RE: Election - torn between a rock and a liberal

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#1

Hi,

I need your input. I need the forum banter. Hell, I need full-blown fisticuffs!

I am, for lack of a more PC term, a GREENIE / TREE HUGGER.

How do I choose between
"axing" the most progressive piece of climate change legislation in N.America
AND
Gateway and other BC Liberal environmental blunders?

help!
M

I hear you. I think this is one of the most interesting things about climate change, is that it's starting to pit environmental groups against each other ('we need more green hydro power' vs. 'we can't dam any more rivers') and cause some leftist parties to support other sources of their power base more than enviros.

Some quick thoughts re. your quandary:

- Consider supporting STV -- see www.stv.ca
- Start a facebook group. Start a blog (or find an existing blog and help promote it).
- Contact your local MLA (liberal or ndp).
- Consider voting green. Help them become legit. I'm personally wary of the experience level of some candidates, but going this route is probably easier than starting another party...

I'm also quite concerned about potentially privatizing BC Hydro. As a large monopoly it has tremendous potential to make huge money off the backs of all of us. Also, as they're using a public resource to generate the power (Damming public area and rivers) I see huge issues with it becoming private.

STV is a no brainer for me. As someone that constantly complains about our electoral system, this is exactly the sort of reform that I'm excited about. I know some people prefer the status quo, but if you've ever felt that our current system makes it impossible to vote your conscience then take a serious look at STV.ca. In my opinion it's not the best system, but it's a damn sight better than our current.

The liberals have definitely done a lot of good for BC in the last administration, some bad as well, but I think on the whole we're better off for having had them. It's just BC Hydro privatization that makes me really concerned.

Jon By Jon

There are NO plans to privatize BC Hydro. If you do some searching on the intrawebz, you'll be able to find a
letter from the minister in charge saying just that.

Stop spreading rumors.

hahahaha yes the minister is one to trust...

I'm sure they aren't thinking of privatizing BC Hydro like they weren't thinking of privatizing Translink board of governors or BC Ferries or management of MSP or....

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but keep pushing the STV.

I'm a capitalist believer and a Liberal supporter. This election I will vote Liberal in my riding no matter who is running because I don't want the NDP in power.

However, I DO want alternative views in government. If we had an STV system then while my first and second votes might go Liberal (and I would vote for the best Liberals running in my Super Riding) I would also send some votes to the Green Party.

At any rate, lets all make sure to get at least 2 other people to vote Yes on the STV. 60% is a hard number to reach for anything, the STV will get over 50%, but we need to push it over the top!

m2c

There were no plans to privatize BC Rail. In fact, Campbell stated explicitly it would not be done. 6 months after the election....BC Rail is privatized.

Rumour-mongering this is not.

By the way, Campbell already sold a third of BC Hydro to Accenture (you know, the guys who did such a bang up job auditing Enron they had to change their name).

but if Hydro isn't enough there's always:

Gateway, the election gag law, shutting down needed social services, tearing up contracts (which cost 83 million in court ordered penalties), Olympic mismanagement (where to begin, makes fast ferries seem like a bargain - security, RAV, convention centre), education including post-secondary funding, replacing and hiding the Translink board, sending medical records to a US company, role model behaviour in Hawaii, the sale of BC Rail and ongoing criminal case, regressive taxation through increased user/service fees, systematic interference with freedom of information requests (FOI), government secrecy in general, conversion of Agriculture Land Reserves, Tsawassen power lines debacle, salmon farming disaster, attacks on public health care, failure on long term care beds, worse economic growth than under the previous NDP government (2.6% v. 2.8% annualized) and lower job growth than the last government, cuts to legal aid, record homelessness and poverty (including child poverty, highest in Canada, super natural!), stripping employment standards from farmworkers, 'streamlining' workplace safety rules and enforcement (resulting in increased rates of workplace injuries and fatalities, continued support for oil and gas exploration (note that none of the revenue from the carbon tax is going to transit or green projects), BC Ferries privatization (and accompanying rise in costs, as well as exclusion from the Labour Code and any accountability), closing services in rural communities (courthouses, hospitals), the idiotic closing of the detention centre next to 222 Main, bloated salaries for senior bureaucrats and advisers, the odious 22% pay raise for MLAs, the minimum wage and the appalling training wage, the sale of Terasen gas, the Alcan deal, the Enbridge Kitimat tar-sand pipeline project, and more.

"sending medical records to a US company"

Expand on this please...

m2c

I believe that, of that list, at least half would have occurred despite what party was in power....

