Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Liberal surprise package. But really?

A couple of things make this election unique.
One, is that we can never again trust any of the pollsters. Either they are totally ineffective, they have no idea how to poll in this society, or some of them were steering people in the direction the originator of the polls wanted by manipulating the result. It isn't at all hard to do.
You start by putting the party you want to lose, way ahead at first, then engineer the successive results to create a virtual image of a groundswell. What happens is the party with a huge lead has much of their vote staying home while the other party gets out to the polling stations. The actual turnout was very low. One girl working a polling station told me that she had 400 on her list of voters, and less than 100 showed up.

Another idea regarding the outcome, is that the percentage of non-born in BC residents is apparently about 26% now, (in the City of Vancouver, more like 49%) and one can't expect these newcomers to embrace the history of what once was here in our province. Whatever is here right now is what they'll care about in future elections.

The idea that attack ads don't work is now proven that they do. Week after week we saw irrelevant information about NDP events of over a decade ago hammered out in the media by the Liberals. With no appreciable fight back from the opposition. Negative messages are useful.

What are the rewards we are giving to the Liberal party for guiding the province in the last 12 years? I can only talk about things I care deeply about, which surprises me that others have so little interest in these same things.

We will continue to ship raw logs to Washington State mills in huge quantities while BC mills rust away. Look at the logs floating in the Fraser River and the endless booms off Point Grey and understand that they are going out of province to support families other than British Columbians.

Hollywood North will continue to be established in Toronto as our own once flourishing BC film industry subsides into occasional Canadian content. With the advantage of Ontario tax credits production will grow there while BC studios close down and we lose more productions and skilled film workers in a billion dollar industry that doesn't pollute or destroy the landscape while it works.

Norwegians will continue to have a free hand with sea-based fish farms growing even more Atlantic salmon, laden with hormones and coloring and diseases negatively affecting our once world's greatest wild pacific sockeye runs.

BC Hydro which has looked after the province's power needs responsibly in the past, will continue to be hand-cuffed by agreements to buy power from foreign owned run-of-the-river projects at high cost while selling at world market prices low.

One expects the Kinder-Morgan double pipeline to proceed, as will as the Enbridge pipeline to Kitimat over whatever objections are raised locally. But these decisions are federal and out of the hands of British Columbia now anyway, the provincial government has already agreed to it, so the environmental interest cannot continue without BC government support. Cross your fingers about oil spills.

We will continue to use overseas shipyards for building BC Ferries and Translink ferries while our own shipyards sit idle. Much easier to disperse and hide money internationally instead of within BC under the scrutiny of taxpayer's sharp eyes.

The suspicions about the sale of BC Rail will probably remain just that. Suspicions. Without a strong effort to reveal what went on during the negotiations, we'll have to accept the loss of a BC proudly owned and operated railroad and the fact that we paid 6 million in hush money so we couldn't be told what actually happened with our money. Sounds ridiculous? Of course it is.

The provincial debt continues to rise to unprecedented levels, yet no one asks about the so called  'contractual obligations' or proper accounting practices or the fact that a balanced budget might be achieved by selling off British Columbia's assets. What happens when the assets run out and the government still cannot control itself? Our government fired the one who was the thorn and will undoubtedly replace him with a less harsh critic. 

These are only a few policies that have been in place, that the current voters in BC seem to have no concern about.
So the new Liberals will settle in to governing our province, again, and some of us are wondering if they'll take their cue from previous MLAs on their way through, making sure they are personally okay with their deals for retirement. So the idea that we are like some African third world country available for exploitation remains. And to many, the future looks bleak for a healthy growth that would benefit all British Columbians instead of friends of Liberals. And for some new MLAs, the chance to sidle up to the feeding trough with hungry pockets looms ahead. Who knows what scraps will drop into them when you have power?

There aren't any surprises out there now, just what we expect. I have to face it, the days of WAC Bennett building a thriving province is past. And feeling part of something great is long gone. Governments will never be the same again. The universe is unfolding but this isn't how it should.

For me it is not about Liberals or NDP or Greens or Conservatives, it's about being proud of your part of the world and expecting everyone else to have the same direction; to make everything better for all of us, not just some. Of the people for the people.

That's my disappointment.

And there is that niggling feeling that they got away with it.

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Keep it civil, folks, I know you're angry but try not to swear too much.