2017 BC Elections Debate – My take on politics

2017 BC Elections Debate – My take on politics

As I watched the first British Columbia Election 2017 debate with Green Leader Andrew Weaver, Liberal Leader Christy Clark and NDP Leader John Horgan I was reminded why I didn’t explore Politics as a potential career path. BC’s Provincial Election has kicked off and with that comes campaign strategizing, back stabbing, hand shaking, fake smiling and noise making.

There is no doubt this is a big job representing the people, developing and amending policies and programs – among other things. Any decisions made can be felt far and wide and boy do we feel it! When it comes to politics it takes a special breed of people to run for election and an even stronger contingent of people willing to put their trust in their representative.

Truth vs. Fiction and The reality of certain decisions

I believe most legislators don’t have an understanding about what is really happening at the ground level. That is because they are reliant on individuals willing to contact their offices and they receive stats and second-hand information from representatives who oversee programs on behalf of the government. It’s hard to be everywhere.

In my industry alone so many of the governments decisions have negatively impacted the working environment – resulting in more workers leaving our industry and/or increased leaves of absence. It has most certainly impeded services to clients but you won’t hear a peep about that.

Instead a glowing shout out by Premier Clark about job creation will override the reality that people fall through the cracks in employment services every day.   Through this current numbers driven model of service many in our industry will argue that we Don’t have the luxury of placing people first – especially when it comes to supporting those who need it most.

Fudging numbers and spinning stories is what makes for interesting campaigns and if we don’t know better we’ll assume what our representatives are saying is the truth. The real truth is that politicians likely know – or learn rather quickly – that facts are buried in between fiction. They have figured out that people vote based on their own values and immediate needs and pay basic attention to everything else.

Sometimes it’s so hard to know what is going on and other times it’s glaringly obvious

In this debate I heard repeated reference to the NDP in the 90’s which doesn’t mean much to me now. I believe every individual,  party or company has the ability to evolve so why dredge up the past…show me what you got for 2017 and beyond!

The Green party keeps talking about corporations as if they are the bad guys. Not all corporations are bad. Yes, keep them under control as it pertains to political influence but  remember corporations provide jobs and aren’t we all grateful for that? Corporations donate to various charities so would you prefer they make less and therefore contribute less? Why not choose partnerships with innovative and responsible corporations so that you can spend less time mining my pocket to pay for things?

Here’s where I might offend a few people: I don’t think every taxpayer should have to pay for childcare. I have always felt that if you bring a child in this world you better be prepared to take care of it for the long-term. Of course, if you become a single parent raising children or the primary financial contributor to the home loses employment then that is a different story. The unforeseen often dictates changes – support should then be made available. Here again is where I think we need to be more innovative in our approach to such issues and assessment of need can be a part of that approach.

Polls, Trolls and Tripe don’t help much

Politicians on the campaign trail have still not understood that a large majority of voters hate negative campaigning. Although as we have seen south of the border, and in previous Canadian campaigns, mud slinging can happen. Getting out to vote should be made more attractive as we can’t take anything for granted.

My advice to candidates

John Horgan – Shut down the 90’s talk right away if anyone mentions it and share very clearly how the party has grown and will proceed. It’s not so much your personal reputation or presentation you have to worry about its the past mistakes that linger. No matter what you say that is the hurdle you face.

Christy Clark – Stop relying on “job loss and kids future fund being depleted”  as a threat if we vote for someone else. Give me a better reason to trust in your ability to know what’s really happening to people like seniors, youth at risk and persons with disabilities along with the infrastructure of this province.

Andrew Weaver – You are talking too fast. Slow it down, stop saying “we have a plan” and find a way to  spell it out better in the short time you have. Don’t dump on corporations because you are losing a whole host of voters that way. Find a way to make Green a word that doesn’t make people think the economy will be negatively impacted. We already know the environmental piece, focus listeners on other issues of importance.

Wow! I’m exhausted even writing about this! Yup, a future in politics is probably not for me and I still don’t know which way I will vote.



2 Responses to 2017 BC Elections Debate – My take on politics

  1. I agree with the over-riding theme of your blog post. We need more details from these 3 party leaders on how they are going to go forward with implementing their platform.

    I disagree that we should ignore the 90’s and the harm the NDP did in the past. The reason we can’t let Horgan off the hook is because he is promoting a similar tax and spend campaign. He is making promises to “the middle class” (whatever that means), and his only avenue to pay for it is to tax the “top 2%” or increase or add new taxes. This is the exact issue that occurred in the 90’s and it caused a severe brain drain from the province, and relegated BC’s credit rating to the bottom of all Canadian provinces. I thought he did poorly in this debate, overall. I do not see him as leadership material, in general. (A trend in politics these days).

    Premiere Clarke was very good at getting her message across. But I agree that she does not address key areas like seniors, youth at risk etc. She has also not led on improving our healthcare delivery/costs, and has stumbled on this so-called “affordable housing” issue. I think all politicians are off base on that one, although Clarke was the only one saying how she wanted to help people own a home as oppose to just building cheap housing for people to be stuck renting in perpetuity as the others seems to suggest doing. But all Parties are off base on this issue. Government meddling is hurting those middle class folks who own homes, and not allowing them to sell in a hot market so they can invest in their future the way they want. Weaver seemed to suggest increasing capital gains on home owners. A dangerous precedent.

    And as for Weaver, he didn’t impress. What I saw of him was minimal since he did not seem to assert himself into the debate (and I couldn’t monitor the complete debate via radio), however I did feel he was more coherent than Horgan when he did speak. I need to listen more to what his platform includes. I agree that beating up on corporations is not a strong message to send to voters. It reduces their argument to making a villain out of businesses that provide a huge amount of employment and wealth to people. Large businesses such as these that seem to be attacked regularly by the Weavers and Horgan’s of the land, invest in our regions across the province and provide much needed opportunity where there otherwise would be none. Not to mention “good paying” jobs. It sound so much like Weaver and Horgan want to provide guaranteed incomes to those who otherwise lack the skill or the drive to earn those well paying positions, all at the expense of the “middle class” through increases taxation. Not something that I can vote for.

    It’s a precarious time. I do not think the citizens of this province are in a position to gamble at this time. But in the area of politics these days where it is more about partisan favorites and ideological leanings, who knows what will happen?


  2. Thank you for your comment, good points. It was interesting to watch the final debate and see glimpses of strengths and weaknesses in each candidate but I’m not sure debates really help. When people talk over each other I tend to want to stop listening and change the channel. When candidates don’t answer the questions I get frustrated. For people who live elsewhere in BC (outside of the Lower Mainland) I’m not sure there was much for them. Oh well, exercise the right to vote and maybe see if any independent candidates are running in our communities.

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