Good article in today's Sun (pg. A11) by Marc Jaccard debunking the NDP's climate policy myths.

"worse economic growth than under the previous NDP government (2.6% v. 2.8% annualized)"

As 98% of people know you can find stats to prove anything.

I heard this one a few days back and my first thought was "but what about how BC did vs Canada during those years". The problem with just talking about year over year growth with no context is that you don't take into account the economic climate of the time.

1996-2000 - Previous NDP Government - BC GDP went up LESS than the overall Canadian GDP every year.

2001-2007 - Current Liberal Government - BC GDP when up MORE than overall Canadian GDP 5 of the 7 years (and yes taking the average over the 7 years BC did better than Canada)

So while BC's 8.61% GDP Growth in 2000 was good, the growth of Canadian GDP was 9.58%. In 2004 BC's GDP grew 8.08%, less than in 2000, but Canada GDP only grew by 6.38%. So did we do better or worse than in 2000?

I say better, others will say worse.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

m2c

Rob By Rob

An honest politician is one who admits that they have very little influence over the state of the economy, good or bad. Most jump onto that idea during bad times but conveniently forget it during good times...

Present global meltdown excluded, policy can play a huge role in economic growth or stagnation. Policies create signals that either support or hinder investment, for better or worse (e.g. oil vs green tech).

In fact, fiscal regulatory policy (or the lack thereof) clearly played a role in the global meltdown.

Rob By Rob

Oh yes, obviously. On these forums I suppose you are assumed an idiot until you prove otherwise - fair enough :).

My comments were focused on the provincial election - I should have been more clear on that.

The province does play an important role in the economy. That said, that role usually pales in significance to national and international factors outside the province's controls.

When those are good and our economy is up, provincial politicians take all the credit they can. When those are bad and the economy tanks, they say "well, y'know, it's rough out there".

Can a provincial government really mess things up (like what we are seeing right now in the U.S.)? Sure. But in order for one party to really mess things up where another wouldn't, they have to be at significantly different ideological poles. And despite what the spin doctors in the two camps working this election will try to say of each other, both parties are ideology-light pragmatists, leaning slightly left and slightly right of centre, trying to pull in as many votes as they can.

Neither would have done things terribly differently if they were in the other one's shoes. There would be differences, sure - a policy here and maybe a Fast Cat (or convention centre) there - but these would be only slight differences in the grand scheme of things.

If the NDP was the ideologically grounded party of its early days, maybe the discussion would be different. But these two parties? C'mon.

RE medical records

The Liberal government has contracted out the management of medical records in BC to a US company. this means the records would be subject to the scrutiny of the US governmnent by virtue of the Patriot Act. Now, not only does this represent a huge risk of violation of privacy, sending our records to the U.S. removes any real means of accountability for the misuse or mismanagement of those medical records once they leave BC. The records involved include medical history, hospital records and prescription records.

Under the contract, MSP and Pharmacare are managed by Maximus in the US (via a Canadian subsidiary). The company has faced fines for not meeting its contractual obligations with BC and has a history of problems in many states in the U.S. (including being found guilty of misappropriation of public funds in Wisconsin, settling a massive fraud case in DC for 30.5 million, and it is also facing criminal charges). The contract is set to expire in 2014. All very reassuring.

link to Maximus' website : http://www.maximus.com/corporate/pages/international-bchbo.asp

It is important to note that your personal medical records that are collected and managed by your primary care giver (family/clinic physician) are managed by that physician. They are not the property of the Government of BC/Ministry of Health. Physicians don't give these records to the Government for storage.

m2c

Leaders Debate on CKNW.

Fairly standard stuff (We are right, they are wrong).

Carol James twice (while I was listening) repeated that because BC has lost 80,000 jobs in the last 3 months that the Liberals Economic plan was obviously not working. A statement that assumes that voters are ignorant boobs (so I guess it might work).

I liked that Jane Sterk said that blaming the current government for the recent job loss was ridiculous, but the provinces reliance on the global economy, which both the Liberal and NDP governments support, was to blame. A much more reasonable argument.

m2c

Thank you for the updates..

highlight of the debate for me was Gordo claiming Carole James had no business experience,
therefore she is unqualified to lead. Hmmm, check out Scrampbell's CV and you'll see a
career
spent sucking the taxpayers' teat for all it's worth.

This province is first and foremeost a place to live, not a business. We need a leader who can
balance social requirements with business needs. Check out Russia if you want to see what a
country run by businessmen looks like. it ain't pretty, esp if you don't belong to the rich and
powerful segment of society.

