Category: BC Liberals

Democracy doesn’t die of natural causes

Christy Clark’s Liberals have gone all in with identifying “persuadable voters” and knowing all there is to know about each person’s voting impulses. This is not old fashioned door knocking and coffee-party campaigning. It doesn’t rely on volunteers. Instead, the highly paid operators work quietly in the shadows “to find tiny slivers of influence that can tip an election.” This is expensive political manipulation, far beyond capabilities of the NDP, a party largely dependent on financial contributions from individual members. But, this suits win-at-any-cost principles of Liberals. It also explains why the Legislature has barely functioned in the past year. Liberal cabinet ministers and MLAs were too busy fundraising to waste time governing. I’m a political wonk and the Liberal’s anti-democratic initiatives and corrupt practices are enough to turn me away from that party, permanently. In addition to being deceitful, Clark’s government has proven itself incompetent, which is not surprising when management positions in the province’s enterprises and service agencies have been sold to Liberal Party contributors.

One of many tragedies

What kind of society do we live in when there are no resources – no affordable resources, that is – for families in need, yet there is sufficient money to pay almost a million dollars for vanity photography and videotaping of Premier Clark. And billions of dollars to subsidize foreign-owned resource companies and billions more to pay contractors and private producers for power we don’t need.

Secret correspondence

Occasionally, readers and informants send me tips and information, some of it for background, some of it that leads directly to an article. Today, I received the first draft of a message that Pamela Martin is sending to Liberal Party workers. It follows…

Hypocrisy part 2

Many readers enjoyed the Christy Clark video in Hypocrite! and found it revealing, particularly as Clark’s Government was spending millions of tax dollars to flood social, print and broadcast media with campaign promises and Liberal promotions. Here is another taste of Ms. Clark.

Bad politics

Former broadcaster George Orr created TALK!, an excellent documentary that will appeal to every person who valued radio for being unique in each community it served. TALK! explores broadcasting and how the functions of commercial operations are driven by self-interest, not by communities needs. While fishing for the story of radio, George lands by-catch. It’s a politician we all know.

Who funds BC politics

Annual reports of the parties filed with Elections BC reveal that BC Liberals have consistently taken in substantially more political contributions than BC NDP. This is a seven year summary to 2015 (2016 reports are not yet posted).

Do as I say, not as I do

In 2014, BC’s government claimed public sector organizations would operate under principles that strengthen accountability, promote cost control, and ensure the corporations operate in the best interest of taxpayers. If you’ve read my work on BC Hydro, examined Bob Mackin’s frustrations with FOI or generally followed provincial politics, you would have known the claims were hollow from the start.

Now, three years later, the Auditor General confirms that assertion

NFOI – no freedom of information

We’ve seen that organizations make political contributions directly and through lobbyists. We know they use subsidiaries, affiliates and nominees but EBC makes little effort to report connections. In a report by Corporate Mapping Project, Teck Resources seems to have contributed $1.5 million to BC Liberals. However, a more complete listing provides a much larger number: $2.8 million. Even that is incomplete. It is important to know the benefits flowing from Teck to the Liberal Party but we must keep in mind the benefits flowing to Teck. That company was reportedly responsible for $743 million of a $1.2 billion unfunded liability for mine cleanups.

“Bullshit is everywhere”

For eight years now, I’ve been posting words on the Internet. I was influenced in the beginning by my first two grandsons, now pushing 11 years of age. I looked at these youngsters, and the ones that followed, and concluded that I owed a duty to agitate for a better world. I want all children to have best possible opportunities for education and opportunity, to live in a society that is fair and respectful to people and values the environmental riches of our land.

I’m happy to have been involved in this commitment but I hope the May election will be a turning point. It will be a time to decide whether or not the powerful self-interests of privileged people are insurmountable.

Pull down the veil of lies

BC Liberals released the 2017 Budget and Fiscal Plan. The government elected by promising a “DEBT-FREE BC” forecasts total provincial debt will grow $11 billion to a total of $78 billion in next three years. Under Christy Clark as Premier, provincial debt will have increased $33 billion, which was the total debt accumulated in the 130 years after British Columbia became Canada’s sixth province. That $78 billion does not include the debt portion of contractual obligations, which total $100 billion but are not mentioned anywhere in 149 pages of the Budget and Fiscal Plan. The PR strategy is to never admit these exist or have impact. This is egregious dishonesty.

Borrow-and-spend politics

The 10-year increase, 2006-2016, in contractual obligations was $67 billion, while the regular provincial debt rose by $31 billion. That’s almost $10 billion a year increase in financial commitments by a government that claims they are creating “debt-free BC.”

Mumbling and fuzzifying

It cannot be taken for granted that PPPs are more efficient than public investment and government supply of services. One particular concern is that PPPs can be used mainly to bypass spending controls, and to move public investment off budget and debt off the government balance sheet, while the government still bears most of the risk involved and faces potentially large fiscal costs.