Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Democracy Sacrificed

With the election of three Green MLA's last month many hoped that the province of B.C. might experience something of a resurgence in democracy. Greens are known to work with other parties and now hold the balance of power.
Ever the strategists the Liberals have decided to not cooperate and hope for more seats in an election that will be called in the near future while blaming the Greens for not supporting them.
Here are signs of this strategy:
  1.  None of the Liberal MLA's are willing to stand for election as the Speaker of the Legislature, expecting the NDP or Green to provide one, thus creating a very unstable tie vote. This is unusual in the Westminster tradition
  2. Christy Clark is currently campaigning in the vote-rich lower mainland, wooing them with promises of improving their transit (finally!) and more
  3. Their budget will include many of the policies promised by the Greens and NDP such as more funds for social assistance and an end to corporate donations (which would, if put into effect, end their dynasty) -knowing that this budget will fail. This way they can accuse the NDP and Greens of not voting for policies they hold dear
  4. Corporations quickly began to donate large sums of money to the Liberal Party immediately after the election -more than $1 million in the first two weeks
  5. Their candidates appear to be readying to run in the near future. At least one has not closed his campaign bank account even though they cannot use it
  6. They have accused the NDP and Greens of being "power hungry" and "not cooperating"
  7. They are positioning themselves as being the only stable option (while doing all that they can to destabilize the Legislature). They have named their cabinet members and announced this to local media (even though they know that they will be defeated, terminating the cabinet), giving all appearances of being ready to govern
  8. They are hoping to convince the Lieutenant Governor that the NDP/Green alliance is too unstable and thus to call another election rather than to allow the alliance an opportunity to form the government. If they were to provide a Speaker this would not be necessary.
Contrast all of this to the recent occurrence in Great Britain. There the ruling Conservatives wooed a small Party that had won a few seats so that together they would have enough votes to prevent another election. They accomplished this in less than a month and got back to business. In B.C. the Liberal leader, Christy Clark, did not show up to the initial meeting with the Green Party's Andrew Weaver and the Party was not willing to give up some of its favourite positions in order to meet the Green's expectations of support, then blamed Andrew for forging an agreement with the NDP before meeting with Christy Clark. Where was she at that most important initial meeting? Why did they not go to Andrew on bended knee so that the province could enjoy a more stable government?

Projection is an attempt to place on to others what is true of oneself. While accusing the NDP and Greens of being "power hungry" the Liberals delayed the recalling the legislature as long as they could, and rumour has it that they will not present a budget when it first reconvenes. These delays allow the Liberal caucus to keep the Site C dam to continue to the point that it becomes uneconomical to stop it, displacing homeowners in the meantime, and continue their policies as long as possible. Claiming that providing a Speaker from their ranks as this would amount to "propping up" the NDP/Green government they expected the Greens to support them so as to provide stability in the province. Would this not amount to "propping up" the Liberals?

The result of all of the above is that the Legislature will fall as soon as a non-confidence vote succeeds -all this will require is just one Green or NDP MLA to be missing from the Legislature one day. The Liberal coffers are filling with corporate donations. They will be more than ready with their slick campaign that blames the NDP and Greens for messing up the province and offering a stable pro-economy, pro-jobs promise from the Liberals.

Such is the state of democracy in British Columbia. Will the voters reward or punish the Liberals?

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