Further, if relevant experience is necessary, why do we have a real estate broker for
Transportation minister? At least Van Dongen has experience with the legal system, even it it
is on the wrong side of the ticketing process.

We can't afford four more years of Liberal corruption and misrule. Vote Green or NDP, but do
not vote for the BC Lieberals on May 12th.

The question was asked to give reasons why we should vote for the parties without commenting on the other parties as a reason. I found it interesting Campbell couldn't do that.

Very predictable response, Biker. But what about my original query re the carbon tax? This is the reason for my indecision thusfar. Not social programs.

The carbon tax won't change consumer or business behaviour and will only add another layer of
bureaucracy (and cost) to the system. The tax would have to be much higher to have an effect
on GHG emissions.

Real change is effected by giving people more options, not by making them pay more for the
few alternatives they have. Anyway, if Campbell's carbon tax vow is as believable as the rest of
his promises, the only thing it's good for is spreading on the garden.

Given the current gov't's record, why would we believe that are suddenly 'green' and also
capable of keeping a promise?

How timely this is. Hope to see some of you there!!
M

Politics in the age of global warming: How do we move forward?

The heated conflict over climate policy in the current BC election is distressing to many of us who are concerned about global warming. If every incremental change in policy is as contentious as the carbon tax, how will we ever achieve the fundamental transformations of society needed to stave off catastrophic climate change? Can our political system accommodate a challenge this big? How do we move forward?

We want to invite you to witness a discussion of these important questions Wednesday, May 6th at 7pm. at SFU Harbour Centre.

Liberal Environment Minister Barry Penner, NDP Environment Critic Shane Simpson and Green Party Environment Critic Damian Kettlewell have agreed to speak for their parties on these issues and to respond to questions posed by a panel of academic experts, political commentators and concerned citizens.

Seating is limited, and we have extended the invitation to a number of community, business, opinion, student and faith group leaders. Please RSVP to climate.action@vtacc.org if you are interested in attending.

This event will not be a debate over carbon taxes, IPP’s or other contentious policy specifics. What we hope to achieve is a thought-provoking and engaging dialogue on how we, as a society, are going to deal with the serious challenges we face in the coming decades. Some key questions to be asked:

What are the principles that should underlie climate policy development? Can we find common ground between the parties?

What will it be like to live and work in BC in 2020, when emissions are 30 percent less than they are now? How will we get to that place?

Do we need a new process to develop and implement climate policy? Is a citizen’s assembly on climate policy the answer? How about electoral reform?

The event is sponsored by
Voters Taking Action on Climate Change,
UBC's Faculty of Arts,
SFU's Graduate Program in Public Policy, and
The Tyee.

CK, I'm trying to decipher your post re: carbon tax and I can't tell if you're suggesting that it's a higher administrative cost than a cap/trade system. Also could you clarify on if you see cap/trade costs not being passed to consumers/voters?

Also, I believe you're wrong about not changing behavior.

Not suggesting it's more or less expensive than cap and trade. Frankly, I don't know the
answer. Also, can't see the point of a revenue-neutral tax. If it doesn't raise money for green
initiatives what's the point?

I believe that the carbon tax isn't a big enough stick at the current rate to have much
effect. I do believe a tax of $149 a ton might have an effect. My understanding is that that
number is a more realistic cost for carbon emissions.

Gasoline has gone from 0.25 per litre in 1980 (approx time and price) to over a dollar now,
yet we still see more and more cars on the road. A huge increase that far outstrips wage
raises in the same time. Clearly, money isn't the issue.

I can't think of too many behaviours that can be changed by hitting people in the pocketbook,
especially if it's a small impact. It wasn't five cents a bag that made plastic bags at the
supermarket less fashionable, it was societal pressure. Same thing with GHGs. The fastest
way to reduce emissions IMO is to make high-GHG emission behaviour socially unacceptable.
Both carbon tax and cap and trade are saying it's alright, just so long as you pay the price.

Anybody who says our way of life can stay the same and still be sustainable is lying through
their teeth. It's simply not possible. I wish people would stop believing this palatable lie and
start deciding what's a luxury and what's a necessity.

But, telling folks a sh*tstorm is coming and they better put on a hat won't get you elected.

The secret to getting on the road to sustainability?

Have every single woman in North America refuse to go on dates that involve use of a private
vehicle. Nothing motivates more than sex.

The future is in your hands women. Are you up to the task?

Upon reading through this post, CK, I came to the conclusion that, after writing your 4th paragraph, you realized you do not know enough about the topic; and then you proceeded to make a big sarcastic joke out of it.

