There is more than the usual hooey going about these days.
One bit of rubbish is that the Campbell/Clark government have been good money managers and the last NDP bunch were wastrels. The fact is that both piled up huge deficits.
It’s said that in the 1997 election the NDP went in with a phoney budget. They did — about $400 million worth of fibbing, depending upon whose figures are used.
On the other hand, the Liberals understated the budget in 2009 by $1.4 billion.
It is said that the Campbell/Clark government was hit by the recession. Funny, they didn’t mention that in the 2009 budget nor their election campaign. Indeed, after the election, they claimed that the recession caught them by surprise. Evidently, they didn’t hear about the stock market crashes of 2007 nor the recession of 2008.
The NDP was, however, caught by surprise (as was everyone else) by the “Asian Flu,” which overnight damned near shut down our lumber industry. Moreover, albeit with a too healthy dividend from B.C. Hydro, it balanced its last budget.
The NDP and the Campbell/Clark government do have this in common – lousy leadership. The NDP from about 1995 onwards stumbled all over their own feet and were thrashed.
The Campbell/Clark government is trying to convince the public that this is not so with them. Apparently, we’re to forget that Campbell went to jail, that he “gave” away B.C. Rail in a deal that stinks more each day, and that he settled the Basi-Virk trial just as he and former Finance Minister Collins were to give evidence.
Not only was the budget of 2009 plain bull shit, the government plainly didn’t tell the truth about the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) not being “on the radar screen.” Then, when the chickens were coming home to roost, Campbell walked, leaving Christy Clark covered with a massive shower of excrement.
Now, of course, the Liberal claim is that they lost the two recent by-elections because the Conservatives split the vote. The problem would be solved, apparently, if Conservative leader John Cummins were to see the light and join forces!
Why would Cummins attach himself to a corpse? He knows he won’t win the next election but he also knows that the Liberals won’t either.
There is a huge issue that the hypnotized media won’t mention — the environment. And it is huge involving the ALR, fish farms, private river development, pipelines and tanker traffic. Premier Clark, in thrall to Prime Minister Harper because of the HST, dare not oppose the feds on any of these issues while — and this takes the breath away — Cummins loves the idea of 1100 kms of leaking pipelines and tanker traffic, statistically certain to devastate our coast, while he is against the Kinder Morgan line upgrade and the resultant tanker traffic in Vancouver Harbour.
The establishment media has steadfastly refused to deal with these environmental catastrophes here and in the near future, taking their lead from the rightwing “think” tank Fraser Institute. But the mainstream media are not the only fish in the stream any more. In addition to courageous community papers (such as this one); there is www.thetyee.ca; bloggers with courage and considerable followings such as Alex Tsakumis, Sean Holman and the Common Sense Canadian (www.thecanadian.com) of which I’m a co-founder and regular columnist.
There are many environmental groups such as The Wilderness Committee, The Living Oceans Society, Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler in the fight and too many others to mention.
Christy Clark, with no supporters in her caucus, is a slice of bread waiting to be toasted, The Conservatives have a narrow band of followers and the Green Party, lamentably, is seen as a one-issue party.
Where is the Bill Bennett Social Credit Party when we need it so badly!
Rafe Mair is a former Kamloops lawyer and MLA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.