReplyDelete
    4. Another thing that many forger is that there was a sense of winding down the NDP administration, a mandate that had started in 1991 with hop for a more equitable and rational administration and which ended with the de-linkng of jobs from forest tenures, vain attempts to convince a recalcitrant business community that the party was friendly to their interests while riding close herd on its core labour constituency. It's interesting to follow the further adventures of the then-Premier Ujjal Dosanj, a man whose struggles within the Sikh community spoke of courage, but whose subsequent trajectory is replete with compromises with power for personal advancement. Hence, a lot of the votes that Campbell got, were actually more properly votes that the NDP didn't get, a textbook case of negative voting, much as was the election that brought Stephen Harper to power. The writing was on the wall in 2001: the NDP was going down, and they needed to go down, but it was a real mug's game for anyone who had even an inkling of what sort of a sneering and self-serving man Gordon Campbell has always been. He has consistently treated the electors of the province as idiots, and we have certainly obliged.

      ReplyDelete
    5. Until we the electorate understand and commit to the idea that representative government requires the resources necessary to get elected and that these resources need to come from you, the person wanting a true representation of their ideology we will remain polarized with the left and right, whichever manifestation they currently portray as their ideology dejure(funny how the business and union sides can quickly convert to environmentalism when votes are at stake). The truth is, money pulls the strings and we need to pull our heads out of the sand and understand the consequences of doing nothing. Put your money where your heart is. Elect independents if you feel they have your best interest at heart. Support them as best you can with finances or time or both.

      ReplyDelete
    6. We're on to them. Christy and her ridiculous families first campaign is a clear example. She doesn't give a shit about families and we all know it, she knows it, but her handlers use it because it worked in the past.

      FU Christy

      ReplyDelete
    7. Campbell worked for Harper. BC is a shattered mess, stripped down to the bare bones. Never will I ever vote Liberal. Nor will I vote Conservative. The BC Liberals and the BC Conservatives, are one and the same party. So, I don't doubt, the BC Liberals, will go over to the Conservatives.

      The NDP have a strong team. I like Dix, Horgan and Farnsworth. I think it's about time now, to start reading up, and make a decision. At least I know, who I'm not going to vote for.

      ReplyDelete
    8. When only about 22% of the actual BC electorate actually voted for the BC Liberals, our entire democratic, or what is left of it, process has been horribly abused by those with money and power.

      We live in an age where deceit and corruption has become common place and political deceit and corruption are endemic in our political system.

      Lying to get elected is the new election gimmick and all political parties stoop at this level.

      Instead of the BC Liberals and Gordon Campbell protecting the peoples assets, he open up shop and sold as much as he could to corporate friends at firesale prices. Even in third world countries, this sort of corruption would not be tolerated.

      But BC voters who suffer from the anti-communist/socialist syndrome, vote for the Liberals or not vote at all.

      Even the NDP must share the blame, by rigorously sticking to their racist anti-white male policies have let the Liberals get elected.

      We suffer the Liberals because the NDP are too juvenile, to self centred to be elected.

      This all returns to that we live in an age of deceit and deception.

      ReplyDelete
    9. Evil Eye, be sure to follow the link on a coming story and read the 40 year old document that laid out a road map of manipulation by big business. It was written by Lewis Powell, before Nixon appointed him to the Supreme Court.

      ReplyDelete
    10. Well, he worked wonders for his future which came in the form of a Federal Conservative appointment.
      Gordon Campbell was an opportunist long before he was Mayor of Vancouver and long after he became a drunk tank candidate re-elect.
      The biggest problem wasn't his platform or the HST, it's the inability of BC to come up with a leader who actually leads with the primary focus on BC instead of his own future. BC has had a never ending problem with government leaders from all political affiliations who simply can't ignore big business influence. Campaign funding should be outlawed along with fund raising dinners hosted by big business. All political parties have some form of big business influencing which costs the taxpayers of BC far too much.

      ReplyDelete
    11. You people didn't see it coming? Shame on you all.

      ReplyDelete
    12. I think the off-loading of the nearly half billion dollar Fast Cat ferries for less than peanuts (21 million $) was a pretty good indication of what was coming.

      I question now as I did then as to what exactly transpired on that fateful Hawaiian Xmas holiday of Gordy's where he ended up being strong-armed into a holding cell for drunk driving.

      Not the kind of charge that couldn't be quashed with a 'connected' phone call to the right people,(especially as there was no accident).

      Who wasn't playing well in the big sandbox!

      ReplyDelete
    13. "off-loading of the nearly half billion dollar Fast Cat ferries for less than peanuts (21 million $) was a pretty good indication of what was coming."

      Yes, it was an example of Campbell's commitment to privatization. In this and other cases, he privatized huge public wealth for the benefit of a favoured few.

      ReplyDelete
    14. When G Campbell was compaigning to get elected in 2001 my late husband said to me If the people of BC elect him they will be so sorry and that man can not be trusted!!

      ReplyDelete
    15. That is what the Liberal party always does, campaign from the left and then once elected, govern from the right. Never fails.

      ReplyDelete
    16. I confess (and this is hard to say), I voted for them in 2001. Yes, I took them at their word. I had some crazy notion that these promises mean something. It's embarrassing in retrospect. However, at least I did not repeat the mistake in successive elections. By then they had shown their true colours. Fool me once... I see this stuff now, and I wonder, "What on earth was I thinking?!"

      It's instructive, if humbling, to see this stuff again. Thanks for posting it, Norm.

      ReplyDelete

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