The tax will increase year after year, effectively changing the financial landscape for using fossil fuels. [I find it perplexing that opponents' main argument is that the tax is not high enough. Well, I can only imagine the backlash if it started out higher.] "What's the point?" Your argument about the carpool program being pointless ran a similar slant. That said, your point about plastic bags is valid and touches on a topic that deserves its own thread.

If nothing else, I hope my post inspires you to read up further on this issue. Peace.

"Upon reading through this post, CK, I came to the conclusion that, after writing your 4th
paragraph, you realized you do not know enough about the topic;

Mostly true. I don't think it will affect my life in a big way and I haven't taken the time to
absorb the nuances of either side (carbon tax vs cap and trade). I do think both seem to be
mere optics at this time and disingenuously presented as being more effective than they are
likely to be. I will try to find the time to learn more.

"and then you proceeded to make a big sarcastic joke out of it."

I was totally serious about the other stuff.

I would be curious to know what the uptake has been on the carpooling initiative.

peace backatcha

If you enjoy being alive, don't vote Liberal (and no, this isn't a death threat or anything!). The things they have done to Health Care in this province are beyond appalling.

All I can see is bad, bad, bad. Since the day Gordo lied to everyones' faces and claimed he wouldn't rip up contracts (he did), things have gone completely downhill.

Hospitals are dirtier. We used to have housekeeping service that would keep this hospital (won't say which one) respectable. Now, there are some areas that might see a mop once every 6 months. A hospital is supposed to be sanitary to some degree, not dirtier than a students' bachelor pad.

Staffing levels are unacceptably low, I can't even take vacation if ONE other person is off. People are leaving the province to find work elsewhere, where wages and working conditions are better. Believe me, it would take a lot for me to want to leave this beautiful province, and there are many who have had enough.

I do not want to claim that all hospital employees aren't paid well, but the Liberals have done nothing to encourage the recruitment of staff. There are bodies out there, but they are not staying here. Beds are repeatedly shut down in Emergency because there are no nurses. Patients might spend upwards of a week before moving out of Emerg onto a ward because there just isn't the space.

Diagnostic services have been cut down repeatedly as well. I can only speak for my region and hospital, but the quality of testing has decreased, and turnaround time increased. Things are often so backed up that you could wait 8 hours for an X-ray that used to be done in 2 hours or less. Lab test that could be done that day now might be done within a week.

Things were nowhere near this bad before Gordo made it his personal mission to blame all his problems on a bloated health care budget. Every year things have gotten worse. One method he chose to remedy this was to spend 40 million dollars in centralizing a certain portion of diagnostics in the lower mainland, which would save 2.5 million dollars a year (in theory). So great, in 16 years you'll break even. Unfortunately you're spending more per year than you were before. But hey, at least some of your friends took home some of that 40 million dollar cost.

Whatever you do, please do not vote Liberal. I really like living in BC.

Make sure to get out there and vote Liberal today. We don't want the province to put unions back in power, where jobs and promotions are based on tenure and seniority. Let's give the jobs and promotions based on merit.

Everyone can read about what happened the last time the NDP was in power. Let's not go back there again.

What, you mean social services, budget surplus, lower povery, lower homelessness, better care, ownership of our resources, better environmental stewardship, and better funding for education?

Yes, God forbid unions might have influence on government, they only represent workers after all. Better to get our advice from the CEOs, they've always had our best interest in mind.

This merit based delusion is pretty funny. The Libs have rarely applied any merit based thinking in their policies or appointments.

something really needs to be done about huge campaign donations and other corruption like lobbyists dallyancing back n forth between govt and corporate jobs like they were on bungee cords.

The Liberals win and the Canucks lose. It has been a good two days in Vancouver. I'm glad the voters saw through the NDP smoke screens and kept the Liberals in power to guide us through the next four years.

" The Liberals win and the Canucks lose. It has been a good two days in Vancouver. I'm glad the voters saw through the NDP smoke screens and kept the Liberals in power to guide us through the next four years. "

You mean continue to run it into the ground, while Liberal supporters can still whine and cry about "Fast Ferries".

the people are asleep. and keep hitting the snooze button.

It's because counting to 5 is "confusing".

Being in the Point Grey riding, I knew my non-Liberal vote wouldn't matter, but I was really hoping my other one would.

I have to admit to being a bit skeptical that STV would get a Green elected, but I was hoping. Has anyone tried using the STV system with actual voter data? Obviously we can't know what someone's second through seventy-second choices would be, but if we assumed that everyone voted along party lines (ie: picked all 5 Libs/Dips/Hippies), would any ridings be even close to electing a Green or Independent?