In Canada provincial and federal parties of the same name don’t have very tight affiliations in most cases. They’re separate entities despite sharing names and often core values.
That being said, the BC Liberal party certainly seems to have something in common with the Federal Liberals in that they’ve brought about their own demise through scandal, mismanagement and arrogance. This had led to a crisis in BC, where Premiere Christy Clark is now facing a mass exodus of experienced MLA’s. This fleeing of the shrinking ship, (and the imagery of rats diving into water seems awfully appropriate while discussing politics,) is not only a disaster for the Premiere, but for British Columbians as well.
The province is broke and in serious need of responsible fiscal stewardship. The provincial NDP, who will likely form the next government is probably the worst possible choice from the three realistic options. (A Marxist-Leninist party would be worse, probably, but I’m not aware of anyone who would be running under that particular banner.)
The NDP has proven itself fiscally irresponsible, and will probably run us into deeper debt, when we unwittingly give them a carte blanche via our rejection of the Liberals.
The Progressive Conservatives are a little too scary, and while Jon Cummings is an experienced politician, I don’t see the province leaning that far right. Especially with some of the backlash against Stephen Harper and the Federal Conversatives, who keep stepping in it. Yes, I know I said the there is little in the way of affiliation, but they’re both blue, and voters feelings play more of a roll in voting than there brains. (The HST anyone?)
What BC really needs is a charismatic leader to step up and lead a new centrist party; one focused on getting back to the core services the province provides and streamlining government departments and focuses on doing more with less. A party that looks at the issues facing BC and uses realistic and cost effective approaches to dealing with the issues and services the province provides. And they have to take a cold hard look at those services and make sure the very basics are getting covered before moving onto more luxury areas. That means making sure health care, education, transportation and justice are adequately funded before handing out money to private charities. It means enacting policies and programs that help reduce recidivism and not simply rolling over to the Federal Conservatives’ demands that we just lock people up.
It means fixing the broken management structures of our many provincial corporations like BC Ferries, ICBC and Translink.
A lot of hard decisions need to be made, and British Columbians need to understand that it is imperative they are made. We need a strong leader who can communicate this to us, convince us of the necessity of austerity, and has the balls/vagina to do the unpopular things needed to be done, while being honest and up front about it. The PST is archaic and unworkable, a new HST, more palatable to the masses needs to be introduced.
There is so much that needs to be done, and I despair that we are going to end up with an NDP government that will take us in the opposite direction. No matter their good intentions, you can’t dig your way out of a hole, and, lamentably, I’m pretty sure that in 2013, we’re going to try.