Laila Yuile Headshot

B.C. Politics in a Word: Fallacious

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fallacious [fəˈleɪʃəs]
adj
1. (Philosophy / Logic) containing or involving a fallacy; illogical; erroneous
2. tending to mislead
3. delusive or disappointing a fallacious hope

I love the word fallacious.

I love how it sounds, (slightly naughty, as it rolls off my tongue ) but more so, I love that I've finally found one word that so accurately sums of the state of politics in B.C. They are completely fallacious and voters in B.C. are left hanging in the middle of war words and media strategies where the goal is power -- rather than good government.

We have on the right the capitalistic, free enterprise B.C. Liberals. Free enterprise, as defined by the Liberals, means favouring corporate friends and taking everything they can get, but neglecting the very important social needs of the people of B.C. while doing so. People in British Columbia have effectively been held hostage by the still un-elected Christy Clark, who under the B.C. Liberal banner, has been poorly leading with no direction. Democratic process fails each of us when a talk show host can move directly from the studio to the premier's office without an election and a mandate by the people.

Despite campaigning to bring an open and accountable government to British Columbia, Clark has continued to foster an environment within the legislature that not only rewards unethical behaviour, but seems to encourage it. For the last 10 years, the B.C. Liberals have repetitively and with great air of entitlement, shown they are above the same laws we are all beholden to. This isn't rhetoric on my part, it's documented with stacks of research, stories, and evidence. They have, without doubt, written the play book on fallacious politics.

On the left, we have the no-Enbridge-but-reserving-all-comment-on-other-pipelines-B.C. NDP -- the party whose energy critic has gone from being rightly cautious on fracking to full steam ahead, "Let's get fracking!"; the party with a nice, calm leader who wants to be fair and thoughtful instead of condemning lavish spending and calling for heads to roll; the party with the same old, same old Moe Sihota in charge. A political bedbug who you just can't get rid of. So we know the insiders are all the same, leaving much of B.C. in a moral and environmental dilemma that few care to approach for fear of splitting votes and letting the Libs win again.

With the NDP ramping up for 2013, leader Adrian Dix is riding around the province on a white horse, leading the charge to also -- this sounds familiar -- bring a transparent and accountable government to the people. The NDP smell victory already, and have begun campaigning in earnest in many parts of the province, completely ignoring the stench that trails both parties after the revelations of messy finances in the legislature.

However, there is a stark reality facing voters looking at the NDP, where the true financial situation of the province is going to greatly limit their impact in the legislature.

Expect the NDP to fix years of slice and dice Liberal-style closures and cuts to court services, family services, legal aid, education, healthcare, taxes? Not happening in three years in this province. They don't even know the full scope of all the contracts the Liberals signed, the many years of contractual obligations left owing on the provinces many P3s, nor will they have any idea until they get in power - and this is something they have already used as an excuse in the past. There is more than a little fallacious politicking going on in this camp as well.

With the Liberals a non-starter and the NDP likely taking a majority in the legislature, the dark horse in the race is the B.C. Conservative Party. Say what you will about grumpy old men, religious views kinda-sorta mixing with politic, with Enbridge looking more and more like a non-starter (the Cons fully support the project ) don't count them out of the race just yet.

In many areas of the province, voters really are more centre or centre right on some issues and centre left on others than a lot of readers might realize. In my hometown of Prince George, where Liberals have largely won for the last 10 years, many people are very hesitant to vote NDP, but won't vote Liberal again. That leaves just enough room for the Conservatives to ride up the middle if they play the right candidate and the right cards. And oddly enough, many people don't connect the federal party to the provincial one, which works in their favour.

B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins has remained largely silent, happy to sit back and let the Liberals and NDP jab each other, but strategically making smart moves when the NDP fail to jump on an opportunity to attack the Libs, and more importantly, when the NDP have found themselves on the defensive, as with the recent revelations regarding the messy and unprofessional accounting in the legislature. Cummins was immediately calling for resignations, and rightly so, while the NDP leader remained largely silent.

The question is will voters fall for any of it again, or will they look beyond all the fallacious politicking?
I hope they do. I think the people of B.C. are becoming more involved, and more informed than ever before. I think every political party has better think hard about what they claim, promise or otherwise present to the voters, who've been slapped around so much in the last 10 years voter malaise still might be a concern for parties.

With so much on the line economically and environmentally, the time has come for the people of British Columbia to stand up and demand they not be taken for granted any longer, demand stronger oaths of office, demand accountability and accept nothing less. It wasn't a political party who made this province what it is, it was the people. It has always been the people, and it always will be the people.

Politicians of every party across this great province would do well to remember that, because British Columbians are a powerful political force in their own right. Just look back at Fight HST to see how fierce we really are.