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The time has come, the walrus said… no Rafe, the Liberal leadership only looks like Alice in Wonderland.

It is, though, time for all environmentalists to start looking very seriously at BC politics because after the NDP convention, we’ll be in the countdown to the next election. Even though the election will still be two years away, that will be the time we who care about environmental values must start turning it up, notch by notch.

In doing this I ask to you bear in mind my biases. I don’t give a damn who gets in as long as he/she opens up the private power file, produces all the secret energy purchase contracts so we can see which, if any, are in the public interest and axe the ones that aren’t, then cancels the Campbell Energy Plan, and, after consultation with the people, presents a new one.

When I say I don’t care who gets in this is not a light statement to be ignored.

Let us assume that, in our zeal to save our province, we elect a government that hashes things up but does save the environment, our farm land, our wildlife habitat, our fish, our rivers and their dependent ecologies, and BC Hydro in the bargain, we can then elect another government to clean up the mess.

It gets down to choices (the name of the game in BC politics as elsewhere)  – will you trade away Beautiful British Columbia for a short term bottom line? And while we’re on the subject, I would argue that on virtually every point the Campbell government is worse than the NDP of the 90s. I admit that’s damning with very faint praise but make your own comparison even of fiscal policy, bearing in mind Campbell’s gifts to the rich, his inability to see the obvious coming recession, his lying about the 2009 budget and the state of the deficit and provincial debt.

Those who support Gordon “Pinocchio” Campbell’s fiscal record by claiming that he was hit by hard times should go back to the time “Asian Flu” hit the NDP government and see how the Liberals in opposition gave them no peace regarding something over which they had no control and came as a surprise to everyone.

I cannot see any Liberal candidate who will change a thing.

As you follow the debates, see how often the environment/energy issue or BC Rail comes up!
Kevin Falcon is Gordon Campbell, plus, plus, plus. Christy Clark has good looks and glibness but nothing else. George Abbott hasn’t the jam to deal with environment/energy issues by letting the public have a say and Mike de Jong has been an integral part of the Campbell government throughout and is the man who paid the money to end the Basi/Virk case and continue the government cover-up of the BC Rail mess.

A pox on all their houses!

What about the NDP?

They have a big problem with their optics. The real problem with the NDP of the 90s wasn’t fiscal but an inability to look like a government what with its scandals and revolving door leadership. What this demonstrated more than anything else was a lack of discipline.

For one, I have a problem with party discipline where it chokes off independent opinions which is what happens in all Canadian parliaments. That said, there must be sufficient discipline to keep the ship from hitting the Lorelei.

Unfortunately, the public seems to like tough, uncompromising discipline and somehow the NDP must square this circle.

As I’ve often pointed out, the NDP is, by nature, a disputatious lot.

The only candidate to have spoken out, forcibly, on the environment/energy issue is John Horgan. I’ve met and spent some time with Horgan and I believe he means what he says about opening up the IPP contracts and ending the rape of our rivers.

According to a recent Ipsos-Reid poll, the leaders are, in descending order, Farnworth, John Horgan, Nicholas Simons and Adrian Dix.

I’ve spoken about Horgan, who is clearly the soundest on our issues – now let me deal with the others.

Farnworth is a fine man and would, in my estimation, be a good choice depending on his stand on the environment/energy issue. Accordingly, I suspend judgment until we know what his position is.

Adrian Dix carries an open political wound over his fake e-mail in an attempt to cover-up the problem Premier Clark got in over his neighbour who helped fix Clark’s house at the same time he was making an application for a gambling license. Dix, to his credit – and unlike so many politicians – ‘fessed up promptly.

He is a pit bull much like Kevin Falcon and if that match-up came to pass what excitement that would bring to our politics.

Adrian Dix has been outstanding in the Legislature and I look forward to learning his position on the environment/energy.

Unfortunately I don’t know Nicholas Simons except to say hello, so judgment must be suspended. He, like all the candidates, has been offered a blog on our website (www.thecanadian.org) on environment/energy matters..

I’ve already wasted time typing this but the Conservatives may and only may take a few votes from the Liberals.

It’s interesting to consider a third party and the only one with a chance is the BC First Party under the pro tem leadership of Chris Delaney. I’ve been following this with considerable interest since, it seems to me, there is a great gap in the middle and that Delaney has moved from the right (Conservative) seamlessly. I’m not surprised because I believe this has been happening for a long time.

My read of it is that Delaney couldn’t stomach the Liberals so tried other avenues which, to date, have failed.

I believe that Chris has blotted his copybook staying with the Recall movement more out of loyalty than conviction. But time will tell.

There are two times in my memory when a “third party” has been successful – 1952 and 1991. 2013 looks like the situations back then.

In 1952 the Liberal Coalition crumbled and this left a huge gap in the middle which W.A.C Bennett charged into with his HMS Pinafore-like Social Credit Party.

In 1991, again the middle opened up as the Social Credit Party collapsed and the Gordon Wilson led Liberals went into the fray with no seats and ended up with 17 and Official Opposition status.

Speaking of 1991, what will Gordon Wilson do? He’s a political animal as is his wife Judi Tyabi-Wilson. I would be very surprised to learn that they haven’t been talking to Delaney. It would be a very powerful combination especially since the Wilsons would offset any concerns that Delaney was too far right.

The Green Party is the hardest one for me to handle. I’ve voted Green three times but strictly as a protest. On environment/energy issues they are clearly on our side.

Problem. Big time problem. Under our “first past the post” system they can’t win in spite of a good leader in Jane Sterk.

Try as they might, they can’t convince voters that they’re more than a one issue party. And that’s a damned shame.

One thing’s for sure – for political junkies it’s going to be a helluva ride!

2 Responses to “Time Enviros Tune into in BC Politics”

  1. e.a.f. says:

    The enviornment has to be the number one issue. Without clean water and air we can not survive and neither can any other species.
    The clamour about jobs is just so much noise. At one time all we heard was we had to keep cutting trees for the jobs. Well the mills closed adn there went 40 thousand jobs. We still survived, not as well, but we survived.
    The jobs they talk about creating with mining and pipe lines are temorary and will foul the enviornment for decades. The people who stand to make the most money on these types of things are multi nationals, politicians, and their friends. The average person in B.C. not so much.
    The casinos launder money and don’t pay all that well.
    We have the highest child poverty rate in Canada, for 7 yrs straight and what does the government do, sell our rivers and create more debt. Did any children come out of poverty because of it, NO. Will hydro rates go up? YES and what will that result in: More child poverty.
    It might be interesting if some people just ran as independants in favour of the enviornment.

  2. Stewart MacKenzie says:

    The NDP is scared of big business.
    The Liberals are owned lock stock and barrel by big business.
    No other party has a hope of forming government after the next election.
    If all the environmental activists now pretending to be “independent” and thus retaining the purity of their own self images, dirtied their hands and participated in the NDP it would change the party profoundly.
    If they all participated in the Liberals it wouldn’t make one iota of difference. Their leadership candidates are fervently pro industry – as shown by their wish to refight the Prosperity Mine issue which places them at the extreme edge of the “Screw the environment” crowd.
    There is at this time no realistic, pragmatic alternative to the NDP and until the self righteous green activists figure that out we will continue to see the green vote split and the Liberals laughing as they rape the province!

    Pretending environmental issues are non political gives the rapers license to be as brutal as they like with the land and still be seen as having credibility on the issues – this is a bad joke, but the punchline is the destruction of our province while we sit around arguing who is holier than who!

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