I recall voting Liberal in the 2001 provincial election and for years now, I’ve been wondering what led me to that regretful choice. Perhaps, I suffered early onset of age-related intellectual impairment but I prefer to believe there were other causes. In search of those, I read through the BC Liberal 2001 Platform. I suspected it would provide clues and it did.
It turns out my error was one of naivety. My mistake was believing what the Liberals said. I provide here a number of their promises and little editorial comment is required. I’ve held back items related to health and child welfare because those subjects deserve separate attention. What do you think readers, did he work wonders?
- It’s time for a New Era of Accountability. Our plan will deliver real transparent, accountable government.
- Our Vision: The most open, accountable and democratic government in Canada.
- Establish workable initiative legislation, to make it feasible for British Columbians to call for a referendum on issues of province-wide concern that fall within the provincial government’s jurisdiction.
- Establish workable recall legislation, to make it easier for citizens to hold MLAs accountable.
- Give all MLAs and citizens a better voice in government through active legislative committees.
- Hold open Cabinet meetings at least once a month that are televised and broadcast live on the Internet.
- Give all government MLAs a meaningful new role in policy development and service planning through a new system of Cabinet decision-making.
- Introduce free votes in the Legislature, to allow all MLAs to vote freely on behalf of their constituents on all matters not speciﬁcally identiﬁed as a vote of conﬁdence.
- Not sell or privatize BC Rail.
- Vigorously defend the Crown’s ownership of provincial land and resources.
- Protect BC Hydro and all of core assets, including dams, reservoirs and power lines under public ownership.
- Restore an independent BC Utilities Commission, to re-regulate BC Hydro’s electricity rates.
- Pass a Living Rivers Act to protect and improve BC’s river systems with scientiﬁcally-based standards for watershed management, enhancements to ﬁsh habitat, and a 10-year program to correct past damage.
- Push for provincial control over the management and revenues of BC’s offshore ﬁsheries, to improve ﬁsheries management and protect ﬁshery jobs.
- Adopt a scientiﬁcally-based, principled approach to environmental management that ensures sustainability, accountability and responsibility.
- You shouldn’t have to pay higher than necessary electricity or auto insurance rates, because government wants to play politics with BC Hydro or ICBC.
- Give school boards multi-year funding envelopes, to improve long-term education planning and budgeting.
- Ensure that music, arts and physical education curriculums are fully funded in BC’s public schools.
- Hold the line on court fees, to ensure that everyone has affordable access to our justice system.
- Establish regional transportation authorities that are accountable to local taxpayers and give local communities more control over their transportation needs and planning.
- Require taxpayer approval by regional referendums prior to authorization of any new type of TransLink tax or levy.
- Outlaw “ofﬂoading” of provincial government costs onto the backs of local property taxpayers.
- Restore open tendering on government contracts to allow fair competition for businesses and provide better value to taxpayers.
- Implement a ﬂexible, innovative program to increase the supply of affordable housing.