I suppose it’s not unusual for an electorate to feel swindled. It sure as hell happens often enough.
The BC electorate has every right to feel swindled in the election of 2013 by the Christy Clark government’s solemn promise to make us all wealthy through LNG plants. This was a very specific promise and even went as far as promising a “prosperity fund” of $100 billion, plus all of our provincial debt soon paid off. This was crap, they knew it, we fell for it.
Now, for God’s sake, the NDP opposition has joined in the swindle at a time when the Liberals, now that their promises cannot possibly be fulfilled, are frantically looking for a way out for the 2017 election.
NDP support comes as LNG industry falls apart
It’s incomprehensible that the John Horgan opposition would support the Liberals on their LNG endeavours, particularly since Petronas has all but admitted defeat, and they are supposed to be the first out of the box!
What’s even more distressing for those who want LNG plants as soon as possible and as many as possible, is the statement by Petronas that nothing will be going until the end of the decade (which is three years after the next election). Even more troubling for LNG lovers is experts like Bloomberg suggesting that Canada’s LNG industry is highly vulnerable to intense global competition.
It’s really difficult to see just how the campaign promises for 2017 are going to shape up.
The Liberals, like Mr. Micawber, are hoping “something will turn up”.
What is the NDP’s plan for BC?
There has been nothing from Mr. Horgan or the NDP to suggest that they have a new plan for BC. That may come, but it’s pretty late to start setting the stage for an unknown program to be their campaign 2 1/2 years from now.
As it now stands, we have the Liberals looking for a way to avoid dealing with LNG in 2017, with the NDP, not caught in the Liberals’ trap but one of their own making, really not knowing what the hell to do. At least the NDP have plenty of experience in that regard.
It is a new world out there, something that the media has not cottoned onto and, apparently, something that has escaped the notice of Premier Clark and opposition leader Horgan.
Public hungers for environmental leadership
The public are in a strong environmentalist mood. The municipal elections in November demonstrated that but, I think more importantly, the comments to The Common Sense Canadian and The Tyee demonstrate that there is a hard-core, and growing opposition to pipelines, LNG plants and the like which is much different than the cries of years gone by.
There is no doubt that the public’s appetite for preserving our environment got a great boost back in the days of Clayoquot Sound and before, but these things take time to mature and in my belief the environmentalism of the public has reached new heights and more is yet to come.
I don’t for a moment think that the public is against all development or anything of the sort. This is why the “right” has so much trouble dealing with the issue. They can’t think beyond their political philosophy that whatever is dug, cut down, mined, drilled, or transported must be good and those who ever, even for a moment, oppose those things must be evil. For the “right”, unrestrained capitalism is a religious tenet and non-believers deserve contempt.
Citizens fed up with being ignored by politicians, media
In fact, a growing number of citizens don’t see the mindless greed of industry and their bought-off governments as their salvation. Moreover, more and more voters are pissed off at not being consulted and not having their views represented by their politicians.
The media’s mindless and dedicated adherence to the desires of big business make them not only unbelievable, and all but devoid of influence, but damn near unreadable to boot.
When ordinary, decent, British Columbians see their fellow citizens threatened with jail because they want to preserve their parks and neighbourhoods, they’re disgusted.
In a way, it all rather goes back to Lincoln’s aphorism:
[quote]You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.[/quote]
One might respectfully add to that, once the people know that they have been fooled, they get very cross indeed.
Reform is coming
The political systems, federal and provincial, make it very difficult for parties of protest, such as the Green Party, to make headway. The present system suits party lines and party discipline, not individual thinking and representation of the voter. 2017 will be, however, a time when the Green Party will demonstrate whether, even under a lousy system, they can gain public support. It will be, for them, a watershed election.
There will be reform both of the system and the way we are governed. That may take time, although what needs to be done is pretty obvious to most of us.
No matter how big a majority a government has, it can’t govern if the people don’t support it. The public will continue to protest environmental degradation of which they do not approve. That the traditional parties don’t understand that means only that it’s going to take the people a little longer to make their views materialize in reform.
Be all of that as it may, reform is coming, sooner or later, and you can make book on that.