Well, it's that time again. Time to forget the most dreary March in British Columbia's recorded history, notwithstanding the snowfall and skiing were the best in recorded history. Time to impotently complain about emerging dog poo, in case you have nothing better to complain about... which would be just about everything. Time to enjoy skiing great conditions without the crowds so exalted by our new corporate masters. And time to take your golf clubs out of storage and smack yourself in the head with them repeatedly.
Yes, it's time for Democracy InAction: Provincial Style.
The premier of all British Columbians, Christy — Anything for a Buck — Clark, dropped her pants, er, writ on Tuesday kicking off the Great 28-Day Lie Fest. More so than usual, everything slipping past the lips of Ms. Clark for the next 28 days will be self-serving, untruthful, deceptive and, not to put too fine a point on it, pandering. Of course, hers is not a solo act but just one voice in the chorus of the Three Tremors. Pretty much everything said by her leadership opponents, John Horgan (NDP) and Andrew Weaver (Green) will stretch the concept of truth down the black hole of disbelief.
Frankly, if this is the best B.C. has to offer we'd be better off tossing a computerized coin through a random sequence generator to make political decisions. At least we'd wind up with a 50/50 chance of a good decision being made, far better odds than we've been blessed with for, oh, as long as any of us can remember, unless of course we're high-rollers, Liberal bagpeople or government insiders.
In 1,100 words, I couldn't begin to describe the lies, scandals and misappropriation of funds committed by Ms. Clark's government since she took the back door into office in 2011. The best I can say for her is, unlike her predecessor, she never got nailed for drunk driving while on vacation.
In the normal course of politics, 16 years of leadership (sic) by one party would, in itself, be enough to awaken the voting public — that small and shrinking percentage of eligible voters who don't mind making a fool of themselves by actually voting for any of these losers — who would rise up and throw the bums out. Fortunately for Ms. Clark and the Liberals-in-name-only, the gods of incompetence have blessed them with the provincial NDP as their main opposition.
The NDP committed political suicide some time in the 1990s under the comical leadership of Glen Clark. Mr. Clark is not related by blood to Ms. Clark, only by a perceived over-developed coefficient of sleaze. Mr. Clark was also blessed with an over-developed coefficient of incompetence and had the misfortune of holding the reins of power at a time blatant graft was still considered, if not criminal, distasteful. In the Era of Payola, however, money for access isn't something exclusively reserved to honest prostitutes; politicians at all levels of government have employed complex analytics to figure out how to milk the most money from people seeking favours while still managing to avoid indictment. Ms. Clark is the only one who still manages to do so without paying lip service to the notion such quaint practices should really, some time in the future, be reconsidered if not ended.
The only thing many British Columbians find more distasteful than another four years of Liberal rule is four years of NDP rule. Notwithstanding this natural gag reflex, British Columbians very nearly held their collective noses four years ago and elected an NDP government. Pundits were as universal in their predictions the NDP under the late Adrian Dix would waltz to power as they were some years later that Brexit would be voted down and that man who is now president of the U.S. had no chance of winning. None, however, foresaw Mr. Dix would commit suicide in the final week of the race and leave only an empty shell of a man to stand up to Ms. Clark, who with characteristic warmth and courtesy, ground him beneath her sharpened high heel.
There is currently no consensus on how the NDP will punt this election, only consensus they will find a way. In this riding, acclaiming a candidate no one's ever heard of, just over a week ago, who has no obvious credentials for the job, may or may not foreshadow their plans. Not having a platform as of writ day — other than trying to out-Clark Ms. Clark on reducing bridge tolls and aping Quebec's $10-dollar-a-day daycare — may be another astute tactic. Or not.
The Green party has a platform. And a local candidate. And a snowball's chance in Hell of forming government. But knowing that, at least, is a sign they are capable of both knowing and telling the truth. Some truths.
It has long been no secret I am not generally supportive of voting Green. That's because it generally tends to split the left-of-centre vote and clear the field for the most conservative candidate to win. And this election is not different. Except it is. There is no left-of-centre candidate, only a ghost of an NDP candidate. Maybe.
In the normal course of things, I'd probably support Jordan Sturdy. Jordan seems like a pretty upright guy. He stays in touch with local issues and supports local initiatives. But he's hitched to the wrong horses as... never mind. At this point, I consider the provincial Liberal Party not much more honourable than any other criminal enterprise. They bribe voters with our own money. Make a show of promising to halve MSP premiums after having doubled them. Can't find enough causes they've milked that they'll now pretend to throw money at to buy votes. And, if all that weren't enough to make you taste vomit in your mouths, are still led (sic) by Ms. Clark.
I wouldn't trust the provincial NDP to organize a dog fight, let alone run government.
So I'm very likely voting Green. It's not that I believe their platform is viable. It's not that I believe they're capable of governing. It's certainly not that I believe they have a chance of forming government. None of the above. I just find them less offensive than the other parties and I can't bring myself to not vote or spoil my ballot.
Now that I've had my say, I'm going skiing and trying to avoid listening to anything about provincial politics for the next four weeks.
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