Cries from BC Liberal party opponents about 12 years of power in British Columbia being long enough really got me thinking.
Having served under Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals when they were elected 12 years ago, first makes me think about how damn old I'm getting. Next, it makes me think that it is, in fact, time for a change.
But only if the change we are talking about is reasonable.
Having worked in and around government for so long, there is one element more important than all others to me when it comes to good government: stability. With stability comes certainty and predictability - two things that both business and citizens need more than anything else from their government.
People receiving health care services, children living under protection, seniors on disability all need certainty that the program helping them today, will be the same tomorrow. Small businesses need to know that the taxes they are paying today will be administered the same way tomorrow.
As a small business owner, I can tell you right now whether we call it an HST, PST, GST or whatever else, it has rightly been a PIA (pain in the ass) dealing with the latest provincial tax revisions.
For the last few years there has been too much pure politicking and not enough governing in B.C., and that has created instability and unpredictability. Even if the B.C. Liberals were to win another term - which looks unlikely - I would suggest that the internal politics of the party are such that they will get in the way of good, stable governance.
We only have to look to the U.S. Congress right now to see what happens when ideology blinds those in power. The economy in the U.S. remains unstable and, to a great extent, the cause is both the Democrats and Republicans bouncing from issue to issue based more on what is good for the next election cycle, than what is good for the people.
Adrian Dix and the NDP are the alternative and look to be well ahead of the B.C. Liberals right now. So my question is: will Dix end the two decades of ideological pendulum-swinging that has brought instability to our governing system, or will he lurch our province abruptly to the left?
If Dix and the NDP will commit to governing responsibly and not just politicking, then I say give the NDP a chance to prove they are a different party than the one made almost extinct 12 years ago. Policy and legislative changes made slowly over time, based on evidence and citizen input may not sound sexy for a political slogan, but it is what we need here in B.C.
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