I have, for Premier Clark, an offer she can’t possibly turn down.
She refuses to call the Legislature into session because it will only make pundits and politicians (presumably she means those in the opposition) happy. In her view it’s better for the great unwashed if she goes on the road, from time to time, finding out what voters want – I wonder if “your resignation” is an answer she’ll pay any attention to.
It must be observed that the only functions of the Legislature are to pass, at its behest, Government bills and to hold their feet to the fire. It is an unpleasant place for the government because there are people there who can and do ask very embarrassing questions. Moreover, even the tame media are likely to print the questions and answers so that the public can be in the know. As to the uselessness of the system, I refer you to my article in the September 3 edition of The Tyee, entitled “Martyn Brown’s Tepid Remedy”.
I call the Premier’s utterings – and there is no other word for it – bullshit. She has a much greater obligation than just politicking at government packed meetings and it is to face the public as represented by the media.
Strange isn’t it? When Ms. Clark ducked the Western Premiers‘ Conference (a very important conference I can tell you from personal experience) she said that her obligation was to be in the “House”, not at a conference of western colleagues who had the Enbridge pipeline on the agenda, upon which matter Premier Clark would be forced to comment. Now that we’re in a candid mood, she didn’t have the guts to do it and scampered home to the legislature as a way out.
Now that she has an obligation to place her legislation and policy before an unpleasant opposition and press, she has a greater obligation to miss it and, one guesses, at taxpayers’ expense, make political speeches before safe audiences.
I have this proposition, Madame Premier.
I am not a politician any more than you are a talk show host. We’ve each moved on. And I can assure you that as I approach my 81st birthday, I have no intentions of returning, even though if I were elected I would be entitled to the pension I gave up when I left government in 1981. (By way of explanation, one needed to be elected three times. Moreover, if elected again, I would have to repay what was returned to me, but believe me, I would do that in a flash.)
I am not a pundit, by which I assume you mean part of the working media.
Madam Premier, surely even the Liberal Party now must admit that the Environment is the #1 issue in BC. I propose that you and I debate the Environment around the Province so that you can tell everyone what your policy is on Fish farms, highways through agricultural land, private power schemes on our rivers, pipelines (Enbridge and Kinder Morgan come to mind) and tankers on our coast carrying bitumen from the Oil Sands to China and waypoints.
Now, to be fair to you, I’ll debate any other issues that you wish, although I will be at a great disadvantage and undoubtedly be quickly overcome because you are, of course, the premier and will be much better informed.
I don’t care who chairs these meetings – having been to many private river hearings I know what biased chairpersons are like and though, again, a biased chair will be to your advantage, I’ll take my chances and will do my best to hold my end up.
I will be pleased to pay my way – hotel, vittles, spirits and transport.
If you use these meetings as fundraisers I only ask that The Common Sense Canadian be permitted to pass the hat to cover my expenses.
Madam Premier – I really don’t like to call people in high paces cowards, gutless and words like that which spring to my mind and, I must tell you, to an ever growing BC public when your name is mentioned.
What an opportunity to silence your critics! What a great way to show that you really are an environmentalist who puts the will of the people ahead of large corporations!
Surely you have nothing to lose whereas The Common Sense Canadian puts its entire raison d’être, its very existence on the line.
Name the dates and the locations and I’ll be there.
Let’s do it!