Price Tags is blessed with an educated base of very informed readers, who richly contribute to the comment section. Price Tags editors want to share the following comment from reader Alex Botta, who writes comprehensively and coherently about the challenges ahead in navigating a Provincial boat potentially helmed by three different skippers.
“The urban-rural divide is now clearer than ever, and Christy helped widen it. Many of the comments following posted CBC and Globe & Mail news stories about the election results indicated absolute disdain for Metro Vancouver from the hinterlands. Several pointed out that city dwellers do not know much about rural areas. Maybe so, but I also read a huge amount of ignorance about the city and how important it is to the provincial economy. The next government must find ways to bridge that divide.
The overlap between the Green and NDP platforms is quite remarkable. I believe they have the basic working foundations of a coalition already in place. Andrew Weaver was interviewed on The National last night. I had to watch part of the following National broadcast to make sure I heard him right. He reiterated with passion that the deal breaker issues to the Greens backing another party were: i) to take the money out of politics; and ii) and to not allow more bitumen tankers in our waters. Redirecting LNG into renewables and a number of other issues on housing, instituting proportional representation, and raising the carbon tax are also on the table. He also said he will not be bribed with a cabinet seat, and said he didn’t leave his career as a climate scientist at its pinnacle just to be bought by the promise of a place in cabinet. The interview with Weaver starts about 10 minutes in:
For the life of me, I really don’t see Christy Clark agreeing to any of these negotiating points. If she does work something out with Weaver she will obviously be doing it as a temporary measure, all the while wielding that million watt instant fake smile of hers and issuing unbelievable comments about what a good environmentalist she is, and maybe purchase a couple of green sweaters for photo-ops in front of green trees while hugging bunnies. Meanwhile, she’ll keep the curtain closed on the bursting closet of her policies on fossil fuels, biding her time until she can stab the Greens in the back and try for another strong majority even though 59% of the vote this week went to the progressive side of the ledger.
Keep in mind when the final votes are counted she may form a very slim majority of one or two seats and cancel the need for an agreement with Weaver et al, which could collapse if a couple of MLAs get the flu and miss a crucial vote. The same applies to an NDP-Green government. It may be wise for both parties to hand out vitamins and surgical masks at the door to every meeting.
If the Greens and NDP are really serious about bringing the BC economy into the 21st Century they would negotiate a two or three-term agreement to stop competing with each other in every riding and run one candidate against the Liberals in key locations, therein likely attaining majority status until proportionality is fully realized. Three terms as a BC NDP-Green coalition government will potentially change the entire nation for the better by creating hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs in renewables (potentially over 150,000 in wind power alone), in construction around greatly expanded urban transit, lowering emissions remarkably, fostering innovation labs through directed educational institute funding in partnership with industry, and so on.
Lastly, the Libs record as supreme debt creators is unsurpassed. Moreover, they are masters at hiding it beyond the reach of annual budgets. In other words, the Libs do not care one whit that their grandchildren will be saddled with the enormous burden of paying it down, probably at much higher interest rates than today. The NDP of the 90s look like fiscal conservatives by comparison. I suggest that an NDP-Green government must also address debt reduction, even if that means enacting a dedicated debt reduction tax. If they can manage to create thousands of additional jobs in the renewable energy and construction sectors and value-added measures in sustainable resources like forestry, then moderating taxes won’t be a big issue within a healthy economy. The direct provincial debt is expected to reach almost $70B at the end of this fiscal year, and $78B next year. When contractual commitments are added, we’re looking at almost $200B.
Sustainability applies as much to the economy as it does to the environment. To suggest the NDP / Greens will blow it on fiscal issues is mythmaking when you look at the evidence.”